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Just for Kids: How to Tell if Your Cat is Sick

By: Virginia Wells

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For some reason your cat is really good at hiding the fact that he's sick. Sometimes a cat can be sick for days before you know about it. The most important thing you can do is to learn everything about your cat so you'll know when he isn't feeling well. You should know how he sleeps, eats and plays. You should know his litter box habits, too. And if anything changes, pay close attention and tell your parents.

Here are some other things to watch for:

  • Eating and drinking. If you notice that your kitty is refusing food and water, he might be getting sick. Sometimes that is one of the first signs. Cats can become dehydrated very quickly, so tell your mom or dad if you think something might be wrong.

  • Sleeping. If your cat seems to be sleeping more than usual or if he doesn't want to play as he normally does, he might be getting sick.

  • Breathing. Cats don't usually pant, so if your cat is breathing quickly while he is resting, then something might be wrong.

  • Sneezing, runny eyes or runny nose. Just like in humans, a runny nose might mean he has a cold.

  • Coughing or hacking. This might mean your kitty has a hairball, but then again it might mean something more. If it persists, tell your parents to call your veterinarian.

  • Urinating. If your cat looks like he is trying to go but can't, this might mean he is very sick. Your cat may also howl and lick himself. This is very serious. Have your parents call your veterinarian immediately.

  • Vomiting. This means real vomiting and not coughing up a hairball. If this happens, your cat might need to see your veterinarian.

    If your cat is sick, you need to take him to see the veterinarian right away. Sometimes if you wait too long, your pet might get a lot sicker. Also, be careful handling your cat if he is sick. Although he may not mean to, he might scratch or bite if he is in pain or not feeling well.

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