How To Know If Your Cat Is Sick

It's not easy to tell if your feline is sick because a cat's personality doesn't really reveal what they are feeling. There are parameters you can follow so you can recognize the initial signs of illness.  From there you can then take your cat to see a specialist.
How To Know If Your Cat Is Sick

Last update: 11 September, 2018

Just like humans, animals also get sick. The difference between them and us is that they can’t always tell us, so it’s important to be aware of their gestures and the changes in their behaviors in order to know what’s happening. You can find out if your cat is sick by following these guidelines and tips.

Why do cats get sick?

No matter how much you care for your pet, it’s inevitable for him to contract viruses or diseases. They usually have a lot of contact with other animals on the street or with harmful substances like garbage.

That is why, in many cases, they can get sick with diarrhea, vomiting or even get injured. Unlike dogs, cats are not very expressive, so it’s more difficult to figure out if they are sick or in pain.

Remember that having a pet takes a lot more than just giving him food and water. You have to be aware of his needs, and illness or pain. Continue reading to learn how to figure out your cat is sick?

A cat sleeping against a wall

Signs that indicate your cat is sick

Watch his movements

When your cat is sick, he can experience changes in his balance, coordination and the way he looks at things or moves around. Paying close attention to cat’s movements and gestures will help you figure out if something is wrong.

How much he is sleeping

Whenever you feel pain or sick, you lose strength and you’ll try to recover by sleeping. If you notice your cat is sleeping more than necessary, then it might be happening because he is sick. Sleeping is a good way for him to make time pass faster in order to make the illness go away faster.

Loss of appetite

Losing the desire to eat is one of the most common signs that something is wrong. If your cat is eating less than normal or doesn’t want to eat right away, then most likely he is sick.

A cat with a loss of apetite

Don’t assume that his loss of appetite is due to a stomach virus because he may have any kind of disease.

Vomiting and diarrhea

Although these usually have to do with stomach conditions, that is not always the case. Vomiting and diarrhea may be a sign of other conditions or more serious disease. So, never make a diagnosis without first going to the vet.


Most of the time you cat find out if your cat is sick by taking his temperature because it will normally increase if something isn’t right. The best way to take a cat’s temperature is by examining his nose, or you can use a thermometer made for animals, which can be more difficult to use on your pet. 

One trick that usually works is by feeling your cat’s ears. If they are cold, most likely he has a fever. Although this isn’t the best method to test if your cat has a fever, it usually works.

Look at his litter box

When your cat is sick, the first visible sign may be found by looking at his urine or feces. Constantly check his litter box to see if everything is normal will help you figure out if your cat is sick.

A cat in a litter box

In fact, some of the most common illnesses found in cats have to do with urinary problems. 

His weight

Maybe your cat has lost weight and you haven’t even noticed it. Maybe he’s been eating, but he isn’t drinking enough water to remain well-hydrated. This could make him look thinner, but in reality, he’s just dehydrated. 

If you look out for these signs, you’ll know if your cat is sick. Of course, you shouldn’t overlook anything and you should take him to the vet upon the first sign of illness. Remember that watching your pet is your responsibility.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.