Common Feline Diseases

Your cat’s health care may be similar to caring for other pets. But such care may also have its own differences. One of them is that pet cats may suffer from a host of different diseases that other pets may not go through. The following are common feline diseases that pet cats may suffer from at some point.


Feline Distemper

This disease usually affects pet cats at a young age. Known medically as feline panleukopenia, this type of viral infection lowers the immune defenses of young kittens by severely affecting the production of white blood cells. This infection can make young kittens pass bloody, liquid stool due to the severe hemorrhaging that happens in their small intestine.

Fever may also be present in the young kitten, and may lead to the kitten refusing to take any food and water. To the pet owner, it may seem that the cat has a temperamental personality, hence the name feline distemper. The infection actually has no effect on the cat’s personality in any way. Sadly, recovery for such conditions is very rare for a cat.


Feline Infectious Peritonitis

This is another viral infection that is also fatal in cats. Once your cat shows signs of this infection, there may be many years of illness with the cat. This infection is common mostly in young adult cats and can be transmitted to other cats. There are two known types of this infection.

The “dry” type of infection is where the young adult cat is affected by high fever as well as problems with internal organs such as the kidneys, lungs and the intestines. With this type of infection, the cat never seems to improve no matter how well the treatment they are given.

There is also the “wet” type of the disease. This is when the young adult cat has a fluid discharge within the abdomen. Occasionally the cat’s chest displays a golden and dense liquid that contains flakes within. This infection makes the cat run a high fever and usually would not eat well.

The only protection cats have from the disease is vaccination. However, vaccines should be given to cats prior to any exposure to the virus or else the vaccine is not very effective to prevent the infection.


Feline ImmuneDeficiency Virus

This disease is similar to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV in humans. This virus is only found in cats and is spread mainly through a bite from an infected cat. This disease suppresses the cat’s immune system and leads the cat to be more prone to all sorts of infection. There is an intranasal vaccine available to protect cats from the FIV infection, although some veterinarians are not convinced it can protect more effectively, as compared to other vaccines.


Feline Leukemia Virus

This virus can severely limit an infected cat’s immune system. With the affected immune system, the cat has limited ability to defend against all sorts of other infections. This virus can be spread from contact with infected cats. Many cats become carriers of the virus for years without displaying any outside symptoms of the infection. Cats harboring the virus may at times develop clinical signs of the infection if they undergo surgery, get injured, or when they get lost outside their usual environment.


Veterinarian Support with Feline Diseases

Due to these common and sometimes deadly cat diseases, it is of utmost importance to establish an early relationship between your feline and the veterinarian. Your veterinarian can make recommendations on which vaccines are necessary for your cat as well as monitor any symptoms or conditions they may have. Being diligent to your cat’s daily activities as well as keeping up-to-date on all their vaccines can allow your cat to live a healthier and longer life!



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