Gilly is one of Briarcliff's regular patients. (Courtesy of Malory Mibab)
Gilly is one of Briarcliff’s regular patients. (Courtesy of Malory Mibab)

Dr. Janice Floyd, DVM, from Briarcliff Animal Hospital ( in Morningside says one of the most frequently asked questions by feline owners is how to spot signs of illness. Dr. Floyd created this list in response.

Top 10 Signs of Illness in Cats

Changes in interaction: Hiding away from everyone or acting unusually clingy

Changes in activity: Normally spry cat is walking slowly

Changes in appetite: Eating more or less is one of the most common signs of sickness

Changes in drinking: Drinking more is common sign of kidney disease and diabetes

Changes in weight: Weight loss is very common in sick cats, and weight gain may be something more insidious such as fluid accumulation.

Changes in breath smell: Bad breath commonly indicates dental problems, which are very treatable

Changes in grooming: Clumpy fur or thinned fur/bald patches

Changes in sleeping patterns: Waking you up at night or sleeping all the time

Changes in vocalization: Howling at night or change in sound of voice

Changes in litterbox habits: Urinating or defecating out of the box, or more/less urine or feces

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.