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January 3, 2012 at 2:08 PMComments: 2 Faves: 0

6 Signs Your Cat May Be Sick

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Paws & Awws Blog Series

So you think your cat may be sick.

There's something about them that just doesn't seem quite right, but then again....maybe that's just all in your imagination? Maybe it's a normal cat thing?

How can you tell for sure?

Well, there are a number of physical signs you can look for. In FACT, even if you are SURE your cat is healthy, it's a good idea to acquaint yourself with these! That way, if they do ever come up, you'll be able to spot the problem right away.

Here are some of the most common.

signs your cat is sickSkin and Fur

Good signs: Clean and shiny fur that is full and thick (varies from breed to breed.)

Bad signs: Dandruff. Sores. Frequent scratching or biting at themselves. Fur loss.


Good signs: Bright, clear eyes. Chases a string or laser with ease.

Bad signs: Redness around the eyes. Inflammation or swelling around the eyes. Discharge that is yellow or green. Trouble chasing a toy. Knocking into walls or furniture.


Good signs: Ears that are clean and dry and bit cooler than the rest of the body. Responds (or at least perks an ear) when their name is called or their food bag is shook.

Bad signs: Brown wax or black chunks. Scratching at their ears. Frequent head shaking. Sores or redness around the ears. Ears that are very warm.


Good signs: No strong smells. Teeth should be white and unbroken. Gums should be firm. Eats regularly and without any trouble.

Bad signs: Strong odor. Problems eating. Eating much less than usual or avoiding eating. Gum that are swollen or red around the base of the teeth. Black teeth. Broken teeth. Missing teeth. Fliching away when you pet them around the head or face.


Good signs: Firm, regularly formed stool. Use the bathroom in the appropriate place whether that be outside or in a litter box.

Bad signs: Blood in the stool. Abnormally large or firm stools. Very loose stool or diarrhea. Abnormally strong smell. White stuff in the stool. Using the bathroom in inappropriate places.


Good signs: Acting as they normally do. Hanging around you. Being laid-back and affectionate. Enjoying play with a toy or normal activity.

Bad signs: A drop in energy or activity. Aggressive behavior - biting or scratching. Hiding.

Because cats can't actually tell us if they're feeling sick, it's up to us humans to understand what to look for. This guide was designed to give you a better gauge of what is normal and what is not. It is however, by no means, comprehensive.

If your cat is displaying any of the "bad signs" above - or even if they don't but their health is worrying you - PLEASE see a vet! It's up to us to make sure our cats live long, healthy and happy lives!

Photo Credits:

rfduck, Tambako the Jaguar, Lottery Monkey, skyanchor, Napolean_70, diluvienne, Kevin Conor Keller

More from Health Coach Victoria Swanson Others Are Reading


  • what can I do to get cats to get along ... I brought a cat in from outside and now there are 2 of my other cats that don't get along with her what can I do ...

  • Hi Martia~ Oh No! Are they all fixed (spayed/neutered)? If not, that is the first step to get done.

    Here are some additional blogs to read that will offer some great advice. Please let us know how it works out.

    Introducing One Cat To Another

    Why Cats Fight And How To Stop It

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