Signs of Health in Your Cat

Our expert veterinarian, nutritionist and behaviorist, share tips on what to look for to determine if your cat needs a visit to the veterinarian. 

It can often be hard to recognize when your cat has an illness, simply because the signs they present may be different from those of humans or dogs. If you pay close attention to the signs of health in your cat, you may be able to improve your chances of catching an illness early, and finding better ways to treat it. 

To help give our community insight as to when to take their cats to the veterinarian, we asked our experts: what simple signs of health can you look for in your cat? They noted that the signs are different for every cat, but an overall rule is to look for changes in the status quo. If your cat is acting and looking different from her usual self, you should consult a veterinarian. This is especially true in the case of older cats, where it's common for owners to write off changes as being due to old age. Your vet may be able to treat some of these symptoms and improve the quality of life for your cat. 

APPETITE   

Check to see if your cat has been eating more or less than usual. This could be a sign of an underlying problem. 

LITTER BOX VISITS

Keep an eye out for changes in your cat's bowel movements or urination, especially when it comes to frequency and/or quantity. Suddenly going outside of the litter box when there have been no changes to her box can also indicate certain illnesses. Consult a veterinarian if there are any irregularities. 

EYES

If your cat's eyes look cloudy or unclear, there could be a problem. Watch for the ability to focus, as well. 

COAT

A healthy cat has a shiny, glossy coat. If your cat's coat looks dull or rough, this may be a health issue. Also consult a veterinarian if your cat does not appear to be grooming herself anymore.

ENERGY LEVEL

If your cat's energy level changes without any explanation, consult a veterinarian. Both lethargy and mania are reasons for a checkup.

MOBILITY

Stay alert for changes in mobility. If your cat appears unbalanced, dizzy or has difficulty moving, something isn't right.

BEHAVIOR

If your cat's personality seems to have changed, for example by becoming very aggressive, especially when being touched, it could be due to a number of health issues.