Last Updated: 6 months ago

Knowing the signs that your cat is sick can help you get treatment before catastrophe strikes.

So many illnesses, including those caused by new cat owner mistakes, are treatable when caught early!

Unfortunately, cats are very good at masking their pain, so you have to pay close attention.

Understanding the warning signs can mean the difference between life and death.

So, today we’re going to talk about how to tell if your Tabby is sick. Check out these top 10 warning signs!

10 signs your cat is sick

In the wild, cats are vulnerable if they show any signs of pain or distress. This behavior remains even in domesticated kitties.

That’s why Tabby might act like nothing is wrong while she is feeling under the weather.

It’s up to you to know what’s normal for your cat’s behavior so that you can intervene quickly. And here are ten common sign that your can is not well.

#1 Lack of appetite

cat not eating food

One of the first warning signs that a cat is sick is lack of appetite. No matter how capricious your Tabby is, no cat will go on a hunger strike or a diet.

What’s more, I’ve yet to meet a cat to refuse something delicious like chicken breast.

Allow me to give you a piece of advice. If the cat is acting otherwise fine – drinking water, playing, walking around, you shouldn’t panic.

Observe your pet for a day. If her appetite doesn’t return, take her to the vet.

However, do not postpone the visit. A cat which doesn’t eat for a few days might develop a serious complication called fatty liver.

#2 Increased appetite

Increased appetite is also a cause for concerns. For one, it can lead to weight gain and obesity, which are not healthy for a cat.

In addition to this, it could be a sign that your Tabby has a problem with her hormones, or it could be an early onset of diabetes.

Fortunately, diabetes is highly treatable in cats. In fact, unlike in humans, dogs, and just about every other mammal, it can actually go into complete remission.

Keep in mind that a cat’s appetite might vary depending on the season. Speaking from experience, cats eat less in summer and more in winter.

#3 Vomiting

cat vomiting

Many cat owners will tell you that it’s normal for cats to vomit. While vomiting is never without reason, it’s not usually a cause for panic.

That’s because a cat might vomit due to:

  • Eating too fast
  • Trying to expel a hairball
  • Change in diet
  • Food that doesn’t agree
  • Chewing on plants

However, frequent vomiting is an indicator that something is wrong. And by frequent, I mean two-three times several days in a row.

Vomiting in addition to other symptoms like lethargy or lack of attentive should send you straight to the vet.

#4 Lethargy

Cats spend so much time sleeping that sometimes you start to wonder if everything is all right. Well, it’s normal for cats to nap for the better part of their day.

It’s important to observe Tabby’s sleeping pattern so that you can determine if she is sleeping more than usual or if she has lost interest in her favorite activities.

Keep in mind that sometimes cats sleep more in winter and that the older the cat gets, the more it will sleep.

#5 Diarrhea

a ginger cat being checked by the vet

Every cat owner has to deal with cat diarrhea from time to time. Well, diarrhea might be due to any number of things, including:

If the cat is acting normally, you might try some home remedies for cats with diarrhea, such as:

  • Feed Tabby bland food for a couple of days
  • Withhold food for 12 hours
  • Change the food brand

However, a young kitten with diarrhea should be taken to the vet immediately.

Diarrhea is really dangerous because it can lead to dehydration and a kitten can take a turn for the worst very quickly if she is dehydrated.

#6 Increased thirst

Most cats are not avid drinkers, so if you notice that your kitty makes frequent trips to the water bowl, it’s a cause for concern.

Increased thirst is usually related to the kidneys, so you’d want to have them check as soon as possible.

It could also signal:

  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Urinary tract disease

#7 Urinating in inappropriate places

cat sitting on one litter box

When owners find that the cat has used their bed or clothes as a litter box, most of them assume it’s a behavior problem.

What I like to say in such circumstances is that the cat should be taken for evaluation immediately.

If the cat is hurting while peeing, she will associate the pain with the litter box. As a result, she will start to avoid the litter box and use other places to relieve herself.

That’s why urinary tract infection should be ruled out if the cat is not peeing in the box.

#8 Change in urination patterns

Another thing that suggests an illness is a change in the urination quantity. If Tabby is peeing more than usual, she might have a kidney problem.

On the other hand, she might be struggling to pee due to inflammation. In either case, she needs professional help.

If you have a tomcat and you see him struggling to pee or crying in discomfort when you pick him up, take him to the vet immediately.

Female cats almost never get urinary obstruction, but males often suffer from this condition, which can be life-threating.

#9 Eye discharge

Cat Being Carried Squinting One Eye

If you see that your cat has a runny nose and yellow discharge leaks from her eyes, Tabby probably has an upper respiratory infection.

Depending on the cause, it might be contagious to the other cats in the household, so you’d want to take Tabby for an evaluation.

What’s more, small kittens with runny eyes and noses should be rushed to the vet. They can develop complications, including permanent blindness.

#10 Skin issues

At least once in your life, you’ll notice a bump when you pet your cat. It might be an abscess – a wound filled with pus or something more serious like cancer.

As a final piece of advice, I want to say that you have to know what’s normal for your cat and what’s no to determine if she is sick.

Also, trust your gut feeling and consult with a professional if you feel that there is something wrong with your furball.


Recognizing the signs that your cat is sick is crucial for maintaining their health and well-being.

Cats are masters at masking their discomfort, making it imperative for pet owners to be vigilant and observant of any unusual behaviors or physical changes.

Remember, early detection and prompt medical attention can often make a significant difference in the outcome of any illness or condition.

What do you think about these 10 signs that your cat is sick? Would you like to add anything to the list? Then leave us a comment!


Knowing the signs that your cat is sick can help you get treatment before catastrophe strikes. Check out these top 10 warning signs!
Olfa T
Olfa T

Olfa knows how to get things done and has a keen business sense that others admire. She’s always on the go, coming up with new ideas! Her ability to anticipate the needs of her readers and deliver information that they want is what makes CatVills such a success. She loves cuddling her cat Picaciu. He is her inspiration.