How Can You Tell If A Cat Is Not Feeling Well?

Cats are fascinating creatures with a unique personality that can be difficult to read. As a pet owner, it’s essential to keep an eye out for any signs that your feline friend may not be feeling their best. However, cats are notorious for hiding their symptoms, making it challenging to know when something is wrong.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the tell-tale signs that can help you determine if your cat is not feeling well. From changes in eating habits and lethargy to grooming habits and vocalisation, we’ll cover all the key indicators that can alert you to your cat’s health issues.

We all know how much cats love food, but when they suddenly lose interest in eating or drinking water, it’s time to take notice. Coupled with lethargy or lack of energy, these could be early warning signs of illness. Moreover, changes in their grooming habits like excessive licking or neglecting their fur coat could also indicate underlying health problems.

It’s crucial not to overlook any sudden changes in behaviour such as aggression or avoidance towards you or other pets at home. Excessive vocalisation like meowing more than usual could also hint at underlying health issues.

By being aware of these signs and observing your cat’s behaviour closely, you can identify the problem before it becomes a severe issue. So let’s dive into the details of how you can tell if your cat is not feeling well and give them the care they need.

Behavioral Changes

Cats are notoriously good at hiding discomfort or illness, so recognizing any changes in their behavior can be crucial in detecting any underlying health issues.

When it comes to behavioral changes, there are several key signs to watch out for. For instance, a sudden change in appetite, whether it’s a loss of appetite or an increase in hunger, could indicate that something is off with your cat’s health. Similarly, if your normally active cat seems lethargic and lacks energy, this could also be a red flag.

Another common change in behavior to look out for is your cat hiding more than usual. This could be a sign of pain or illness, as cats often hide when they’re feeling unwell. Additionally, if your affectionate cat suddenly becomes aggressive, this could be an indication that they’re in discomfort.

Vocalization is another crucial indicator of your cat’s well-being. If your feline friend starts meowing more than usual or making strange sounds, it could be a sign of distress or pain.

It’s important to note that these changes in behavior may also be due to other factors such as stress, changes in routine, or new additions to the household. However, if you notice any significant and persistent changes in your cat’s behavior, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical issues.

Remember to keep an eye on your cat’s bathroom habits as well since they can also indicate potential health issues. If your cat is urinating or defecating outside of their litter box or experiencing diarrhea, this could be a sign of underlying health problems.

Loss of Appetite and Thirst

If your cat has suddenly lost interest in eating or drinking, it’s essential to pay attention as it could be a sign of an underlying health issue that needs immediate attention.

Loss of appetite and thirst are among the most common signs that your cat may not be feeling well. To ensure that your cat is in good health, it’s crucial to monitor their eating and drinking habits regularly. A healthy cat should consume at least 2-3 ounces of water per day for every 5 pounds of body weight. If you notice that your cat is not drinking enough water or has no interest in food, it could indicate a severe health problem.

There are several reasons why cats may lose their appetite or thirst. It could be due to stress, dental problems, kidney disease, infections such as feline leukemia virus (FeLV) or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), gastrointestinal issues, liver disease, or cancer.

If you notice any changes in your cat’s eating and drinking habits, don’t ignore them. Take your feline friend to the vet immediately. Your vet will perform diagnostic tests such as blood work, x-rays, and ultrasounds, to determine the underlying cause of your cat’s loss of appetite and thirst.

Depending on the diagnosis, your vet may recommend switching your cat’s diet to something more palatable or easier to digest. They may also prescribe medication or suggest fluid therapy to help your cat regain their appetite and hydration levels.

Bathroom Habits

Cats are notorious for their pristine litter box habits, so any deviations from their usual behavior can be a tell-tale sign of underlying health issues.

If you notice that your cat is avoiding the litter box altogether or using it more frequently than usual, this could indicate a urinary tract infection or another medical concern. Don’t hesitate to take your cat to the vet immediately if you observe any of these changes.

Moreover, pay close attention to the color, consistency, and odor of your cat’s urine and feces. Any alterations in these factors could also be a red flag for an underlying health issue. Blood in the urine or diarrhea can signal anything from infections to gastrointestinal disorders.

It’s essential to note that sometimes litter box aversion can be due to stress or anxiety. If you’ve ruled out any medical concerns and notice that your cat is avoiding the litter box, consider environmental factors that could be causing them distress.

