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Dogwood Animal Hospital

2050 Sugarloaf Parkway
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30045

Five Signs of a Sick Cat

October 1 2014

Cats aren’t known for showing off their pain and discomfort—they tend to keep it to themselves, so it can be hard to tell when your cat has a problem. Below, a Lawrenceville veterinarian tells you about a few key signs to clue you in.

Eating and Drinking

Disorders and diseases can sometimes cause a cat to eat and drink less, or more. Diabetes, for example, will likely cause your cat to chow down more than usual. Conversely, an oral disorder or kidney disease will probably make a cat reluctant to eat at all. If you notice your cat’s eating and drinking habits changing, it’s time to call your vet.


Since cats are great at grooming themselves, a lackluster appearance is a classic sign of ill health. A coat that looks dull and dry or has bald patches could mean something is wrong. If you see an increase in shedding or notice your cat is scratching a lot more, something might need to be treated. Allergies, fleas, and other topical problems are common causes.


A cat that’s suddenly behaving differently than normal could have a medical issue. Has your cat been acting aggressively when she’s usually friendly and tolerant? Perhaps she’s been avoiding all human contact when she’s usually ready to jump in anyone’s lap. Behavior changes like these may warrant a veterinary opinion, so call your vet’s office as soon as you suspect something is amiss.


Have you noticed particularly bad breath recently when your cat gets near your face? Especially rancid breath odor could indicate periodontal disease or other oral health problems, as well as internal problems like kidney issues. Fruity-smelling breath is also a classic sign of diabetes. Call your vet if you suspect anything is wrong.


Check your cat’s litter box every once in a while to monitor her waste. If fecal matter has changed drastically in size, color, smell, or frequency, you’ll want to let your vet know. Urinary problems are common in cats, so try to track your cat’s bathroom habits as well as you can.

Next time your feline companion gets sick, you’ll know what to look for. Ask your Lawrenceville veterinarian for more helpful indicators of a sick cat.

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