Cat Health Problems.
How to Recognize the Signs

Cat health problems, if dealt with swiftly, can often be cured completely or greatly improved.

Many cat illnesses will show themselves by a variety of symptoms and signs.

These symptoms aren't illnesses in themselves, but they're a good indication that something is wrong and tell you that a prompt trip to the vet is needed.

This page describes the main signs and symptoms of many feline illnesses.

First, I've listed the signs and symptoms that often indicate Kitty has an illness. Each link takes you to a page with more detail about that particular symptom.

Below this list, I've given more detailed information about some of the key things to look out for which may be telling you that Kitty is sick.


General Signs of Cat Health Problems

Click on the individual links below for more details on each:


Click on this link for specific advice on health problems in elderly cats.


Things to Look Out For

1) General lack of energy

We all know cats sleep a lot, but if yours becomes much more lethargic compared to normal and can hardly seem to be bothered to do anything, something may well be wrong.

Depression in cats is often characterized by a lack of energy and excessive sleeping. Cat depression can be caused by circumstances that are upsetting your kitty or it can be a sign of a physical illness.

Lack of energy is also one of the common signs of feline anemia.




2) Loss of appetite and / or weight loss

One of the first signs of feline illnessses is often a loss of appetite. The loss may be partial or almost complete.

Appetite loss in cats can be a sign of numerous illnesses, but other symptoms that accompany it may give the vet a better clue as to the cause. These symptoms can include:


Poor dental health can be a sign of illness. It may just be that Kitty needs his teeth cleaned, but sometimes it can be a sign of other illnesses - for example leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus.

Sometimes a cat will lose weight but not lose his appetite. Unexplained feline weight loss is another sign of illness and warrants a trip to the vet whether Kitty has lost his appetite or not.


3) Reluctance to groom and / or hair loss

Healthy cats are meticulous about grooming their fur, which is why it always looks so shiny and sleek.

A sick cat, often due to a general overall lack of energy, will reduce or even stop grooming his fur. As a result, his coat will quickly become dull, maybe have more dandruff and become tangled if he's long haired.

Hair loss in cats can happen for a variety of reasons, but is often an indicator of another health problem.


4) Cat urine problems

Any change in Kitty's peeing habits may indicate cat health problems.

Litter box problems (i.e. suddenly starting to pee outside the litter box) are very often a sign that Kitty's water works are in trouble, as is incontinence.

If your cat suddenly and inexplicably starts peeing outside of his litter box, you should take him to the vet as soon as you can. This behavior is often a sign of a urinary tract infection. This is easily cleared up with antibiotics if it's treated quickly.

If your cat suddenly appears unable to pee and is straining over his litter tray, he may have bladder stones. If you suspect this to be the case, you should rush Kitty to the vet without delay. A cat with a blocked bladder will die without treatment.


5) Excessive thirst or reluctance to drink

Excessive thirst can indicate a number of cat illnesses including:

In some cases of kidney failure, depending on the stage it's at, thirst can decrease rather than increase.


6) Excessive sneezing

All cats sneeze from time to time, and usually it's nothing to worry about. But excessive sneezing can be a sign of a number of cat health problems and illnesses, including:

*Click here for other leukemia symptoms in cats.


A prompt trip to the vet is key to solving or reducing cat health problems and maximizing your cat's life expectancy. The longer a health problem is left, the harder and more expensive it becomes to treat.

For more information, here's a great website on pet health written by a vet:
Pet-Health-Pro.com - Veterinary Pet health Explained by a Professional





Go from cat health problems page to cat illnesses page


Go to Cat Behavior Explained home page