How To Recognise Illness In Your Cat

Cats are known for their independent and often mysterious nature. While this makes them great companions, it can also make it difficult to recognise when they are feeling under the weather. As a cat owner, it is important to be able to detect signs of illness in your furry friend so that you can seek medical attention if needed.

In this guide, we will discuss some common signs and symptoms of illness in cats, as well as provide tips on how to monitor your cat’s health and when to seek veterinary care. By being aware of these indicators, you can ensure that your cat receives the proper care and treatment they need to live a happy and healthy life.

What is Normal for Your Cat?

The first step in recognising illness in your cat is to have a good understanding of what is normal for them. Every cat has their own unique personality and behaviour, so it’s important to pay attention to their typical habits and routines. This includes their eating, drinking, sleeping, and grooming patterns.

For example, if your cat is usually very active and suddenly becomes lethargic, this could be a sign that something is wrong. Similarly, if they typically have a good appetite but suddenly stop eating or drinking, it could indicate an underlying issue.

It’s also important to note any changes in litter box habits or bathroom behaviours. Cats are known for being clean animals and any sudden changes in these areas can be a red flag for potential illness.

By being aware of your cat’s normal behaviours, you will be better equipped to recognise any changes that may indicate a problem.

Common Signs that Your Cat May Be Ill

While every cat is different and may show signs of illness in their own way, there are some common indicators that can be seen in many cats. These include:

Changes in appetite or thirst

A sudden decrease or increase in appetite and thirst can be a sign of various health issues. If your cat is eating significantly less than usual or not drinking enough water, it could indicate a problem with their digestive system, kidney function, or other underlying health condition.

On the other hand, if your cat is suddenly showing an increased appetite or thirst, it could also signal an issue that needs attention. For example, excessive thirst can be a symptom of diabetes or hyperthyroidism, while an increased appetite could be a sign of an overactive thyroid or a gastrointestinal problem.

If you notice any changes in your cat’s eating or drinking habits, it’s important to monitor them closely and consult with your veterinarian if the issue persists.


Cats are known for their independent and often active nature. If you notice that your cat is suddenly less energetic or seems tired all the time, it could indicate a health issue. 

It’s important to pay attention to any other symptoms your cat may be experiencing along with lethargy. If there are no apparent reasons for your cat’s decreased activity levels, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian.

Changes in bathroom habits

As mentioned earlier, changes in litter box habits can be a red flag for potential health issues. If your cat suddenly starts having accidents outside of the litter box or is struggling to urinate, it could be a sign of a urinary tract infection or other medical problem.

Similarly, if you notice that your cat is using the litter box more frequently than usual or has diarrhoea, it could also indicate an issue. It’s important to monitor your cat’s bowel movements and report any abnormalities to your vet.

Vomiting or diarrhoea

While occasional vomiting or diarrhoea may not be cause for concern, frequent or persistent episodes can indicate a larger issue. It’s important to monitor the frequency and consistency of your cat’s vomit or stool and consult with your veterinarian if it continues.

Vomiting and diarrhoea can be symptoms of various illnesses such as infections, dietary issues, or even more serious conditions like kidney disease or cancer. Therefore, it’s essential to seek medical attention if these symptoms persist.

Respiratory issues

Respiratory problems in cats can manifest in different ways, including coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. 

If your cat is displaying any signs of respiratory distress, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately. Respiratory issues can quickly worsen in cats and require prompt treatment.

Changes in appearance

Your cat’s physical appearance can also provide insight into their overall health. If you notice changes such as a dull coat, weight loss, or swelling in certain areas, it could indicate an underlying issue.

A dull coat could be a sign of nutritional deficiencies or skin problems. Weight loss without any changes in diet or activity levels can be a symptom of various illnesses such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or cancer. 

It’s crucial to keep an eye on your cat’s appearance and address any changes with your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. By being attentive to your cat’s overall well-being and seeking medical attention when necessary, you can help ensure a happy and healthy life for your furry friend.  So, it is essential to provide them with the best care possible by understanding their normal behaviours and being aware of any potential signs of illness. Remember to always consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns about your cat’s health.

Does Your Cat Need Regular Check-Ups?

Just like humans, cats also need regular check-ups to maintain their health. Even if your cat appears healthy and is not showing any signs of illness, it’s still important to schedule routine visits with your veterinarian.

During these check-ups, the vet will perform a physical examination and may recommend additional tests or procedures to ensure that your cat is in good health. These appointments can also be a great opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have about your cat’s well-being and receive guidance on proper nutrition and care for your furry friend.

