12 Warning Signs To Spot In Your Cat

12 Warning Signs To Spot In Your Cat

Written by Dr Peta Keown, Head Vet, Cat Protection Society of Victoria

It can be hard to spot if your cat is feeling poorly, which makes it vital for owners to be educated and aware of the danger signs. It also helps to understand how a healthy, thriving cat acts.

A key factor is for pet owners to be familiar with their cat’s behaviour so they can easily pick up on clues when things aren’t quite right.

Besides looking out for obvious physical signs, being aware and in tune with your cat’s consistent behaviour and personality is extremely important. It helps you to identify signals and behaviours that may signify that something is wrong.

Here are some signs that show your cat is in good health:

A Good Weight

A healthy body weight indicates your cat has a good appetite as well as energy to play and engage.

Clear Eyes

Bright and clear eyes are a sign your cat is healthy. No mucky discharge in the eyes is a reassuring sign that your cat is in good health.

Good Eating And Drinking Habits

A good appetite is always a great sign, as well as consistent eating and drinking.

Regular Toileting Habits

Peeking into your cat’s kitty litter may not be anybody’s idea of fun but it is important to be aware of your cat’s toileting habits. Small, firm stools can be a sign their digestive system is in good order.

A Shiny Coat

A shiny coat that is well-groomed is another good sign. The coat should always be smooth and free from dandruff.

Interactive And Engaged

Not all cats like engaging with their owners 24 hours a day, but a thriving cat is one that is actively engaged in life. It is not just physical signs that show us the cat is healthy, their behaviour is a good indication too.  Cats that happily interact with their surroundings and the people around them are often very healthy felines.

Warning Signs

There are also a number of warning signs that you can look out for:

Loss Of Appetite

If a cat goes off its food, making them eat less or not at all, this can be a sign that something isn’t right.

Weight Loss

It is important to be observant of any weight fluctuations. Weight loss is a sign and often alerts us that something is chronically wrong, so keep a lookout for any changes in your cat.

12 Warning Signs To Spot In Your Cat

Changed Toileting Habits

A change in toileting habits is a key sign something is not quite right. This could present itself in the form of:


This can be caused by a host of factors including bacteria, viruses, internal parasites, toxic substances or anxiety.


Some of the factors that cause constipation include ingesting substances such as hair, bones or foreign materials, disease or dehydration.

Abnormal Urination:

Straining to urinate or blood in the urine may indicate a urinary tract infection. Likewise, an increase in urine volume may indicate an organ or endocrine disease


It is not uncommon for a cat to vomit but frequent and persistent vomiting is not normal and should be investigated.

Poor Grooming And An Unhealthy Looking Coat

Red flags include dryness, dandruff, excess greasiness and bald or thinning patches, which are often signs of poor health and can present in senior cats due to conditions such as arthritis or hormonal changes.

Changes in Behaviour

Behavioural differences, such as cats withdrawing and not wanting to participate as well as hiding away in places such as the wardrobe, are something to be aware of.

If you notice any of these warning signs or changes in your cat, don’t hesitate to visit your vet.

There are also some practical steps that cat owners can take each day to ensure your cat remains in the best health possible.

Feeding your cat a good quality, premium, complete and well balanced cat food should not require supplements as it contains all of the vitamins and nutrients a cat should need.

You should also keep up your cats’ vaccinations up to date and apply flea and worm preventions. Spending quality time with your cat each day is also very important.

Never be afraid to visit your vet if you are even slightly concerned and make sure you communicate all your worries to them.

Cats don’t always make it easy when determining if they are unwell and will try to hide it for as long as possible. It is important to be on the front foot and visit your vet as soon as any warning signs are present.

12 Warning Signs To Spot In Your Cat 12 Warning Signs To Spot In Your Cat

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