Vet Blog

What Are the Signs of Illness in My Kitten?

January 17, 2019

One of the most frustrating aspects of pet ownership is understanding exactly what our pets need from us.

Since they can't verbally tell us, we must pick up on changes in behavior - for example, a tucked tail and hiding away usually means that an animal is scared. Unfortunately, our pets are also naturally predisposed to trying to hide any signs of illness and this means that our pets have often been unwell for some time before we put 2+2 together and realize that they are sick and in need of veterinary intervention.

Nevertheless, our pets, including our kittens, can't hide their symptoms forever. As such, it is very useful to know what signs are indicative of a potential underlying illness or injury.

Signs that Your Kitten Might Be Ill

Fortunately, there are some things that are just not normal and if your kitten experiences any of the following, it is important to get her checked over by a veterinarian in East Nashville TN promptly, unless you think it is an emergency scenario. In this case, insist on an emergency appointment. Here are some of the most common indicators that your kitten might be ill.

Persistent Diarrhea

The odd episode of diarrhea is not usually anything to worry about, but persistently loose bowels can be a sign of a variety of problems including food intolerance and internal parasites. If diarrhea is left untreated, it can cause further problems for your kitty including dehydration. Your vet will almost certainly want to see a stool sample, so collect one if you can.


Cats don't generally tend to vomit, and while passing a hairball every once in a while is fairly normal, recurrent vomiting isn't and should always be checked out by your vet since it could be a symptom of many different health problems.

Appetite Changes

Most animals are fairly regimented in the amount of food that they eat, and while you can expect to have to increase your kitty's portion sizes as she grows, any sudden differences in the amount that she needs warrants a visit to the vets. Not eating for just a couple of days can make her very unwell, while persistent over-eating can lead to weight gain and a plethora of associated problems.

Increased Thirst

If your kitten is suddenly drinking much more than usual it is definitely not normal and you need to get her in with your vet. While increased thirst can mean many different things, it always means something and only your vet will be able to diagnose the problem.

Changes in Urination or Bowel Movements

All animals need to excrete waste, and in most cases, fall into a fairly stoic routine of doing so. However, if you notice that your kitty is peeing or pooping more than usual, straining to go or there is blood present in her excretions then it is time to see a vet. Inability to urinate can be a veterinary emergency in cats, so don't delay in seeking help.

Breathing Problems

If your cat is struggling to breathe, it should definitely be classed as an emergency scenario. However, any respiratory problems at all, including rapid breathing, wheezing, a persistent cough, or rasping should always be assessed by your vet.

Unusual Discharge

Whether from the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, nipples, or rectum, any unusual discharge could point to an infection or parasite infestation. Make an appointment with your vet for your kitty to be checked over.

Mobility Problems

Does your kitten suddenly seem stiff or reluctant to make certain movements? If so, she may have sustained an injury or have an underlying health problem that only your vet will be able to diagnose and treat.

Excessive Grooming

While cats are known for being particularly fussy when it comes to grooming if she is taking her self-care to unprecedented levels it may be that she is in pain, particularly if she is paying attention to one specific area.

If you are concerned about the health and wellbeing of your kitty and think she might be unwell, our experienced veterinarians in Nashville would be happy to assess her for you and give you their professional opinion. Please contact our vets in Nashville, TN at (615) 262-0415 to schedule your appointment.