Physical Symptoms

After all, cats are masters at masking their pain and discomfort, so it’s up to you to be vigilant.

Changes in appetite are one of the most common physical symptoms of an unwell cat. If your furry pal suddenly stops eating or has a decreased appetite for more than a day or two, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue. Keep an eye on their water intake too, as dehydration can lead to serious health problems.

Weight loss is another physical symptom that could indicate your cat is not feeling their best. If you notice your cat losing weight without any changes in their diet or exercise routine, it’s time to schedule a visit to the veterinarian for an evaluation.

Lethargy or lack of energy is also a common physical symptom of an unwell cat. If your kitty seems unusually tired or spends more time snoozing than usual, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue. Also, if your cat is not grooming themselves regularly or their coat appears unkempt, it may indicate they’re not feeling well.

Vomiting and diarrhea can also be physical symptoms of an unwell cat. These symptoms can be caused by a variety of health issues such as gastrointestinal problems or infections. It’s important to monitor the frequency and consistency of your cat’s bowel movements and seek veterinary care if you notice any abnormalities.

Lastly, difficulty breathing can be a serious physical symptom of an unwell cat. If your feline friend is wheezing, coughing, or having trouble breathing, it could be a sign of respiratory issues or other underlying health problems.

Appearance Changes

One of the easiest ways to do this is by paying attention to their appearance changes – it can provide valuable insight into their well-being. Let’s delve into some of the most common changes you should look out for.

First off, let’s talk about your cat’s coat. These meticulous creatures take pride in looking their best, so if you notice their fur appears dull, matted, or unkempt, it could be a sign that something is wrong. Additionally, bald spots or excessive shedding could indicate an underlying health issue. Regular grooming sessions can help you spot these changes early on.

Your cat’s eyes are also an important indicator of their health status. If you notice watery eyes or discharge, it could be a sign of an infection or illness. Furthermore, if your cat’s pupils are dilated or constricted and don’t respond to light changes, it may indicate a neurological problem. Keep a close eye on your feline friend’s eyes – they reveal a lot about their overall health.

The nose is another area to watch for changes. A healthy cat has a moist nose, but if it appears dry or cracked, it could signal dehydration or an illness. Keep your cat hydrated and monitor their nose closely.

Lastly, observe your cat’s body language. A cat who is not feeling well may appear lethargic and have a decreased appetite. If they’re sleeping more than usual or hiding in unusual places, it could be a sign that something is wrong.

Seeing a Veterinarian

However, just like us humans, cats can fall ill or experience changes in behavior that indicate an underlying health issue. Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to any signs that your cat may not be feeling their best and take immediate action by scheduling an appointment with your trusted veterinarian.

During the appointment, your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination of your precious kitty. They will check their weight, temperature, heart rate, breathing, and conduct blood and urine tests to detect any underlying health problems. By detecting potential issues early on, you can help prevent severe health problems from developing in the future.

It is paramount to communicate any concerns you have about your cat’s health to your veterinarian. This includes any changes in behavior or habits such as lethargy or decreased appetite. Your veterinarian may ask about your feline’s diet, exercise routine and living environment to determine the root cause of any health issues.

If your veterinarian diagnoses your cat with an illness or disease, they will discuss treatment options with you. This may involve medication, dietary changes, or lifestyle adjustments. By following their recommendations and scheduling any necessary follow-up appointments, you can help ensure that your cat stays healthy and happy.


To wrap things up, cats are fascinating creatures that can be challenging to understand. As a pet owner, it’s vital to keep an eye out for any signs that your furry friend may not be feeling their best. Unfortunately, cats have a reputation for hiding their symptoms, making it tricky to know when something is amiss.

By staying alert and closely observing your cat’s behavior, you can spot potential problems before they escalate into more severe issues. From changes in eating habits and energy levels to grooming patterns and vocalizations, we’ve covered all the critical indicators that can alert you to your cat’s health concerns.

Don’t overlook any sudden changes in behavior or bathroom habits as they could also indicate underlying medical conditions. Additionally, physical symptoms like weight loss, vomiting, and diarrhea should never be ignored as they could signal serious health problems.

Pay attention to appearance changes like dull fur or watery eyes as these can provide valuable insight into your cat’s overall well-being. Regular visits with your veterinarian are also crucial in detecting potential issues early on and preventing severe health problems from developing down the road.

In summary, taking care of your feline friend means paying close attention to their behavior, appearance, and overall health.