Common symptoms of illness in kittens

Knowing the common health issues your kitten might face, and how to spot the early signs, can help you feel reassured and take better care of your kitten.

Kitten lying down under a grey blanket

Common kitten health issues

During a kitten’s first year, they’re prone to a variety of illnesses and health issues. As a new owner, it can be difficult to know what’s normal and what are the signs of something more serious. Here are the key things to be aware of when it comes to kitten health.

Sacred Birman kitten sitting indoors next to a white bowl
Tabby kitten sleeping on a sofa

Has your kitten’s behaviour changed?

One of the most important things you can do is watch your kitten’s behaviour closely. Any change that’s significantly out of character can be the first sign there’s something wrong. Look out for new behaviours such as aggression, restlessness, hiding, excessive mewing or reduced appetite. If your kitten doesn’t seem themselves, contact your vet for guidance.

Kitten health problems – other typical symptoms

Keeping a close eye on your kitten’s physical characteristics will also enable you to spot telling changes. Here are a few things to keep an eye on:

1. Ears, eyes, mouth, nose

Are your kitten’s ears leaking or scratched? Are their eyes watery or blurred? Is their nose dry, leaky or sneezy? Also check your kitten’s nose in case if is dry, leaky or sneezy.

2. Respiratory system

Are they coughing, sneezing or wheezing?

3. Skin and fur

Is it dull, brittle, oily or balding?

4. Weight and loss of appetite

Is your kitten thinning or have they had a sudden weight gain? Do they have an apathy towards food, or have they stopped eating?

5. Digestive system

Do they have vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation or excessive thirst?

6. Urinary system

Are they urinating more often? Is it a different colour?

If your kitten has any symptoms like these, it’s always worth asking your vet’s advice.

Bengal kitten crouching in black and white

Find a vet

If your kitten has any symptoms like these, it’s always worth asking your vet’s advice.

Find a vet

Understanding your kitten's health

It's important to understand your kitten's routines and behaviour, so you can quickly recognise the signs if something isn't right. It's also important to understand a few key milestones, such as vaccinations and booster injections.

Kitten health
Norwegian Forest Cat kittens sat together in black and white