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How to Tell if Your Cat is Sick

February 1 2020

February is National Cat Health Month! Our feline friends may think of themselves as invincible, but they’re still vulnerable to illness and injury. Kitties often try to hide signs of sickness, so it isn’t always easy to tell when they don’t feel well. This can be dangerous, because you may not realize anything is wrong with your pet until she’s quite ill! Here, a Cherry Hill, NJ vet lists some warning signs to look for.


Some of our feline pals are rather bashful by nature, and will hide as soon as the doorbell rings. Fluffy may also hightail it to her favorite spot if you drop a pot or pan. However, she should emerge when things quiet down, or when she gets hungry. If your kitty just doesn’t want to leave her hiding spot, she could be sick.

Reduced Appetite

Fluffy has been known to be pretty finicky. However, if your furball just doesn’t like what you offered her, she should demand something else. If she just isn’t interested in supper, she could be sick.

Poor Coat Appearance

Cats are very clean, and will carefully groom themselves every day. However, Fluffy may not keep up with her beauty regime if she isn’t feeling well. Before long, her fur will start looking matted, greasy, and/or unkempt.

Respiratory Trouble

Respiratory issues are a huge red flag. If your feline buddy is wheezing, gasping, or coughing, she needs immediate veterinary care.


It isn’t unusual for cats to produce the occasional hairball. However, frequent or excessive vomiting is a different story, and can be a sign that something serious is wrong.

Litterbox Issues

If you see your kitty straining to go, call your vet immediately. This can be an indication of serious medical issues. Changes in the amount, texture, color, or odor of cats’ waste is also a warning sign, as is eliminating outside the box.

Uncharacteristic Behavior

Be on the lookout for anything that is out of character for your furry buddy. For instance, a normally quite cat that starts meow incessantly could be sick.


We know, being lethargic is one of Fluffy’s life goals. However, even the sleepiest cat should be active for at least a few hours a day.

Please contact us, your Cherry Hill, NJ vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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