Is My Cat Ill?

Cats lack the communication ability to tell their owner when they are a bit under the weather. Often odd behaviours are an indicator of a medical illness. However, odd behaviours are also an indicator of emotional issues as well, maybe a new cat has arrived on their territory. A cat that has been through changes, stress, or other disturbance to their surroundings may start to act a little differently than normal. It can be difficult to tell sometimes whether your cat’s unusual behaviour has more to do with their emotions or their health. Learning to discern one from the other is part of feline ownership, and often this gets easier as the relationship between the human and the cat grows.
The Myth that cats have nine lives is false. Cats are at risk like all other animals in fact probably more. They have an inquisitive nature so often end up in dangerous and potentially harmful situations.
Cats often pick up viruses, especially if allowed outside. How many times have you caught a cat in your rubbish bin scavenging for food. This food is probably riddled in bacteria and can make your cat ill. Also think of all the poisons that neighbours may have put down for slugs, ants, wasps and mice, these are all poisonous for cats.
You must realise that your cat is not immune to diseases and you must watch for any sign of possible illness. If you feel your cat is unwell please do not hesitate to contact your local vet. There are lots of reasons why I cat could be ill or injured and there are a lot of signs and symptoms you need to keep a careful eye on.

Definite emergencies
Sometimes you may want to make an appointment at your vets to avoid waiting. However, if your cat suffers from any of the following signs/symptoms, please take them immediately to the vets for emergency care.

  • Your cat has experienced some kind of trauma, such as being hit by a car or a blunt object or falling more than a few feet.
  • Your cat isn’t breathing or you can’t feel a heartbeat.
  • Your cat is unconscious and won’t wake up.
  • Your cat has been vomiting or has had diarrhoea for more than 48 hours, or she is vomiting blood.
  • You suspect any broken bones.
  • Your cat is having trouble breathing or has something stuck in her throat.
  • Your cat has had or is having a seizure.
  • Your cat is bleeding from the eyes, nose, or mouth, or there is blood in her urine or faeces.
  • You think your cat might have ingested something toxic, such as antifreeze, rat poison, any kind of medication that wasn’t prescribed to her, or household cleansers.
  • Your cat, particularly your male cat, is straining to urinate, or is unable to.
  • Your cat shows signs of extreme pain, such as whining, shaking, and refusing to socialize.
  • Your cat collapses or suddenly can’t stand up.
  • Your cat begins bumping into things or suddenly becomes disoriented.
  • You can see irritation or injury to your cat’s eyes, or she suddenly seems to become blind.
  • Your cat’s abdomen is swollen and hard to the touch, and/or she’s gagging and trying to vomit.
  • You see symptoms of heatstroke.
  • Your pregnant cat has gone more than three to four hours between delivering or kittens.

Signs of illness that may require less urgent veterinary diagnosis and treatment
If you observe the following symptoms or any change in your cat’s normal behaviour, call your local vet to discuss the symptoms and they will tell you whether to make a non-emergency appointment or whether you need to bring the cat in immediately as an urgent case. Keep a note of all the symptoms and take these with you to your consultation. Please note that some of these symptoms in isolation may not indicate a problem.

  • Appetite loss (persistent)
  • Blood or slime in the faeces
  • Over grooming
  • Depression
  • Diarrhoea
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty eating
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Incontinence
  • Lethargy
  • Limping
  • Lumps
  • Muscle tremors
  • Pawing at its mouth
  • Persistent pain
  • Rashes – Skin Loss
  • Redness or discharge from the eyes, ears or nose
  • Rubbing, shaking or tilting its head
  • Scratching itself excessively
  • Smelling badly
  • Shivering
  • Sneezing excessively
  • Sudden grumpiness or aggression
  • Swellings
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal behaviour
  • Worms in the faeces

PLEASE NOTE: These lists are not complete, so if you are in any doubt about your cat’s welfare, do not hesitate to call us to report the symptoms and seek advice.


**Please note we are not veterinarians and the above is for informational purposes only, if you are concerned about your cat please contact your vet immediately