Cat Illness Symptoms

Cat Illness Symptoms

There are certain symptoms of diseases that can indicate your cat's failing health. This article will help you understand these symptoms, which will help you know if you need to seek medical help for your pet.
Cats are graceful animals who hold their heads high and walk with an aristocratic air. They do not like to express their feelings and when in pain, they tend to sulk but not cry out loud. They tend to hide under the bed or furniture and sleep for longer hours than normal. However, there are a few symptoms that indicate some more serious cat health problems.

There are a few common symptoms of illnesses in cats and kittens that an owner should be aware of, so that the animal can receive a better prognosis. Given below is a list of common cat illnesses and their symptoms, which help owners know if there is something wrong with their pet.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
UTI in cats is very common, and many cats tend to whine or yelp whenever they visit the litter box. You may find them urinating or defecating outside the litter box even though they are comfortable using it. If your cat is using the litter box rarely or is having trouble urinating, then it is an indicator of UTI. Given below are some symptoms of the same.
  • Blood in urine
  • Painful urination
  • Compulsive licking of the genitals
  • Urination in odd places
You cannot know how severe the infection is as mild cases clear up before the owner even realizes that the cat is affected by it. When you do notice a problem, it has already turned into a serious case that needs veterinary examination.

The vet may administer antibiotics to clear up the problem. If the infection has spread to the kidney, then it may be very painful for the cat. The vet may be able to diagnose if there is something that is blocking the urinary tract, which is causing difficulty in urination.

Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI)
This is similar to human cold and is not commonly observed in indoor cats. If the cat comes in contact with an infected cat, it will develop the common respiratory tract illness symptoms. The cat may show the following common symptoms.
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Fever
  • Runny eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Poor appetite
  • Excessive saliva
Upper respiratory tract infections are usually caused due to a virus and do not need antibiotics to clear off. If the cat develops bacterial problems when it is affected by upper respiratory problems, the vet may administer drugs that help break the mucus. This will help the cat breathe easily. Many times, cats require a fluid drip due to dehydration.

Panleukopenia
Also called feline distemper, it is a condition that is caused by a virus. Adult cats are not susceptible to this condition as much as young kittens. This virus is spread through contaminated food, water, and litter boxes. An affected cat may appear lethargic and will refuse to eat and drink. It will experience severe diarrhea and vomiting. The skin will be dry due to dehydration and the fur will fall out. It is very important to visit the vet as soon as you see any of these signs. The vet may conduct a white blood count and administer antibiotics to treat the secondary infections. There is no medication that can treat the feline distemper virus. Many cats cannot fight off the virus and die from the infection. However, you can protect your cat from panleukopenia with a vaccination. Make sure you vaccinate your pet when it is a kitten.

Diabetes
Cats too develop diabetes and if not diagnosed early, it may shorten your cat's life. In case of diabetes, the following symptoms are extremely common.
  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness in the rear legs
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Labored breathing
  • Dehydration
The vet may run a number of urine tests and in case of a positive result, he/she may advise treatment according to the severity of the disease. The cat may be advised insulin shots that are given once or twice a day. A special diet may be prescribed along with treatment for dehydration.

Kidney Failure
Kidney failure is a common health problem seen in older cats. This is mainly due to aging, as the kidneys begin to deteriorate. The kidney cannot function normally to remove waste from the blood stream. The symptoms of kidney trouble in cats are as follows.
  • Excessive thirst
  • Vomiting
  • Foul breath
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • General weakness
  • Increased urination
  • Urination in odd places
As the kidneys fail to function properly, the cat drinks more and more water to process the toxins. Finally, when the cat is not able to drink more water, the toxins spread throughout the body. The vet will conduct a few tests to confirm renal failure, but unfortunately there is no cure. The vet may suggest an IV drip and put the cat on dialysis. This is a very costly treatment and not affordable for many pet owners.

Skin Allergy
Skin allergy is one of the common cat health problems that you may come across. The symptoms include the following.
  • Scratching
  • Darkening of skin
  • Red bumps
  • Pus
  • Hair loss
  • Compulsive licking
  • Self mutilation
Feline Ringworm
Feline ringworm is a fungal infection that infects cats. The common symptoms of feline ringworm include the following.
  • Itching
  • Scaly skin
  • Cat dandruff
  • Chin acne
  • Circular skin patches
Cancer
Cats may be affected by cancer or lymphoma and it is very important that you seek medical help to control the disease from spreading. The symptoms include the following.
  • Reduced appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Breathing problems
  • Lumps
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
Gum Disease
Your cat may develop dental problems, and the symptoms of the same include the following.
  • Foul Breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • Tooth loss
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Excessive face rubbing
These were a few common symptoms of illnesses in cats and kittens that you should keep in mind. No owner will like to see their pet sick and will do everything possible to keep it healthy. However, before you notice any abnormal symptoms, you should be aware of the normal cat behavior so as to avoid any false health scares.
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