Common Cat Illnesses

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Cat illnesses can result in a host of symptoms which consist of:

  • Eye Discharge
  • Weight Loss
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of Appetite

Learning to pinpoint these diseases and their symptoms may aid you in getting a better understanding of the medical requirements of your cat.



Below are a few of the common illnesses that your cat may deal with.



Cancer is a kind of disease that results in the uncontrollable growth of cells that invade the tissues around it and may spread to other parts of the body. As with individuals, cats are prone to various forms of cancer. The disease can stay in one area like a tumor, and it can also spread all around the body.



Causes of Cancer

  • Cancer is a disease that has no recognized single cause. But it is a known fact that both environmental and hereditary factors can result in a cat developing cancer.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma of the eyelid, ear or nose is skin cancer which results from continuous sun exposure. Light-colored or white cats are more prone to this kind of cancer.
  • Lymphoma (LSA) or Lymphosarcoma is one of the most recognized kinds of cancer in cats. According to some reports, 30 percent of all the cat cancers reported are as a result of LSA.
  • FeLV or Feline leukemia virus is connected to most kinds of LSA asides for the GI or gastrointestinal form. There is a vaccine in place for FelV that your veterinarian can talk to you about depending on the lifestyle of your cat or the possibility of exposure to FeLV.
  • The GI form of LSA can result in a huge mass in the intestine or stomach. It can also diffuse infiltration all through the intestinal tract. It is crucial to get your cat to a vet if you see any sign of this disease. Note that it is not possible to cure LSA, But, lots of cats respond correctly to treatment.


Symptoms of Cancer

Symptoms of cancer in cats may consist of:

  • Lumps
  • Stubborn sores or skin infections
  • Swelling
  • Bad breath
  • Abrupt lameness
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Scaly and/or red skin patches
  • Reduced or loss of appetite
  • Lethargy, Listlessness, or other notable change in behavior
  • Irregular discharge from any part of the body
  • Loss of Weight
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating
  • Change in behavior


How to Prevent Cancer

  • Restricting your cat indoors can safeguard him from specific skin cancers caused by repeated sunburn and sun exposure
  • Breast cancer, although common in cats, can be averted if you spay your cat before her first heat cycle.


Treatments of cancer

The options for treatment may defer depending on the stage and kind of cancer.

Common treatment consists of:

  • Radiation
  • Surgery
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Mixture of therapies

Treatment success is dependent on the kind of cancer and how far it has spread. The therapy’s aggressiveness also counts. However, it’s best to detect it early.

Some cancers are curable, and almost all cats can benefit from treatment. However, note that if cancer your cat is suffering from is not curable, there are still lots of things that you can do to ensure your cat feels better. Don’t waste any time, immediately speak to your vet about your available options.

Also, note that loving care and great nutrition can enhance the quality of your cat’s life significantly.




Diabetes in cats is a severe disease that is either due to a poor response to insulin or the absence of the hormone insulin. After a cat consumes a meal, his digestive system aids in breaking down food into numerous components which consist of glucose which goes into his cells through insulin.

When a cat fails to create insulin or is unable to utilize it properly, his blood sugar levels increase. It results in hyperglycemia which if you don’t treat, can lead to lots of complex health problems for your cat.



It is crucial to note that diabetes is a disorder that is manageable and lots of cats experiencing this condition can lead to healthy, happy lives.

Diabetes can be categorized as:

  • Type I – Lack of Insulin Creation
  • Type II – Impaired creation of insulin along with a poor response to the hormone

Cats battling with type II diabetes can lead to type I diabetes. When most cats get a diabetes diagnosis, they are recognized as having the type I disorder. For these cats to survive, they need insulin therapy. Cats suffering from type II diabetes may respond to other kinds of therapy.


Symptoms of Diabetes in Cats

Below are signs that your cat may be suffering from diabetes:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Increased urination
  • Increase in water consumption/ Excessive thirst
  • Dehydration
  • Urinating in other locations asides from the litter box
  • Irregular sweet-smelling breath
  • Lethargy
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Unkempt haircoat


Causes of Diabetes

The precise cause of diabetes is not apparent. Pancreatic disease, genetics, abnormal deposits of protein in the pancreas and genetics can have a hand in causing this illness.

The most crucial factors in diabetes development seem to be age, obesity, and gender as male cats tend to deal with this condition more than females.


Treatment of Diabetes

  • Each cat suffering from diabetes is like a different person, and each will have a distinct response to therapy. Treatment of diabetes is dependent on the severity of the symptoms of the disease and if other health problems could make therapy complicated.
  • Some cats get severely ill when they are initially diagnosed and need intensive hospitalized care for numerous days to regulate the levels of their blood sugar.
  • For lots of cats, insulin injections are crucial for proper blood glucose regulation. One the individual insulin treatment that suits your cat has been established, usually based on weight, you will learn how to provide her with insulin injection from home.
  • Your vet might also teach you how to carry out glucose tests. Other frequent blood work may also be crucial.


