common cat diseases

9 Common Cat Diseases to Look Out For

Understand the signs of a cat illness so you can act quickly before the condition worsens. Bacteria cause diseases that affect cats from dental decay to more severe conditions like cancers. Use products like pet grooming wipes or cat hot spot anti-itch spray as a preventative measure.

Cats are independent creatures that enjoy their alone time, so deciphering between your cat’s normal behavior and a health issue might be challenging. Understanding the signs and symptoms of a cat illness is essential so you can act quickly before the condition worsens. Bacteria cause diseases that affect cats from dental plaque build-up to more severe ailments like cancers. 

You can take many steps to reduce the onset of diseases, like grooming and daily hygiene check-ups. Use products like pet grooming wipes or cat hot spot anti-itch spray as a preventative treatment. They remove dirt that carries bacteria, causing acne, hot spots, and various cat illnesses. Read on to learn more about the nine common cat diseases that may afflict your cat. 

What Are The Most Common Cat Diseases?

The most common diseases in cats include but are not limited to: 

  • Diabetes
  • Dental Disease
  • Ringworms
  • Feline Leukemia Virus (FELV)
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus 
  • Upper Respiratory Infections
  • Cancer
  • Kidney Disease 
  • Heartworms

1. Diabetes

Diabetes happens when cats do not produce insulin which breaks down sugar. As a result, glucose (sugar) levels increase, leading to high blood sugar. In cats, high blood sugar causes discomfort and abnormal behavior. Look out for these signs of hyperglycemia in cats: 

  • Depression
  • Thirst
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration

Causes of hyperglycemia in cats include stress-inducing situations, medication, and a high glucose diet. If left untreated, diabetes can cause long-term health issues for your feline. The best way to manage diabetes is through a specific diet and speaking to your veterinarian about treatment options. 

2. Cat Dental Disease 

Based on research from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, most cats four years or older live with some form of dental disease or tooth decay. You can take measures to prevent dental degradation, which can lead to tooth loss or painful mouth infections. The most common dental disorders cats suffer from include: 

  • Gingivitis: inflamed, swollen, and painful gums from plaque build-up. 
  • Periodontitis: an irreversible condition that comes from untreated gingivitis. This leads to tissue breakdown and, eventually, tooth loss.
  • Tooth resorption: when the tooth structure breaks down from the inside out, degrading and leading to tooth loss. The cause of tooth resorption is currently unknown. 

Cat dental disease

 

Take preventative measures to reduce the chance of your cat developing cat dental disease. Brush your cat’s teeth bi-weekly or take a cloth to wipe away plaque build-up. Many of these conditions are manageable. With special care, your cat will have a better quality of life. At HICC PET™, our pet grooming wipes are suitable for cat dental hygiene. The disinfecting solution is safe for pets to lick and ingest. Use our organic product to wipe away plaque build-up and eliminate germs that cause bad pet breath. 

3. Ringworms

 Ringworm is a severe but treatable infection. It is a fungal affliction that affects both pets and humans alike. Signs of ringworm include circular hair patches, inflamed skin, biting, itching, or scratching the infected area. Ringworm causes painful skin irritations in cats. If your cat shows any of these symptoms, they are treatable with topical medications to try. HICC PET™ pet grooming wipes penetrate deep into the skin to relieve pets of their worst skin irritations. 

The disinfecting solution fights off bacteria and fungal infections. Other topical medications like cat hot spot anti-itch spray combat skin irritations and wounds caused by ringworm and other fungal diseases. These treatments aid in speeding recovery and are safe enough to use with other medications. Get in touch with your vet to learn more about secure ringworm solutions. 

4. Feline Leukemia (FeLV)

Feline Leukemia (FeLV) is a contagious virus that weakens a cat’s immune system. Kittens typically contract FeLV from their birth mothers or contact with other cats through grooming or other bodily fluids like mucus, blood, or waste. It is one of the most common cat diseases and presents symptoms like seizures, fevers, brain chemical imbalances, weight loss, and more. Before taking in a stray or introducing new cats into your household, get them tested for FeLV. Although there is no cure, this disease is manageable through vaccine treatment. 

5. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) 

Like Feline Leukemia, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) compromises the immune system. This disease is transferable through harmful bites from other cats. Symptoms can remain dormant for several years. Signs and symptoms of FIV include

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Scruffy coat
  • Loose bowels
  • Dental infections
  • Skin irritations
  • Rashes
  • Abnormal behavior 
  • Chronic wounds

 A blood test confirms whether your cat has FIV. There is no cure for the disease, but it’s manageable through treatment and a nutritional diet. Your vet may prescribe medications to suppress symptoms or advise eliminating raw foods. The best way to prevent your cat from contracting FIV is by keeping them indoors. Consult your veterinarian if you suspect your cat has FIV. FIV, left untreated, leads to long-term or irreversible complications for your feline. 

