Diagnosing Cat Illnesses and Symptoms

Cat illnesses may be manifested in various ways: lack of appetite, weight loss, hiding behavior, vomiting, diarrhea, depression or behavior changes. The cat illnesses may be diagnosed judging by a few symptoms, but there is also need for a few tests to detect the exact source of the disease.

Diagnosing Cat Illnesses through Symptoms

You may notice a few symptoms in your cat and may suspect a few illnesses judging by the symptoms of your cat.

Some of the most common symptoms displayed by an ill cat include:

  • Hiding behavior; this is present whenever your cat feel ill
  • The lack of activity or lethargy may also indicate the your cat is ill
  • Lack of appetite may be a symptom of different illnesses including parasites, tumors, dental and gum problems
  • Vomiting may signal that the cat needs to eliminate a hairball or has food intolerance, but may also point to poisoning, stomach ulcers or gastrointestinal tumors
  • Diarrhea may indicate the presence of parasites or a food intolerance
  • Excessive scratching, chewing and licking of skin will point to a skin infection, allergies or parasites
  • Coughing can be a symptom of a respiratory infection, allergies or lung problems
  • Sneezing can indicate the respiratory infection, dental problems or allergies
  • Pot bellied appearance is a symptom of parasites
  • Inappropriate urination is a symptom of a urinary tract infection or that the cat has lost his sense of smell or sight
  • If the cat is straining to urinate this may mean that he has a urinary infection or kidney disease
  • Ocular discharges are present if the cat has allergies, a respiratory infection or an eye infection
  • Nasal discharges indicate allergies or infections
  • Fever may also indicate an infection
  • Limping can indicate that the cat is injured, has joint problems or arthritis
  • Increased thirst may point to diabetes, poisoning or a urinary infection
  • Yellow eye whites may indicate a liver dysfunction
  • Red eyes indicate conjunctivitis
  • Pale gums may indicate kidney problems, low blood sugar or poisoning, while red, inflamed gums will indicate a dental or gum problems
  • Shaking of the head may indicate a trauma or ear mites

It is also important to look at all the symptoms the cat displays; for instance if the cat lacks appetite and has a foul odor coming from his mouth, this should point to a dental problem.

Diagnosing Cat Illnesses at a Vet Clinic

A vet may confirm a diagnosis; there are a lot of symptoms that may be deceiving and point to several illnesses.

The vet will perform blood tests (complete blood count CBC) and other tests that should reveal the cause of the cat’s symptoms. X-rays, radiographs may be performed.

If the cat has lumps, the vet will need to perform a biopsy to determine if they are benign or malignant.

Urianalysis will be performed if the cat has symptoms that point to a urinary infection or kidney related problems.