How to Tell if Your Cat is Sick

By Kelsey Apley 2 years ago2 Comments

Do you know how to tell if your cat is sick?

Cats age so much faster than humans. When your cat hits to be 5 in human years they are the cat age of 36 years. With age, cats can be more susceptible to getting sick and have more health problems. Below are 8 signs to look for to know if your cat is sick.

how to tell if your cat is sick

The hardest part of a cat not feeling well is they can’t tell you. You have to pay attention to their behavior and watch for any changes in their eating habits or personality. They are much like a newborn baby, you have to guess and hope you are right about what they might need. It can be a little hard, but if you know how to tell if your cat is sick, you can just load them up and head to the vet for a checkup.

How to Tell if Your Cat is Sick

how to tell if your cat is sick

Weight Changes

Cats generally maintain a steady weight once they are out of the kitten stage. If you find your cat is losing weight or even gaining quite a bit, get them checked. It could be issues with their thyroid or possibly cancer. An increase or decrease in weight that is rapid is not healthy. If they lose or gain slowly that isn’t as worrisome. 


Watch your cat’s appetite. If they begin to eat less or significantly more it could point to an imbalance or sickness. Did you know an increase in water intake could mean kidney, diabetes, or hyperthyroidism?

Activity Changes

Older cats can slow down quite a bit due to arthritis and it causing them pain. If you see your cat resting a lot more or not showing interest in playing, you might phone your vet just to be safe. If your cat is generally more mellow it might just be their personality. Only you know your cat’s behavior.

Voice Change

If your cat is generally quiet and you notice it meowing more they could be trying to tell you something is wrong. Or if your cat normally is vocal and begins to get quiet it could be not feeling good.

Bad Breath

If your cat’s breath is smelling foul, it can be an indicator of gum disease. GI issues, diabetes and more can also be causes of a change in the breath. You can buy toothpaste and a toothbrush for cats. It might be a challenge to brush their teeth but if you have a mellow cat they are more likely to tolerate brushing.

Accidents Outside Litter Box

There are so many reasons for a cat going outside their box. Cat’s don’t like a dirty box so it may be that you haven’t cleaned it in awhile. However, this can also happen if your cat is sick. Cats can get UTI’s as well as kidney stones which could have them going outside the box. With these health issues cats struggle emptying their bladder and without treatment, it could be fatal. Make sure to get your cat checked if they are having accidents that can’t be attributed to other reasons.

Dull Coat

Grooming is such a big part of your feline’s day. If you notice they aren’t grooming like normal or their coat gets dull and greasy, it could point to a skin condition. Sometimes food changes can do this if they aren’t getting the nutrients they need. Make sure to feed your cat quality cat food.


This is a pretty noticeable sign. If your cat seems weak, extra tired, not interested in playing and overall not themselves, keep an eye on them. If they don’t perk up within a day I would take them in for sure.


It’s good to how to tell if your cat is sick. Overall, however, when in doubt, head to the vet and have your cat checked over. Our cats need us to help take care of them and these signs could save their lives if they have an underlying disease.

More tips on caring for sick kitties:

Check Out These Secrets To Give Your Cat A Pill Easier

Cat Anxiety – Signs and How to Reduce Anxiety

All About Cat Nose Freckles | Should I Be Worried?

  Cat Care
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 Kelsey Apley

  (188 articles)

I am a city girl who has now moved to the country for a more relaxed lifestyle, with my husband and son! We love to be outdoors in nature, doing crafts, and just taking each day as a new adventure. I am a freelance writer and stay at home mom by day!


  • It sure was helpful when you said that even the significant increase of the food that they eat can also be a sign that there is something off or wrong with my cat. Little Mimi does not really eat a lot because she likes being “sexy.” Now I noticed that she is eating a lot and is always asking for seconds. If I didn’t see this article, I wouldn’t think there is anything wrong. I will take her to the vet right away.

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