The 12 Signs Your Cat Is Trying to Tell You That You’re Sick

You’ve probably marveled at your cat’s mysterious and sometimes quirky behavior. But did you know that beyond their playful antics, meows, and soothing purrs, cats can also be adept at identifying potential health concerns? Here are twelve intriguing ways cats assist in identifying health woes –their own and those that might be affecting their human companions.

1. Targeted Kneading

Reuben Ragdoll Cat Kneading Making Biscuits IMG_1766
Photo credit: Used with permission for Floppycats.

Cats often knead where it hurts. When your cat repeatedly kneads a particular spot on your body or theirs, it might be an attempt to alleviate discomfort. This behavior could be a way for them to draw attention to an area that needs care. Kneading can indicate pain or discomfort, signaling a potential health concern.

2. Localized Sniffing

Cute british shorthair metis cat sniffing something being alert
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

A cat’s nose knows. If your feline friend sniffs or nudges a specific area on your body, it’s not just random behavior. Cats have a heightened sense of smell; when they focus on a particular spot, they might detect something unusual. This localized sniffing could indicate a potential health issue that requires your attention.

3. Altered Grooming Behavior

Photo credit: Used with permission for Floppycats.

Changes in grooming speak volumes. Cats are meticulous groomers, so any alteration in their grooming habits is worth noting. Excessive licking or neglecting certain areas can signal pain, discomfort, or an underlying health problem. A shift in grooming behavior is their nonverbal way of expressing that something isn’t quite right.

4. Intense Staring: The Power of a Cat’s Gaze

Photo credit: Used with permission for Floppycats.

When your cat stares intensely at a specific body part, it’s more than just a curious look. Cats are highly perceptive creatures, and this behavior could indicate that they’re sensing an issue. If you find your cat fixated on a particular spot, it’s a subtle signal that something might be amiss and warrants further attention.

5. Uncharacteristic Hiding

Orange kitten in the trees
Photo credit: Used with permission for Floppycats.

Finding your usually sociable feline friend hiding away might raise concerns. Cats are creatures of habit, and a sudden tendency to hide could indicate something isn’t quite right. It’s their way of dealing with stress, discomfort, or illness.

6. Unwarranted Aggression

10-year old blue lynx mitted trigg chiggy outside April 2020 attacking a stick IMG_2307
Photo credit: Used with permission for Floppycats.

If your cat’s playful pounces become sudden and unprovoked attacks, it’s time to take notice. Aggression that goes beyond their usual behavior might signal underlying pain or discomfort. Cats may lash out when hurting, using aggression as a defense mechanism. This unexpected behavior change could be a call for you to investigate and address the potential health concern.

7. Change in Vocalization

Huckleberry and Finn - Ragdoll Kittens of the Month YawningHuck
Photo credit: Used with permission for Floppycats.

When your cat’s meows shift in tone, frequency, or intensity, they’re trying to convey something beyond the usual demands for attention or food. Alterations in their vocalization could reflect physical discomfort or distress. Whether it’s a quieter tone or a sudden increase in volume, paying attention to this change can offer insights into their well-being.

8. Heightened Sensitivity

Ragdoll Cats in Boxes
Photo credit: Used with permission for Floppycats.

Cats are known for their grace, but if they flinch or shy away from being touched, it’s a sign that something’s amiss. Heightened sensitivity in specific areas might suggest localized pain or discomfort. Their bodies act as sensitive indicators, responding to discomfort with avoidance. If they pull away unexpectedly, it’s worth investigating the source of their discomfort.

9. Refusing to Jump

A Cat jumping at a laser pointer.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

An active cat’s sudden reluctance to leap onto surfaces they once effortlessly scaled could indicate discomfort. Such behavior might be due to joint pain, arthritis, or muscle soreness. If your agile friend hesitates to jump onto their favorite perch or stops participating in their usual acrobatics, it’s wise to consider a physical ailment hindering their movement.

10. Change in Sleep Patterns

Cute little red kitten sleeps on a white fuzzy blanket
Photo credit: Used with permission for Floppycats.

When a cat that adheres to a predictable sleep routine starts showing irregular sleep patterns, it might signal an underlying issue. Insomnia, restlessness, or excessive drowsiness could be red flags.

11. Sudden Change in Appetite

grey kitty eating from a metal plate
Photo credit: Used with permission for Floppycats.

A cat’s appetite is usually quite consistent. Yet, a sudden decrease or increase in food intake could be indicative of an underlying problem. Loss of appetite might be linked to dental pain, gastrointestinal issues, or stress. Conversely, a sudden spike in eating habits might indicate hyperthyroidism.

12. Elevated Grooming of Humans

kitten licking a man's finger
Photo credit: Used with permission for Floppycats.

Cats groom themselves and others as an expression of bonding and care. However, if your cat escalates their grooming of you beyond their normal affectionate behavior, it might indicate a health concern. Excessive grooming in a particular area could be their way of alerting you to a potential problem that requires attention.

In conclusion, our feline friends have an uncanny ability to detect health concerns – whether their own discomfort or issues affecting those they share their lives with. While they might not be licensed medical practitioners, their intuitive behavior is a subtle but valuable indicator. So, the next time your cat exhibits peculiar behavior, remember they could be sending you a vital message about your well-being or theirs.

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Crazy cat look
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Grumpy cat looking at the camera
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

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Orange cat starring intently at the camera
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

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Grumply cat with gold eyes
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

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A Maine Coon cat and kitten
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Maine Coon cats and Ragdoll cats are the two most popular large cat breeds in the world. They both have long, beautiful coats and imposing figures, and they are both outstanding cats, but there are some key differences between these two gorgeous cats. 

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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