Preventive care through regular check-ups can help detect potential health issues early on, making treatment more effective and less costly. It can also help prevent serious health problems and ultimately, prolong your cat’s life.

Plus, regular check-ups also allow your veterinarian to update any necessary vaccinations and monitor your cat’s overall health over time. By prioritising routine visits for your cat, you are taking an important step in ensuring their long-term well-being and happiness.

Why It’s Important to Be Proactive About Your Cat’s Health

As a responsible pet owner, it’s crucial to be proactive when it comes to your cat’s health. This means actively monitoring their behaviour and seeking medical attention for any concerning symptoms.

Additionally, being proactive with your cat’s health means staying on top of preventive measures such as vaccinations and parasite control. These measures not only protect your cat sick but also help prevent the spread of illnesses or parasites within your household or community.

Mistakes to avoid

When it comes to your cat’s health, there are some common mistakes that pet owners should avoid. These include:

  1. Skipping routine check-ups: As mentioned earlier, regular check-ups are essential for maintaining your cat’s health. Skipping these visits can lead to missed opportunities for early detection and treatment of potential health issues.
  2. Self-diagnosing and treating: While it’s important to be attentive to your cat’s health, attempting to diagnose and treat them on your own can do more harm than good. Always seek professional veterinary care for any concerns.
  3. Not providing proper nutrition: Cats have specific dietary needs, and it’s crucial to provide them with a well-balanced diet suitable for their age, breed, and activity level. Consulting with a veterinarian can help ensure you are feeding your cat appropriately.
  4. Ignoring changes in behaviour or appearance: As mentioned earlier, being proactive means staying vigilant for any changes in your cat’s behaviour or appearance. Ignoring these changes can lead to missed opportunities for treatment.
  5. Not seeking medical attention for persistent symptoms: Whether it’s vomiting, diarrhoea, or changes in breathing, if your cat is displaying persistent sick cat symptoms, it’s important to seek veterinary care. Ignoring these signs can lead to further health complications.

Always consult with a veterinarian for any concerns or questions about your cat’s well-being.

Contact Blakehurst Vet For Your Pet’s Health Needs

At Blakehurst Vet, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality and personalised care for your beloved pets. Our spacious and modern facility is equipped with experienced doctors and nurses who are dedicated to ensuring the well-being of your furry friends.

We offer a range of services including dental care, surgery, chemotherapy, palliative care, and more. Our team works hard to maintain a safe and friendly environment for both you and your pet. We understand that visiting the vet can be stressful for some pets, which is why we have separate reception areas for cats and dogs.

At Blakehurst Vet, we are committed to providing same-day appointments because we know how important it is to get your pet seen as soon as possible when they are unwell.

Our team at Blakehurst Vet is proud members of various organisations such as the Australian Veterinary Association and the Veterinary Surgeons Board of New South Wales. We are dedicated to continuing education and staying up-to-date on the latest veterinary techniques and treatments.

Contact us today at 9547 2750 or book an appointment online to give your pet the best possible care at Blakehurst Vet. We are here for you and your pets from Monday to Friday, 8am-6:30pm, and Saturdays from 8am-3pm. Your furry family member’s health is our top priority, and we look forward to welcoming them into our animal hospital with open arms.


How can I tell if my cat is sick?

Recognising a sick cat can be challenging as cats are experts at hiding illness. A few common illnesses in cats include dental disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and respiratory infections. Look for subtle signs such as changes in appetite, lethargy, and bad breath. If your feline friend exhibits any of these sick cat cats symptoms, seek professional veterinary advice immediately.

What are the signs of dental disease in my cat?

Dental disease is a common illness in cats that can be recognised by bad breath, difficulty eating, and red or swollen gums. If you notice these signs, it’s crucial to seek professional veterinary advice. Regular dental check-ups can help keep your cat healthy and avoid severe dental issues.

How can I keep my cat healthy and avoid obesity?

To keep your cat healthy and avoid obesity, ensure they have a balanced diet and regular exercise. An average adult cat needs a diet that provides essential nutrients without excess calories. Monitor your cat’s weight and adjust their food intake as necessary. Cat avoid obesity can help avoid illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease and other health complications.

What are some subtle signs that my cat is sick?

Cats often hide their illness, making it important to recognize subtle signs that your cat is sick. These signs can include changes in behavior, reduced grooming, hiding, and alterations in litter box habits.


In conclusion, being proactive about your cat’s health through regular check-ups, preventive care measures, and staying attentive to changes in behaviour can make a significant impact on their overall well-being.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Blakehurst Vet for all your pet’s health needs – our team is dedicated to providing top-quality care for your furry family members.  So take the first step towards being proactive and book an appointment for your cat today!