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Common Cat Diseases & Health Problems

Domestic, wild, and stray cats are prone to hundreds of diseases, despite the best care possible. The best defence against serious sickness for your domesticated cat is to keep it indoors, as stray cats are known to spread dangerous infections. 

Your cat will be less likely to fight with other animals and run the danger of infecting others through open wounds if it stays inside. Additionally, you will lessen their exposure to parasites that carry infection, such as fleas and ticks, and shield them from the potential renal failure that can arise from consuming toxic compounds like antifreeze.

The cats with the biggest risk of common cat illnesses are those who live outdoors or in houses with several cats. But indoor cats and "only cats" are not immune to illness either. The majority of feline ailments can be easily avoided, but once your cat becomes ill, treatment may be quite challenging. 

It's also critical to remember that small illnesses might signal serious health issues. However, some feline illnesses are riskier than others. Discover some of the most severe ones by reading on.

common cat diseases and health problems
common cat diseases and health problems

Cat diseases and symptoms

Feline Panleukopenia


Kittens who are born to moms who haven't had the feline panleukopenia vaccine are more likely to get this very contagious virus. Kittens almost always die from this illness, even when they are treated. It usually spreads through food and water bowls, litter boxes, and clothes that are affected. However, fleas, urine, and other bodily fluids can also do the trick.


Cat distemper is very bad for both the gut system and the immune system. Cats afflicted with the disease typically succumb within a few days after exhibiting symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, anorexia, anemia, and other indicators. A physician can do blood tests to determine the presence of feline panleukopenia in a cat.


The treatment for feline panleukopenia is typically ineffective. Vaccinating your cat against feline panleukemia is advisable.




Heartworm, one of the most common cat illnesses, is carried by infected mosquitoes and is becoming more widely acknowledged as the root cause of poor cat health conditions in domestic cats. 


  • Heartworms do not typically infect cats. 


  • Heartworm, despite its name, mostly affects cats' lungs. 


  • Any cat owner who lives in an area where mosquitoes are common should be concerned about this, and preventative measures should be explored with a veterinarian.




Cats frequently experience vomiting, which can have many different reasons. These include ingesting something toxic or inedible (like thread), getting an infection, developing diabetes, or having hairballs.


  • In most cases, vomiting and stomach pain are the most obvious signs. If your cat keeps throwing up or seems sick, you should call your vet right away because vomiting can quickly make cats lose water. 


  • Gathering a vomit sample from your cat and bringing it to the veterinarian might be beneficial.


  • You cannot stop all of the potential causes of vomiting in cats since there are so many of them. 




One of the most common cat diseases that attacks the brain and spinal cord of all animals, including cats, is called rabies. All states except Hawaii have recorded cases of this avoidable illness. People get afraid at the mention of "rabies" for good reason—rabies is almost always lethal once symptoms start. 


  • The rabies virus is known to spread through several different channels.


  • The most common way for rabies to spread is through an animal's bite.


  • Less commonly, it can spread when an infected animal's saliva gets into the body of another animal through open wounds or mucous membranes.


  • Your cat is more likely to get rabies if it comes into contact with wild animals. 


  • Outbreaks can happen in populations of wild animals (in our nation, mostly raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxes) or in places where a sizable population of unvaccinated, wandering dogs and cats live.


  • Cats that are not vaccinated and are allowed to wander outside have the highest risk of contracting rabies. The rabies virus still finds a reservoir host in colonies of feral cats.


Renal Disease


Kidneys control blood and water levels and remove waste. Cats may develop acute renal failure or chronic kidney disease if there is a breakdown or degeneration in the kidneys. Usually developing rapidly, acute renal failure is reversible with a prompt diagnosis. Although there is no treatment for chronic kidney disease, early detection and appropriate care can prolong a cat's life.


  • Renal failure can occur in elderly cats as well as in kittens born with renal dysfunction. 


  • Poisoning, trauma, obstructions, and infections can also cause kidney problems. 


  • Kidney illness might further cause poor cat health conditions if left unchecked.


  • Kidney disease must be diagnosed medically, requiring a urinalysis and blood testing. 


  • The following symptoms may be present: frequent urination, weight loss, excessive water consumption, dry coat, vomiting, diarrhea, and bloody or hazy urine.

cat worms disease
cat worms disease


A lot of different gut parasites, some of which are commonly called "worms," can affect cats. Intestinal worm infections can cause a lot of different symptoms.


Cats sometimes don't show any signs of being sick, so an infection might go unseen even if it's bad for their health.


Cats have parasitic worms that can also be bad for people's health.


Cats are most likely to have roundworms as internal parasites. 

  • Worms that are adults are three to four inches long and look like spaghetti.


  • Cats can get the disease in several different ways. If a mother cat has roundworms, they can get into her babies' milk and adult cats' food through her waste.


  • Hookworms are much smaller than roundworms—less than an inch long. They are a big cause of common illnesses in cats, mostly in the small intestine. 


  • Less than an inch long, hookworms are substantially smaller than roundworms and are a major reason for common cat illnesses, mostly found in the small intestine. 


  • Hookworms can induce potentially deadly anemia by feeding on animal blood, especially in kittens. 


  • Cats can get the hookworm virus by swallowing the eggs or coming into contact with the larvae via their skin. The eggs are discharged into the feces. 

Cat scratch disease

The bacterium Bartonella henselae, and less frequently other Bartonella species, are the source of cat scratch disease (CSD).


  • Blood transfusions, fighting with other sick cats, and flea bites are the three main ways that cats get the disease. The germs may infect humans when a cat scratches or licks another person.


  • The most likely candidates for the bacterium are young cats (less than a year old), stray cats or cats in shelters, cats with flea infestations, and cats that hunt. 


  • Some people are more likely to get CSD than others. People with weak immune systems and kids and teens under 15 are most likely to get it.


  • About one-third to one-half of all cats have been exposed to germs at some point in their lives. 

While the majority of infected cats do not show symptoms, some may go through a moderate sickness with a temperature lasting two to three days. In very rare cases, cats can get sicker and show more serious signs, such as being tired, having red eyes, puking, and losing their appetite. Bartonella illnesses happen less often in dogs than in cats, but they are more likely to make dogs sick.

common cat diseases
common cat diseases

Final Words


Constipation, anemia, heart issues, anorexia, and obesity are signs of other common diseases in cats that might lead to fatal conditions.


The majority of the time, they are signs of other illnesses or conditions, such as severe worm infestation, mycoplasma, hypothyroidism, babesia, and hyperthyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism can cause cardiac problems in cats, and this is frequently the case in situations when diagnosis is delayed.


Never skip your cat's vaccination appointments, and always take them for routine vet exams. Ninety percent of the frequent health issues stated above can be avoided by your cat if you follow the preventative care instructions provided by your veterinarian!



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