Cats are masters at hiding any pain, injuries or illnesses that they may be experiencing. Because of this, it can be very difficult to know if your cat needs veterinary care. Our Middlesex vets share some ways you can tell if your cat is sick as well as any serious signs and symptoms to watch for.

When cats are sick

Just like any creature cats can find themselves feeling sick occasionally. Cat illnesses range from common and highly contagious cat colds (upper respiratory infections) to diabetes, feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukemia virus, worms, hyperthyroidism and even cancer.

Of course, the symptoms that your cat will show when sick depends upon the kind of illness they are suffering from however there are a number of symptoms that are common to more than one type of illness or disease.

Below our vets from Bound Brook Veterinary Clinic share a few signs of your cat being sick that can mean it's time to book a vet appointment, as well as more serious symptoms that indicate that your cat is in need of emergency veterinary care.

How will I know that my cat is sick?

As a natural predator, your cat will do everything it can to hide the fact that it is sick, so you will need to be aware of what is normal behavior for your cat and what is not. Although it may just be a passing bout of indigestion or a cold, it's also possible that your cat has a more serious condition that needs medical attention.

Cats hide pain and sickness well, so what looks like a minor issue could be the sign of something more serious. If you see your cat displaying any of the following symptoms please contact your vet right away.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation - especially if your cat appears to be in pain
  • Lethargy - sleeping more than usual
  • Increase or decrease in appetite
  • Weight changes - Sudden decrease or increase in weight
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Breathing issues, or changes in breathing
  • Runny eyes or nose, clear, green or white
  • Excessive shedding, bald patches, skin irritation
  • Blood in the urine
  • Changes in personality - in longer playful or refuses to go outside

When should I consider rushing my cat to the vet?

The symptoms above are a good indicator that you should bring your cat in for an examination as they are most likely sick, the symptoms below are signs that your cat may be experiencing serious medical distress. If your cat shows any of the following symptoms urgent veterinary care is required.

If you are still unsure of whether your cat's symptoms are signs of an emergency, you can contact us and we can help you decide.

  • Indications of severe pain - typically accompanied by loud crying or aggression
  • Seizure
  • Trauma
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Signs of pain while urinating
  • Discolored gums - blue, grey, white, or unusually pale
  • Bleeding that is moderate to extreme
  • Any exposure to poison
  • Vomiting blood
  • Unresponsiveness or unconsciousness
  • Unable to walk or signs of dizziness
  • Overly high or low temperatures - under 99° or over 104°

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your cat is experiencing signs of sickness, contact our Middlesex vets to have your cat examined and diagnosed.