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5 Signs Your Cat Might Be Unwell

If you’ve had a cat for any length of time, you will likely have had an experience with feline illness. Cats can be pretty resilient and hardy and they often hide their symptoms when they’re unwell. However, if you are thinking your cat might be unwell, there will be signs to look for.

From ignoring their cat dry food to hiding away, there are signs you must be aware of.

If you want to know whether your cat may be sick, look out for these five signs:

5 Signs Your Cat Might Be Unwell


A vital sign that your cat may be unwell is lethargy.

While some cats are naturally more sedate than others, if your ordinarily energetic cat suddenly seems to have no energy, it could be a sign that something’s wrong.

If your cat has been feeling a little under the weather and you notice they’re becoming less active, this can also indicate illness.

So keep an eye on how much time they spend sleeping or sitting around.

If there is any noticeable change in her behavior from the norm, it could be time to call the vet.

Sleeping orange cat

Sleeping More than Usual

If your cat is sleeping more than usual, this could be a sign of illness.

It’s important to note that cats usually sleep a lot—about 16 hours a day in the wild—so if your kitty suddenly sleeps for more than 20 hours a day, it might be time for some veterinary attention.

The increased sleepiness could also indicate an underlying medical condition such as anemia or hyperthyroidism.

But don’t get too concerned if your cat sleeps more than usual: sometimes, they just need extra rest.

Black and white cat looking at camera over food bowl

Loss of Appetite

If you notice your cat is losing weight, this is cause for concern.

While it’s normal for cats to lose their appetites and not eat their cat dry food, it could be a sign of something else.

Cancers of all types affect cats more often than dogs.

If your cat has cancer, it will likely have a poor appetite as part of the disease process and, as a result, may not be eating enough calories to maintain its body weight.

Suppose your cat has been diagnosed with cancer or another condition that causes changes in its blood cells (e.g., leukemia).

In that case, they might not feel like eating due to pain or discomfort associated with these conditions.

Aggression or Changes in Behavior

If your cat is more aggressive than usual, especially toward other household pets, it could signify something is wrong.

Also, if they stop using the litter box or have begun urinating outside of it (on the floor, for example), this could be a warning sign of illness.

When a cat stops grooming itself due to an illness, it can lead to skin problems like demodicosis (an overgrowth of mites).

This requires veterinary attention and treatment with medications such as ivermectin or selamectin.

Cat peeking out from under a chair


If you notice your cat hiding, it’s a good sign to see the vet.

This can be a sign of illness or stress in your cat. Hiding isn’t just about being alone or away from people.

You might think that if they’re hiding, they want to be left alone and out of the way, but this may not always be true.

Cats are very emotional creatures, and some cats feel safer when they know where their owners are (like in another room).

If you’ve ever heard a purr while your cat is hiding somewhere, that’s a surefire sign they’re not feeling well and want to be close by.

Suppose your cat has been around other pets recently or exposed to other potential illnesses.

In that case, it’s also worth checking them before making any assumptions about why they might stay hidden away more than usual.


If your cat is sick, it’s essential to notice the signs as soon as possible.

The sooner you can get them to a vet, the better their chances of recovery!

Let us know if we missed anything by commenting below.

Debbie P

Friday 30th of December 2022

Thanks for thge interesting and informative article.

Jeanna Massman

Sunday 11th of December 2022

Thanks for the information. I’ll pass it on to my niece who has cats!


Saturday 10th of December 2022

subtle things but must be paid attention to

Marisela Zuniga

Wednesday 30th of November 2022

These is helpful information

Elizabeth H.

Sunday 27th of November 2022

Great tips! It's sometimes hard to tell if a cat is unwell.

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