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Signs of Sickness in Cats

September 1, 2019

Did you know that cats instinctively try to hide illness or injury? There’s actually a good reason for this. In the wild, predators look for signs of weakness. Our feline friends they learned long ago not to let on if something’s wrong. Unfortunately, that can make it difficult for people to tell when their beloved pets are sick. A Burlington, ON vet lists some warning signs to watch for in this article.


Just like people, cats often want to be alone when they don’t feel well. Fluffy may spend most of her time in a hiding spot, such as in a closet or under a bed. Of course, sometimes these little furballs just like to hang out in out-of-the-way niches. A healthy kitty will emerge when she decides she’s hungry or wants attention. If your feline pal just won’t leave her spot, she could be ill.

Unkempt Fur

Kitties are typically very clean, and groom themselves daily. If Fluffy is sick, she may neglect her coat, which will soon start looking dirty, greasy, or matted.

Change In Food/Water Consumption

Fluffy can be quite finicky. However, if she just doesn’t like what you put on her plate, she should meow to demand something different. If your kitty just isn’t interested in food or water, there could be something going on with her. A sudden increase in appetite or thirst is also a red flag.

Litterbox Issues

Cats are usually pretty good about using their litterboxes. If Fluffy starts avoiding her box, or if you notice any changes in the color, amount, texture, or odor of her waste, she could be sick. Straining to go is also a warning sign, and one that would constitute an emergency call to the vet.

Respiratory Trouble

Respiratory infections are very dangerous for kitties. If you notice Fluffy coughing, wheezing, or gasping, call your vet immediately!

Unusual Behavior

We know, unusual behavior is more or less ‘purr for the course’ with cats. However, what you want to look for are things that aren’t normal for your pet. If Fluffy is usually aloof, and then suddenly turns into a little cuddlebug, she may be seeking comfort because she doesn’t feel well. A sweet kitty that starts acting grouchy could also be sick.

Please contact us, your Burlington, ON vet clinic, for all your kitty’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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