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What Are the Most Common Cat Illnesses?

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Cats are very self-sufficient animals most of the time and keep themselves in great physical condition but sometimes illness catches even the healthiest of cat and their instincts tell them to hide it.  by having a good knowledge of the most common illnesses to effect cats and good observational skills, it is possible to spot a problem and get vet help in plenty of time.

Lower Urinary Tract Disease

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease or FLUTD is a term that catches a number of cat health problems surrounding the bladder and urethra.  These can be anything from not using the litter box correctly or forcing themselves to go to the toilet to excessive licking of the genitals and blood in the urine.  Any of these signs are a symptom that requires your vet to be consulted as soon as possible.

Treatment obliviously depends on what the underlying condition is.  It could be something like bladder stones, urinary tract blockage, an infection or even a form of cancer.  Therefore, treatment could be anything from antibiotics and pain medication up to surgery.  There might also be long term dietary changes that are needed to help manage a condition or stop a reoccurrence.

Dealing with litter tray avoidance

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Using a product such as a cat litter mat can help alleviate the stress around the cat litter area and lessen the chance that a cat will develop a litter tray avoidance problem.

Respiratory infections

Like humans, cats are prone to respiratory infections, though some can be stopped by vaccinations.  Symptoms of this type of infection include a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, teary eyes, and sores in the mouth or a fever.  Most of the time this sort of infection is viral, so there is no treatment but you should always consult the vet in case it is something more serious.

One example of the more serious version is feline panleukopenia, a highly contagious virus whose symptoms can include fever, diarrhoea, passing blood, loss of appetite, dehydration and being very lethargic.  If a kitten under eight weeks contracts the illness, it is usually fatal but otherwise a course of fluids can usually help a cat fight the condition off.


While fleas aren’t an illness as such, they can cause illness and are a real nightmare for cats.  You can usually see when a cat has fleas because it will lick itself excessively, scratch a lot and can have bald patches or lose hair.  Sometimes you can even see the fleas or their excretions on the fur.  Using a flea killer is the best treatment, ensuring it is one designed for cats.  

Dental problems

If your cat has bad breath, difficulty eating or has changed their chewing habits, it may be a sign of digestive problems or gun disease, called gingivitis.  Other dental problem signs include discoloured, red or swollen gums, ulcers, loose teeth, pawing at their mouth or excessive drooling.  If you think your cat has dental problems, speak to your vet.  It may be as simple as using a special feline toothbrush or giving them chew toys that help exercise their mouth and gums.

Vomiting and diarrhoea

Like in humans, either of these can be a symptom of a number of conditions or just simply due to something the cat ate.  If it is an occasion outbreak of either, then this is more likely something they have ingested but if it keeps happening it is termed as chronic and could be a symptom of a larger problem.  This is especially the case if there are black or bloody spots in the vomit or faeces as this could indicate internal bleeding.  Normally, treatment will be giving fluids and withholding food for 12-24 hours following by a bland diet but vets may give anti-vomiting medication.


Spotting when your cat is unwell isn’t always easy but by observing their behaviours normally, it is easier to spot when something may be wrong.  Don’t forget that no amount of advice can replace seeing a vet and you should always do this as soon as you think something may be wrong.



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