Early disease detection – all cat breeds

Cats are masters at hiding signs of illness.  In nature, showing weakness made them easy prey for predators.

Cats have fairly predictable schedules. They normally sleep 16 to 18 hours per day, use the litter box when needed, drink water and eat food regularly.  Any changes in behavior or routine can be the first signs of disease or illness. SO IT'S IMPORTANT TO WATCH FOR SUBTLE CHANGES THAT COULD BE SIGNS OF ILLNESS OR DISEASE IN YOUR KITTY. CATS NATURALLY MASK SIGNS OF ILLNESS – YOU ALMOST HAVE TO BE A DETECTIVE!  If you notice ANY of the following changes in your cat, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Maine Coons are prone to dental disease, heart disease and hip dysplasia.

Maine Coons are prone to dental disease, heart disease and hip dysplasia. See more breed-specific health conditions below.

Physical changes

  • Bad Breath

  • Limping

  • Any changes in breathing (slower or more rapid)

  • Panting/difficulty breathing

  • Difficulty running or jumping  

  • Weight loss/gain

Elimination habits

  • Runny stool or blood in stool

  • Bloody urine or larger amount of urine

  • Firm, dry stools (nuggets) – often sign of constipation

  • Inability to urinate or more frequent urination

  • Urinating only small amounts

  • Crying out in the litter box  

Behavior changes

  • Sleeping more -- or less

  • Lack of play in an otherwise playful cat

  • Grooming less

  • Increased vocalization

  • Decrease or increase in appetite

  • Not eating or drinking

  • Change in drinking habits (drinking more -- or less)

  • More withdrawn

  • Changes in disposition

  • Avoids interaction or affection

  • More affectionate or “clingy”

  • Retreating – less engagement with people

  • Not as active  

Burmese cats are prone to dental disease, eye problems and liver disease.

Burmese cats are prone to dental disease, eye problems and liver disease.

Early disease detection in cats – breed specific

Some breeds of cat are more prone to certain diseases and illnesses than others.  Please see the chart below.  Note, that while this indicates a predisposition toward a certain condition, it does not mean that this type of cat will always have this type of health problems.  It does, however, mean that families of these cats should be more diligent in spotting the warning signs of these health conditions. 

Purebred & Mixed Breed Health Conditions*

See your breed's profile.

Click the name below.

sample profile

Allergies/skin conditions Behavior problems Blood disorders Bone disorders Deafness Dental disease Eye problems Gastrointestinal Disease Heart disease Hip displaysia Liver disease Neurologic disease Patellar luxation Renal (kidney) disease Reproductive problems Skin cancer
  Abyssinian           X X   X   X   X      
  Aegean           X                    
  African Shorthair (Sokoke)           X                    
  American Bobtail           X       X            
  American Curl           X                    
  American Short/Longhair           X     X              
  Balinese X         X                    
  Bengal   X       X X X X              
  Birman X X X
  Black Cats           X                    
  Bombay X
  British Short/Longhair     X     X X                  
  Burmese           X X       X          
  Chartreux           X             X      
  Colorpoint Short/Longhair           X                    
  Cornish Rex X         X                    
  Devon Rex X         X                    
  Dilute Mixed Breeds X         X                   X
  Domestic Short/Medium/Longhair           X                    
  Egyptian Mau           X                    
  Exotic Short/Longhair           X X             X    
  Havana Brown           X                    
  Himalayan     X     X X             X    
  LaPerm           X                    
  Maine Coon           X     X X            
  Manx           X                    
  Munchkin X         X                    
  Napolean (Minuet) X         X                    
  Norwegian Forest Cat           X     X              
  Ocicat   X       X                    
  Ojos Azules           X                    
  Orange mixed breeds X         X     X              
  Orange purebreds X X X
  Oriental Shorthair/Longhair X         X     X              
  Persian X   X     X     X         X    
  Polydactyl Cats X
  Ragamuffin           X     X              
  Ragdoll           X X   X              
  Russian Blue           X                    
  Savannah   X       X                    
  Scottish Fold       X   X                    
  Serengeti   X       X                    
  Siamese     X     X X       X   X      
  Siberian           X                    
  Singapura           X                 X  
  Snowshoe           X                    
  Somali           X X       X          
  Sphynx           X     X              
  Tonkinese           X                    
  Tortoiseshell           X                    
  Toyger   X       X                    
  Turkish Angora           X           X        
  Turkish Van           X X                  
  White mixed breeds X         X                   X
  White mixed breeds w/ blue eyes X       X X                   X
  White purebreds X         X                   X
  White purebreds w/ blue eyes X       X X                   X

*Any purebred or mixed breed can experience any of these health conditions. The ones marked are at increased risk.

**Dental disease is common in most purebred cats, as well as many mixed breeds.