Common signs 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 health issues in kittens

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 behavior changed?

One of the most important things you can do is watch your kitten’s behavior closely. Any change that’s significantly out of character can be the first sign there’s something wrong. Look out for new behaviors 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 signs

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, runny, or sneezy? Also check your kitten’s nose in case if is dry, runny, 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, diarrhea, constipation, or excessive thirst?

6. Urinary system

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

If your kitten has any signs like these, you should contact your vet.

Bengal kitten crouching in black and white

Find a vet

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

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Understanding your kitten's health

It's important to understand your kitten's routines and behavior, so you can quickly recognize 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