What You Should Know about Sick Cat Symptoms

Care Information

Sick cat symptoms should be carefully monitored because while some may seem minor, they could be indications of more serious illness. Below is a guide with helpful information on symptoms of common illnesses and how you can tell if your cat's symptoms are serious enough to warrant a trip to the vet.

If Your Cat is Sneezing or Coughing Frequently

On occasion, your cat may suffer from a respiratory illness. This usually manifests as sneezing, coughing, and discharge build-up in the eyes and nose. If your cat only sneezes occasionally, then he probably sniffed a bit of dust or other irritant. Your cat may be suffering from a respiratory illness, like hayfever, if your cat's sneezing symptoms occur for a few weeks in the spring and fall, then clear up on their own after these seasons. The discharge that accompanies hayfever and general allergies is usually clear. If your cat sneezes and/or coughs for more than 48 hours, or the discharge is green, yellow or cloudy, he or she might need veterinary attention.

If Your Cat Shakes His or Head Excessively

If you cat is exhibiting this behavior, then he or she could have ear mites or an ear infection. Also, your cat could have a serious neuorlogical disorder if the shaking seems to be very frequent. While this isn't always the case, be vigilent in watching how your cat walks and if he or she is shaking his or her head.

If You See Discharge in Your Cat's Eyes

Any discharge from the eyes that is not clear in color should be a cause for concern. Discharge from the eyes in different colors, like cloudy white or green, may indicate other eye afflictions. For example, conjunctivitis, or inflammation of the eye, will cause discharge to be secreted from the eye and requires treatment in the form of drops.

If Your Cat's Fur or Skin is Irritated

If you notice any changes in your cat's fur or skin, these could be symptoms of fungal and bacterial infections. These infections cause skin changes including foul odor, redness, greasiness, irritation, hair loss, rashes, pustules, and discharge. You cat should be looked at regardless of the severity as these infections can rapidly spread and become increasingly worse over time.

If Your Cat is Vomiting

Most cats have sensitive stomachs and vomit very easily, especially when they have hairballs. If your cat vomits once or twice, but continues to behave normally and shows no other symptoms, then he or she is probably suffering from a temporary case of upset stomach. If other symptoms, such as fever, lethargy, weakness, dehydration, or diarrhea occur, then your cat should be inspected for other more serious illnesses.

If Your Cat has Diarrhea

Most cases of diarrhea are minor and can be resolved within a few days. Minor cases of diarrhea are usually the result of intestinal yeast infections, food allergies, or food intolerances. Intestinal parasites and bacterial infections are also responsible for many cases of minor diarrhea. If your cat's only symptom is diarrhea, then it is probably a minor case. However, you should find out the cause of the diarrhea in your cat in order to determine whether medication is required.

Serious diarrhea can be caused by major illnesses such as kidney or liver disease, or hypothryoidism. Serious diarrhea is accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, weakness, lethargy, loss of appetite, and weight loss. If your cat is experiencing serious diarrhea, professional medical attention should be sought as soon as possible.