Looking after the cat’s health becomes easy if pet owners have some knowledge about diseases that can infect cats and their signs and symptoms. Identifying the problems early should facilitate timely help from the veterinarian if necessary.
Diseases like diabetes, upper respiratory infections, worms, and cancer that affect humans can affect cats too. Some diseases, such as Feline Leukemia Virus (FelV), Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), Heartworm, High-Rise syndrome, rabies, and ringworm, are specific to cats.
This article will help you know about some cat diseases that can make your favorite pet sick anytime.
Here are some common diseases among cats:
One of the complex cat diseases, diabetes, can happen due to a lack of insulin hormones or insufficient insulin response. During food digestion, the cat’s digestive system breaks food into glucose and various other components that reach the cells with the help of insulin.
Blood sugar levels rise when the cat cannot utilize insulin normally or produces less insulin. These result in a condition known as hyperglycemia which needs immediate treatment to avoid further health complications for cats. Fortunately, diabetes is a manageable disorder, and with proper treatment, many diabetic cats can lead healthy, happy lives.
Diabetes is of two types – Type I diabetes relates to lack of insulin, and Type II diabetes relates to insufficient production and inadequate response to the hormone.
Like humans, cats may suffer from cancer, a disease in which the cells grow rampantly, invade adjoining tissues, and spread to other areas of the body. Cats can have various kinds of cancer. The disease might spread through the body or remain localized. Cancer symptoms include persistent swelling, lumps, skin infections or sores, bad breath, abnormal discharge from any part of the body, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Sudden lameness, weight loss, reduced or loss of appetite, change in behavior, difficulty in breathing, defecating, or urinating are also signs of cancer. Cancerous lumps might or might not be malignant. Usually, older cats are more vulnerable to cancer, even though it might be seen in cats of all breeds and ages.
Feline Leukemia Virus (FelV)
A transmittable RNA retrovirus known as Feline Leukemia Virus (FelV) can severely slow down a cat’s immune system. First discovered in the 1960s, it is one of the most commonly diagnosed causes of the disease, which might even lead to cat deaths.
The problem faced by pet owners is that the virus does not show any symptoms, which might delay the treatment and aggravate the cat’s condition.
Since it’s a transmittable disease, there are chances of your cat contracting it from other cats entering the household. Therefore, testing new cats and even sick cats for FelV can prevent your cat from contracting the disease.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
Like FeLV, cats infected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) may show symptoms of infections many years after the initial infection. The virus acts slowly, but once the disease sets in, it significantly weakens the immunity system of the cat. As a result, the cat becomes susceptible to many secondary infections. The treatment consists of supportive medical care and is kept in an indoor environment free from stress where the cat can live for many years before the disease turns chronic.
High Rise Syndrome
Many homeowners with pets prefer to open windows to enjoy the sunny weather during the summer months. Open unscreened windows can be dangerous for cats that often fall out of them.
The recurring complaint has become so rampant that it compelled the veterinary profession to name it High Rise Syndrome. Falls can cause grievous injuries to cats like punctured lungs, shattered jaws, broken limbs, and pelvises which might even turn fatal.
Cats don’t deliberately jump off high places because the cats have excellent survival instincts. Most cats fall accidentally through the windows. However, being attracted by a bird or other animal might drive cats to the windows, and any instances of distraction might make cats lose balance and fall. It would be wrong for pet owners to assume that cats can care enough for themselves, which is only sometimes because accidents can happen.
Mosquitoes can cause health problems for cats. Mosquitoes infected with heartworm spread the disease in domestic cats, which are good hosts of heartworms. The name of the disease might be a misnomer because it affects the lungs, not the heart. Cat owners living in areas with high mosquito infestation must discuss the issue with the veterinarian to arrange for some prevention.
Upper Respiratory infections
The upper respiratory system comprising the throat, nose, and sinus area, remains susceptible to infections caused by many bacteria and viruses. Feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus are responsible for 90-90% of all contagious URIs (upper respiratory infections), especially prevalent in multi-cat households, catteries, and shelters.
Rabies is a viral disease. It affects the spinal cord and brain of humans and mammals, including dogs and cats. Even though it is a preventable disease, there is enough reason to be frightened because the visibility of symptoms is a sure sign of death.
Ringworm is a fungus and not a worm that can infect the hair, nails, and skin of cats. The disease is common in cats and manifests as patchy circular areas with central red rings accompanied by hair loss. Ringworms can spread to other parts of the household besides infecting humans.
Worms are intestinal parasites that affect cats, and their infestation manifests in various ways. Sometimes, there might be nil or minimal outward symptoms of infection, and despite being a potentially serious health problem may go unnoticed most of the time.
So these are the common diseases among cats. Both dogs and cats will suffer from these diseases if you do not give them proper care and checkups. I hope this article will help you get more information about cat pets.