15 Warning Signs Your Cat Is Crying for Help

Cat laying down

Cats are mysterious creatures with unique ways of communicating their needs and emotions. As responsible cat owners, it’s important to be attentive and recognize the warning signs that indicate our feline friends may be in distress. So, how do you know if your cat is crying for help? The following are 15 crucial warning signs that your cat might exhibit when it’s crying out for assistance.

1. Changes in Vocalization

Cats are known for their vocalizations, but when their meows, yowls, or cries become excessive and persistent, it’s a potential cry for help. Your cat might use these intensified vocalizations to convey discomfort, pain, or a need for attention. It’s essential to differentiate between their usual communication and these distress signals. If you notice a sudden and significant change in your cat’s vocal behavior, it’s worth investigating further to determine the underlying cause.

2. Altered Appetite and Water Intake

Cats are typically creatures of habit when it comes to eating, so any sudden changes in their appetite should raise concern. If your cat experiences a sudden increase or decrease in eating habits, refuses to eat altogether, or shows unexplained weight loss, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue. Similarly, drastic changes in water intake, such as excessive drinking or signs of dehydration, should not be overlooked. Monitoring their eating and drinking patterns will help you identify potential problems early on.

3. Abnormal Litter Box Behavior

Your cat’s litter box habits can provide valuable insights into their overall health. If you notice your cat frequently urinating, straining to urinate, or having difficulty defecating, it may indicate a urinary tract issue or other health concerns. In some cases, cats may avoid the litter box altogether, choosing alternative spots. These behavioral changes can be indicative of underlying discomfort or pain and should prompt a visit to the veterinarian for a thorough evaluation.

4. Unusual Behavior and Aggression

Cats are typically known for their independent nature, but a sudden onset of aggression or unusual behavior may indicate a cry for help. If your once-friendly cat starts displaying unexplained aggression towards people or other pets, it’s essential to investigate the cause. Excessive hiding or signs of fear, such as flattened ears or dilated pupils, are also potential indicators of distress. Understanding the reasons behind these behavioral changes can help you address the underlying issues and provide the necessary support to your furry friend.

5. Lethargy and Lack of Energy:

Cats are generally energetic animals, so a sudden lack of interest in play, prolonged periods of inactivity, or excessive sleeping should raise concerns. If your cat appears consistently lethargic or lacks their usual energy levels, it may indicate an underlying health problem. Observe any changes in their behavior, such as decreased interaction or decreased grooming, as these can provide additional clues to their well-being. Paying attention to their activity levels will help you determine whether a veterinary visit is necessary.

6. Changes in Grooming Habits

Cats are renowned for their meticulous grooming habits, but when they neglect their self-care or excessively groom, it may signify a problem. If you notice your cat’s coat becoming dirty, matted, or unkempt, it could indicate a decline in their grooming routine. On the other hand, excessive grooming leading to hair loss or skin irritation can suggest an underlying issue like allergies or skin infections. Regularly monitoring your cat’s grooming habits will help you identify any changes that require attention and medical intervention.

7. Respiratory Distress

Keep an eye out for any signs of respiratory distress in your cat. Rapid or labored breathing, wheezing, coughing, or noticeable shortness of breath are all warning signs that your cat may be experiencing respiratory distress. Difficulty in breathing can be caused by various factors such as infections, allergies, or even underlying heart or lung conditions. If you observe any of these symptoms, it is important to consult with a veterinarian promptly to assess and address your cat’s respiratory health.

8. Physical Injuries and Pain

Visible wounds, limping, or your cat favoring a particular body part can indicate physical injuries or pain. Cats are known to be resilient and may try to hide their discomfort, so it’s crucial to pay attention to any changes in their mobility or signs of discomfort. Regularly check your cat’s body for any wounds or swelling, and be cautious if they show signs of pain when touched. Prompt medical attention can help alleviate their pain and prevent further complications.

Winston not feeling well

Dear Joey, sometime in the future, you’re going to have a day when you just feel awful. And not like an “I ate too many kitty treats” awful, but like an “I’m going to curl up and die” kind of awful. I’m just warning you now, when you try to tell the humans, don’t expect them to come running. You may have to leave a nice big pile of barf on the rug to get their attention. I mean, I know they try, but they are just humans after all. #SickKitties #SlowHumans #NothingSaysI’mSickLikeVomitOnTheRug


9. Digestive Issues

Changes in your cat’s litter box output can provide important clues about their digestive health. Diarrhea, constipation, or changes in frequency or volume of elimination should not be ignored. Additionally, the presence of blood in their urine or feces can indicate potential issues that require veterinary attention. Monitoring their digestive patterns and seeking appropriate medical care can help identify and address any gastrointestinal problems.

How To Train Your Humans Ad - Sing For Our Supper

10. Excessive Scratching or Itching

If your cat is persistently scratching, biting, or excessively grooming themselves, it may be a sign of skin irritation, allergies, or the presence of external parasites like fleas. The constant scratching can lead to hair loss, skin redness, or even secondary infections. Regularly check your cat’s fur and skin for any signs of irritation, and consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment.

11. Eye or Nose Discharge

Unusual or excessive discharge from your cat’s eyes or nose can indicate an infection or respiratory issue. Watery eyes, crusty discharge, or constant sneezing should be taken seriously. Keep an eye out for any changes in their eye or nose appearance, as well as changes in their overall behavior. Seeking veterinary advice can help identify the cause and provide suitable treatment to alleviate their discomfort.

12. Vomiting

Frequent or persistent vomiting in cats is not normal and can be a sign of various health problems. If your cat is consistently throwing up or has other accompanying symptoms such as loss of appetite or lethargy, it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian. Vomiting can be caused by anything from gastrointestinal issues to organ dysfunction, and a proper diagnosis will guide appropriate treatment.

13. Changes in Posture or Mobility

Observe any changes in your cat’s posture or mobility, as they can be indicators of pain or discomfort. Difficulty walking, stiffness, or an inability to jump or climb may suggest joint problems, arthritis, or injuries. Paying attention to their movements and seeking veterinary care can help manage their pain and improve their quality of life.

14. Behavioral Changes

Cats are creatures of habit, so sudden changes in their behavior should be taken seriously. If your cat becomes withdrawn, avoids interaction, or displays unusual behavior, it may be crying for help. Excessive vocalization, restlessness, or seeking excessive attention can all indicate underlying issues that require attention and professional guidance.

15. Changes in Weight

Significant weight gain or loss in a short period can indicate health problems. Obesity can lead to various health issues, while sudden weight loss may signal an underlying illness or nutritional deficiency. Regularly monitor your cat’s weight and consult with a veterinarian if you notice any drastic changes.


Recognizing the warning signs that your cat is crying for help is crucial for their overall well-being. By staying vigilant and responsive to their needs, you can ensure timely veterinary care and provide the necessary support to keep your feline friend happy and healthy. Remember, if you notice any of these warning signs or have concerns about your cat’s health, it is always best to consult with a qualified veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Signs That Your Cat Is Crying For Help

Recent Posts