The Most Common Diseases In Cats

We love our cats. We want to keep it as healthy and happy as possible. However, even with the best care, cats can get sick.

You are lucky if you can catch the symptoms early and identify the specific cat disease affecting your pet. But this is not always the case. And often, we only discover the problem when it is at its worse stages and the cat has been considerably weakened due to the disease.

This is why it becomes increasingly important for cat owners to learn more about the common cat diseases. That way, you can “discover” the cat diseases early and know what preemptive steps to take to protect your beloved furry friend.


Of all the diseases in cats, rabies is perhaps the most widely known. Rabies is a type of viral cat disease that is often very fatal for cats or any other infected animal. It is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal and spread through animal bites.

Rabies most commonly affects free-roaming cats as these cats are more likely to encounter and get bitten by wild animals that are infected. You can tell if your pet has been bitten by a rabies-infected animal through symptoms like: hydrophobia (your cat develops an aversion to water that is unusual even for a cat), aggressive behavior, depression, withdrawn behavior, and agitation.

The most effective treatment for rabies is vaccine. You should make sure that your cat has been vaccinated for rabies. In most states, this is required by law.

Upper Respiratory Infections

This is otherwise known as URI. It is the equivalent of the common cold in humans. Sneezing, reddened eyes, running nose, fever, and decreased appetite are some of signs to watch out for with these types of cat diseases.

URIs are caused by airborne viruses. If left untreated, some of them could be fatal to your cat. The best option you have is to prevent URIs from being contracted by your cats. Vaccinations are widely available. However, if your cat contracts the disease, take him or her to the veterinarian as soon as possible. At this point, early intervention is the best approach you have at your disposal.

Feline Panleukopenia

The other name for it is “feline distemper,” which is misleading since the disease has got nothing to do with a cat’s temper.

Feline panleukopenia is a viral disease that is highly contagious. It can be contracted through skin contact with infected cats, clothing, hair, paws, humans, and food bowls. The signs that your cat may have feline panleukopenia include vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite.

Feline Leukemia Virus

This virus targets the cat’s immune system, causing several forms of cancer and other associated cat diseases. It is transmitted through urine, saliva and the feces of cats with feline leukemia. If you notice anything unusual with your cat, such as decreasing energy, loss of appetite, drastic weight loss or gain, have it blood tested for feline leukemia. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this cat disease, but early intervention may help ease some of the symptoms.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Like HIV that affects humans, feline immunodeficiency affects cats, specifically their immune system. Basically, the virus attacks the cat’s main defense system, leaving it vulnerable to infections and diseases.

Feline immunodeficiency virus can cause a variety of symptoms, such as respiratory problems, chronic infections that do not respond to the usual treatment, loss of appetite, severe oral infections, and persistent diarrhea. A cat commonly contracts this disease through the bite of an infected cat.


This is a common cat eye disease caused by a virus. Although it is not fatal, rhinotracheitis is capable of creating life-long problems for your cat. Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, fever, poor appetite, discharge from the nares and chronic tearing.

There are many more common diseases that can affect cat health and other pets health. As a cat owner, you should take the responsibility of acquiring working knowledge about these diseases and how to prevent them.