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Animal Care Hospital
Call us today! 319-378-9000
Call us today! 319-378-9000

1146 Blairs Ferry Rd NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Signs of Sickness in Cats

October 15 2017

If you have a cat, you may have noticed that our feline friends communicate with us in some very cute ways, such as meowing, pawing us, or rubbing against our legs. However, kitties aren’t quite that forthright about letting us know when they’re not feeling well. In fact, they sometimes deliberately try to mask symptoms of illness. You may not notice your pet is ill until she’s very sick! Therefore, it’s important to be able to spot warning signs early on. As your Marion, IA vet, I am dedicated to providing great care for cats. Read on for some common signs of sickness in felines.

Poor Grooming

Cats are normally very good about keeping themselves clean. Your kitty may spend hours every day carefully grooming herself. However, if your pet is sick, she may very well forgo her usual beauty ritual. Before long, her coat will start looking greasy and matted.


It isn’t unusual for cats to produce the occasional hairball. However, frequent or violent vomiting is another story, and can be a sign of medical trouble.

Unusual Behavior

Now, if I advised my clients to bring their cats in every time they did something strange, some of my feline patients would be visiting me daily! What you want to watch for are things that aren’t normal for your pet. For instance, a normally-cuddly kitty that starts acting aggressive could be sick.

Litterbox Issues

If Fluffy suddenly stops using her litterbox, she may be ill. Changes in the amount, texture, or color of your cat’s waste can also be red flags. Trouble urinating is another warning sign, and can be indicative of serious medical issues.


Just like people, cats often withdraw when they feel ill. If Fluffy has been hiding under the bed or in a closet, and doesn’t want to come out, she may be sick.

Uncharacteristic Vocalizations

Changes in your pet’s normal vocalizations can also indicate sickness. For instance, a quiet cat that starts howling may be sick.


These are just a few possible signs of illness. Fever, lethargy, runny eyes or noses, and coughing, sneezing, and wheezing are also red flags. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these warning signs. The sooner an issue is treated, the better!

Do you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? Contact me, your Marion, IA veterinarian, anytime!