How to Prevent Diabetes

Regular exercise and a proper diet can go far in avoiding the development of diabetes in your cat. Aside from the negative impact, obesity is known to add to insulin resistance.



Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

Cats suffering from this illness may not display symptoms till years have surpassed after they had their first infection. Although this is a slow-acting virus, the immune system of a cat gets weakened critically the instant the illness takes hold.

This results in the cat being prone to numerous secondary infections. Infected cats attaining medical care which are placed in an indoor environment that is free of stress can live comfortably for a while before the illness becomes chronic.

FeLV deteriorates the immune system of the cat and exposes it to a host of diseases and infections. Some of these include:

  • Kidney Disease
  • Anemia
  • Lymphosarcoma which is a severe cancer of the lymph system

Young cats lower than one year are more prone to this virus. Cats living with a cat that is infected, allowed to go outdoors where they might get a bite from an infected cat alongside kittens with a mother who is FeLV positive are most prone to getting infected.

Healthy cats of more than three months old that have gotten the FeLV vaccine have the least possibility of getting the virus from another cat.

Signs of FeLV in cats

Some cats show no indication when they are infected. Others may display the following:

  • Weight loss and Loss of appetite
  • Poor coat condition
  • Vision or other eye Issues
  • Fever
  • Pale or inflamed gums
  • Abscesses
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Changes in behavior
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Seizures

Preventing FelV in cats

  • For cats who have a possibility of contracting FeLV, there are a host of vaccines available. There are a host of dangers involved in getting a vaccination, and the vaccine does not completely protect against infection.
  • The best method of prevention is getting rid of all sources of exposure. Frequent FeLV testing and limiting your cat indoors is still the best method of preventing your cat from getting an infection.

Caring for a Cat with FelV

  • Feed your cat a diet which is nutritionally balanced
  • Give your cat a quiet location to rest indoors and restricted from other cats that could result in this disease
  • Take your cat to the vet once every six months for blood tests and wellness
  • During the early periods of infection, a cat may not display any cat signs but can still transfer the virus to other cats. It is not a great idea to introduce a new cat into the home even if it has been appropriately vaccinated against FeLV.
  • The bad news is that this disease has no cure and it is estimated that lower than 20 percent of cats infected can live with this infection for over three years.



This is transferred by mosquitoes and is being increasingly seen as an underlying reason for health issues in cats. Our precious felines are a great host for heartworms.



Notwithstanding its name, heartworm primarily results in lung diseases in cats. It is a crucial concern for any owner of a cat who lives in a location filled with mosquitoes.

Signs of Heartworm in cats

Below are signs that show there is a heartworm infection in your cat:

  • A continuous cough
  • Issues with breathing like wheezing and panting
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Irregular vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Sudden death

Difficulties in breathing that occur in the initial stage of heartworm disease are as a result of worms newly getting in the lungs and heart, were diagnosed previously as possible feline bronchitis. But, now these breathing issues are now believed to have been as a result of what is known as HARD or heartworm-associated respiratory disease.

Heartworm Prevention in Cats

  • There are numerous medications available that have been approved by the FDA that can avert feline heartworm infection. You can talk to your vet and note that it is ideal to screen your cats for heartworm infection using blood tests before you give them any preventive medication
  • It is also a great call to limit how you expose your cats to areas filled with mosquitos and take him for preventive screenings during visits to the vet
  • Frequent checkups are crucial to locating early infections and can provide your cat with a high chance of recovery.



Rabies is a viral illness that affects the spinal cord and brain of all mammals. Some of these include humans, dogs, and cats. This disease which is preventable has been prevented in all states asides Hawaii.



There is a great reason why lots of people are scared of the word rabies. This is because it is almost 100 percent deadly.

How does Rabies get transmitted?

There are numerous ways the rabies virus can get transmitted. They are:

Through the bit of an animal already infected

It can be transferred when the saliva of an animal that is affected goes through the body of another animal via a fresh or open wound or mucous membranes.

The possibility of getting this disease is at its peak if you expose your cats to wild animals.

Symptoms of Rabies

Animals will not immediately show signs after exposure to an animal with rabies. Symptoms can differ and can require months to develop. Primary signs of a cat suffering from rabies include:

  • Behavioral changes
  • Disorientation
  • Enhanced vocalization
  • Loss of appetite
  • Paralysis
  • Weakness
  • Seizures
  • Sudden death




You cannot stress the significance of a veterinary examination enough when your cat starts to show signs of illnesses. Lots of the diseases above have the same symptoms, and a comprehensive exam is crucial to rule out the underlying issues.

Something as easy as dehydration may be the minor effect of kidney disease. Also, parasitic infections can copy the symptoms of other diseases even though the treatments are different. Appropriate diagnosis is the first step towards the accurate and safe treatment of any illness.

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