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Dogwood Animal Hospital

2050 Sugarloaf Parkway
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30045

How to Tell if Your Cat is Sick

June 15 2016

If you have a kitty, you’ve probably noticed that our feline friends can be a bit mysterious. Cats are particularly secretive when they aren’t feeling well. There’s a good reason for this: in the wild, displaying any symptoms of illness can attract dangerous predators. Therefore, kitties learned long ago to conceal any hints of weakness. This secrecy can be quite problematic for pet owners, however: you may not realize your furry friend is ill until she’s very sick. In this article, a Lawrenceville, GA vet discusses some common symptoms of illness in cats.

Unkempt Fur

Healthy cats are very meticulous about keeping their fur clean and pretty, and will spend time every day carefully grooming themselves. If Fluffy doesn’t feel well, however, she may forego her beauty rituals, and her fur will soon start showing the neglect.

Lack of Appetite

While Fluffy may be a picky eater, even if she doesn’t like what you offered her, she should still be interested in dinner. A cat that just doesn’t want to eat, however, may be sick. A sudden increase in appetite can also be a warning sign, as can a change in your kitty’s water consumption.


Cats often withdraw when they don’t feel well. While it may not be unusual for our feline pals to curl up in a quiet spot for a nap, if Fluffy seems to be hiding a lot, she may be ill.

Uncharacteristic Behavior

Our feline friends may be full of cute quirks, but at the end of the day, most cats are very much creatures of habit. Any changes in your kitty’s usual personality, behavior, vocalizations, or routines can be a red flag. For instance, if Fluffy is usually fairly quiet, but suddenly starts meowing constantly, she could be sick.

Litterbox Issues

One wonderful thing about cats is that they are naturally very clean: Fluffy will discretely relieve herself in her own private bathroom. When you’re cleaning your kitty’s litterbox, watch for changes in the amount, color, or texture of her waste. And if you ever see your furball straining to go, contact your vet immediately: this is a major red flag, and can indicate a serious medical problem.

If your cat has any of these symptoms, please contact us, your Lawrenceville, GA animal clinic, right away. The sooner an issue is diagnosed and treated, the better!

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