11 Surprising Signs Your Cat Could Be Sick

by Brittany Bennett
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Your resilient feline friend may seem self-sufficient, but their lack of opposable thumbs and verbal communication makes them dependent on you to ensure they're always as happy and healthy as can be. It's true! Your cat needs you whether they like to admit it with purrs or not. You're the one who can recognize when your cat isn't their typical frisky self and you're the one who can administer the medication to make them better again. There are some surprising signs your cat could be sick, so it might not be a bad idea to tune into their overall vibe for regular check-ins. It's part of being a good pawrent.

It's never easy to see your cat struggling. Whether they're hacking up incessant hair balls or dealing with a more serious matter, it's important to keep a caring eye on the status of your feline's well-being. While some symptoms may seem obvious enough to whisk your cat to the nearest veterinary clinic, others may be under the radar. And it's best to keep a running list of warning signs in your caring mind to make sure your cat is feeling snazzy and ready to chase laser beams at, mostly, all times.

If your cat is acting off but you can't pinpoint the ailment, you might need to do some inspecting. This may require getting up close and personal with things like their poop. Hey, it's just something you have to do sometimes. As long as it means your cat will recover faster, right? If you're at all concerned, of course, call your vet.

Discolored Gums

If something is strange with the cat, look above its fangs. Their gums should be pink. Any other shade or color is something to consider taking seriously. says, "Very pale gums or slow repinking may indicate anemia, shock or poor circulation. Bluish gums or tongue can mean a life-threatening lack of oxygen. Bright red gums may indicate overheating or carbon monoxide poisoning, and yellow gums could be a sign of jaundice." So, take a peek under the whiskers.

Trying To Go To The Bathroom

If your cat is trying to go to the bathroom but produces nothing in the litterbox, there could be a blockage occurring. Your cat could be in pain and you need to seek medical treatment for it immediately.

Suddenly Using Anything But The Litterbox

If your cat, a usual litterbox loyalist, begins to relieve themselves outside of their quarters, it could indicate sickness. advises, "health concerns that can cause litterbox issues include kidney disease, urinary tract infections, and bladder stones." Monitor the behavior if you think it's more than just a rebellion against cleanliness.

Weight Fluctuations

If your cat has put on weight or dropped it at an alarming weight, it's a good idea to call your vet and run a few tests. Extreme weight fluctuations are typically indicators that something else is wrong.

Blood In Urine Or Poop

If you suspect something is up with your cat and inspect their poo or urine only to find blood, you should call your vet. This might be an obvious sign of some sort of ailment, but it is a very important one to take note of.

A Social Cat Suddenly Hiding

Cat got our cat's tongue? Change in behavior of your typically social feline friend could mean something's up. If your cat is suddenly hiding and taking time out of the spotlight, it could be in pain. Keep an eye on their behavioral patterns.


Similar to a spunky cat going cold, if a typically cool cat turns aggressive, that could mean that they're in pain.

Grooming Stalls

If shedding is getting out of control and your cat has stopped licking itself, it might not hurt to check in with your vet's office.

Really Bad Breath

When we get sick, it's not uncommon to be plagued with breath so bad you'd advise people to wear gas masks. Cat's can get stinky breath too — and I'm not talking about tunafish breath. Yes, it's important to make sure your cat's teeth are brushed. But, according to Pet Health Network, "breath that smells like ammonia can be a sign of kidney disease." Keep an eye — or a nose — on it.

Sleep Cycle Is Off

If your cat is switching up their sleeping pattern such as sleeping more than usual, you might want to get your cutie to a vet or pay more attention to gather what could be wrong.

Meow Volume Is Different

Though cats can't speak up, they certainly can meow. And if your cat is meowing pretty hard when they typically keep to themselves, it could mean that they're trying to communicate. You can speak cat. If meows are constant, it could mean your cat is in pain. Listen to your little buddy.