6. Upper Respiratory Infections

Upper respiratory infections in cats develop from bacteria in your cats’ sinus tracts or mouth. Cats living in shelters risk an upper respiratory disease, especially if they share food and water bowls. Exchanging saliva through personal grooming or close contact with bodily fluids is the perfect environment for bacteria and viruses. The condition can spread to other cats nearby. The first sign of an ill cat is loss of appetite. Contact your vet if you notice any of these additional signs: 

  • Sluggish behavior 
  • Coughing 
  • Gagging
  • Sneezing or runny nose. 

 

To minimize the likelihood of sickness:

  1. Take preventative measures to keep your cat safe.
  2. Keep a well-groomed cat, keep their litter box clean, and limit outside exposure if they are inside cats. If your cat is outdoors, wipe down its fur after some time.
  3. Examine them for any hidden wounds or physical abnormalities. If you notice anything unusual, use pet grooming wipes with healing properties to remove any dirt or discharge around the area. 

7. Cat Cancer 

Cancer is the overgrowth of cells spreading throughout the body or remaining dominant in one area. Although the cause of cancer is generally unknown, cats are more likely to get it based on their environmental conditions or genetics. Several types of cancers can impact your cat’s health. The most common cancers in cats are

  • Lymphoma: the most common type of cancer that affects the gastrointestinal tract. When lymphocytes (white blood cells) grow uncontrollably, they spread to the intestines, kidneys, and lymph nodes, weakening the immune system overall.
  • Feline leukemia is common among outdoor cats and close contact with other felines. Leukemia left untreated may lead to lymphoma and other illnesses. Getting your cat tested and vaccinated for leukemia may protect them from other forms of lymphoma. 
  • Cell carcinoma (skin cancer): this cancer develops as lumps and bumps in exposed areas like the eyes, nose, mouth, and more. Cats with sensitive skin living in sunny regions are at greater risk of squamous cell carcinoma. Keeping cats indoors limits the chance of carcinoma, but it is still possible to contract. 

 

common cat diseases

How to Prevent Your Cat From Getting Cancer? 

Keep your feline indoors to prevent skin cancer from repeated sun exposure. Cat cancer treatments range from chemotherapy and other forms of aggressive treatment. Take your cat to the vet for blood work tests and treatment options. Advances in technology allow vets to treat cancers deemed fatal in the past. We understand you are going through a tough time. Make semi-annual visits to the vet for general check-ups for any early cancer detection.

8. Cat Kidney Disease

The Kidneys play a vital role in waste filtration, fluid balance, and regulating electrolytes for proper functioning. When a cat gets kidney disease, it is either acute or chronic. Acute kidney disease manifests through infections like Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), bacterial infections, or parasites. Chronic kidney disease leads to high blood pressure, cancers, and blood clots. Signs and symptoms of kidney disease in cats include: 

  • Joint and limb swelling and inflammation
  • Thirst
  • Bad breath
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Mouth sores
  • Vomiting 

Your vet can determine the severity of kidney disease through a blood test. Treatment varies from antibiotic prescriptions to chemotherapy (if cancer is the cause) and parasite treatment, among others depending on symptoms. 

9. Heartworms 

Heartworms come from contact with mosquitoes and are a top health issue for household cats. Heartworms do not affect cats the same way they affect dogs. The worms often do not reach the heart due to non-optimal conditions. Once the worms are present, they activate your cat’s immunity response over several months leading to severe health complications. Some indicators of heartworm infection include: 

  • Coughing
  • Inflammation
  • Abnormal behavior 
  • Sleepiness
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing

There are several ways to prevent heartworms in cats that involve veterinarian-prescribed preventative treatment. Take precautions with your cat if you live in an area heavily populated with mosquitoes. Before administering heartworm medication, go to the vet for regular check-ups and annual screenings.   

HICC PET™ Pet Grooming Wipes Protect Your Cat From Harmful Microbes

At HICC PET, we love our cats. We developed an all-natural formula for grooming and optimal hygiene for pets. Letting your cat have fun outdoors is okay, but take the necessary steps to keep your cat clean and live a healthy lifestyle. Harmful microbes get trapped in your cat’s paws and fur.

Our pet grooming wipes come with a natural solution for disinfecting germs that causes illnesses like kidney and dental disease. Use our cat hot spot anti-itch spray to soothe allergies, open wounds, or itchy skin. Visit our website to access our pet wellness products designed for better pet health. Our pets are more than friends. They’re family.