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Signs You Should Take Your Kitten to the Vet

Signs You Should Take Your Kitten to the Vet
by Lucinda Beeman

Read time: 4 min

Lack of Appetite

Kittens are notorious for their hearty appetites. If your kitten suddenly stops eating or drinking, it’s a red flag. A missed meal here and there isn’t the end of the world. But a kitten refusing food for more than 24 hours needs immediate veterinary attention. This could signal anything from a minor infection to a more serious health issue.

Diarrhoea or Vomiting

A little tummy trouble can happen. But persistent diarrhoea or vomiting is a different story. Dehydration can set in quickly. Especially in kittens. If you notice frequent diarrhoea or vomiting, don’t wait it out. Get to the vet. These symptoms can indicate several issues, including infections, parasites, or more serious digestive problems.


Kittens are bundles of energy. So if yours suddenly turns into a little couch potato, it’s time to worry. Lethargy can be a sign of many issues, from infections to metabolic disorders. If your kitten seems unusually tired, weak, or unresponsive, make that vet appointment pronto.

Respiratory Issues

Sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, or laboured breathing are all signs that something might be up with your kitten’s respiratory system. Upper respiratory infections can be common in young cats. And can escalate quickly. So don’t wait. If your kitten is having trouble breathing or shows persistent symptoms, see the vet immediately.

Swollen or Red Eyes

Healthy kitten eyes are bright and clear. If you notice redness, swelling, discharge, or if your kitten is squinting or pawing at their eyes, it’s a sign of potential trouble. Eye infections can worsen rapidly and may lead to serious complications if untreated.

Unusual Lumps or Bumps

Not every lump or bump is a cause for panic. But any new or rapidly growing mass on your kitten should be checked out. It could be an abscess from a bite, a cyst, or something more serious. Only a vet can determine what’s going on once they've examined your kitten. And how to treat it.

Trouble Using the Litter Box

If your kitten is straining to urinate, crying out in pain, or you notice blood in their urine or stool, these are urgent signs that need veterinary attention. Urinary blockages and gastrointestinal issues are serious and can become life-threatening quickly.

Persistent Scratching or Hair Loss

Kittens can scratch. But excessive scratching, bald spots, or irritated skin are signs of trouble. These symptoms can indicate fleas, mites, allergies, or skin infections. A vet can diagnose the cause and provide relief for your kitten.

Sudden Behavioral Changes

Any sudden change in your kitten’s behaviour — becoming aggressive, hiding more than usual, or showing signs of anxiety — can indicate an underlying health issue. Trust your instincts; if something seems off, it’s better to be safe and speak to a vet or vet nurse.

Not Growing or Gaining Weight

Kittens grow fast. And any sign that your kitten is not growing or gaining weight as expected can be cause for concern. Malnutrition, parasites, or other health issues can stunt a kitten’s growth. Regular vet check-ups will ensure your kitten is developing properly.

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