Cats are normally very healthy but like all of us, sometimes they can get sick. It is up to you to recognize when your cat is sick and what to do about it.

Usually, sickness in cats is due to a congenital defect, an infection or parasite of some sort or through an accident.

Congenital Defects

Just like with humans, cats can be born with congenital or inherited defects. These are usually abnormalities in the body or in a function of the body. They may cause physical problems such as with spina bifida, hernias and hip dysplasia which can cause lameness, or a cleft palate which will interfere with feeding. Some congenital defects will cause the kitten to be stillborn or to die shortly after birth. Sometimes the defects will be caused by something that happened while the kittens were still being carried before birth. This can include infections, some drugs prescribed by your vet or inadvertently eaten by your pregnant cat, poor diet or environmental conditions for the pregnant cat and even toxins and chemicals used in the home for cleaning.

It is very important to take proper care of your pregnant cat and make sure her diet is the best you can afford.


Your cat can become infected in different ways with parasites, bacteria sphynx cat for sale and viruses being the most common way for this to happen. Viral and bacterial infections include feline infectious enteritis or feline panleukopaenia, feline leukaemia virus, viral rhinitis, chlamydia, feline immunodeficiency virus, feline infectious peritonitis and others. Some internal and external parasitic infections include worms, fleas, ticks, mites, lice and toxoplasmosis.


Unfortunately accidents will happen with inquisitive cats. It may be that your cat escaped outdoors where it was hit by a car, got into a fight with another cat or dog or ate a poison bait or even snail pellets in your garden. And not all accidents happen outside the home. Your cat could eat the leaves of a pot plant such as the tomato which will make it very sick. Chocolate is a definite no-no for cats. Apart from being too nice to share or to feed to pets, chocolate will kill your cat. So keep those precious supplies of your favourite snack food well away from children, partners and your cat. Some human foods will also make your cat very sick so please, don’t feed it your left over scraps or allow it to lick your plate clean.

What To Do If Your Cat Is Sick

If you know that your cat has eaten something it shouldn’t have, call the vet. Keep the 24 hour emergency number on your fridge or somewhere you can find it in a hurry. You can induce vomiting by giving your cat two or three teaspoons of syrup of ipecac. However, you must know what your cat has ingested as some poisons such as drain cleaner will further damage your cat’s throat during the vomiting process. If at all possible, keep the package of whatever it is the cat has ingested to show your vet. In the case of plants, take the pot if possible or some leaves. This will make it easier for him to treat your sick cat.

In the case of accidents, contact your vet and explain what has happened. Take your cat in as soon as you can so it can be checked for broken bones or internal injuries. Obvious injuries such as cuts or scratches from a fight will still need to be cleaned to remove any bacteria. Your vet is the best person to do this.

To prevent many of the viral infections, make sure your cat is up to date with all vaccinations. If you have used the same vet since your cat was a kitten, he will have a record there.

Depending on the symptoms and how well you know your cat, you may be able to look after it at home. A flea infestation doesn’t require a trip to the vet, just some natural flea remedy available from your pet shop, the vet or your supermarket.

Keeping your cat in top condition will help it fight infections. Feed it the best food you can afford and make sure it gets plenty of exercise and stimulation in the form of games.

By making sure your cat stays indoors, or is only allowed outside into a contained area, you will prevent many accidental injuries from other animals or cars.

No-one enjoys having a sick cat. You know what you feel like if you are unwell so you will understand what your poor sick cat is going through. And unfortunately your cat can’t reach for the headache medicine or the cold and flu tablets. Nor can it make an appointment to see the vet without your help. Be a responsible cat owner. Be aware of your cat at all times and if you notice it is unwell, investigate and see if you can find out what the problem is. The sooner your sick cat is well again, the happier everyone will be.

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