Cats, just like all other animals and humans can experience various illnesses. However, if these cat illnesses are left untreated they could cause serious complications. Our Seattle vets discuss some of the common illnesses seen in cats, what the symptoms are and how each illness is treated.
What Are Some of the Most Common Cat Illnesses?
Cats are very good at disguising any injuries or illnesses that they are experiencing so it is incredibly important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of potential conditions that your cat may experience. If you are a cat owner there are a number of illnesses you need to be aware of. If you own a cat then you must be aware of the potential conditions that your cat may suffer from especially since cats tend to instinctively isolate when they are sick. Here are a couple of the most common cat illnesses that your cat may experience.
Upper Respiratory Infections or Cat Colds
Your cat's upper respiratory tract, which includes their throat, nose and sinuses, can become infected with viruses and bacteria leading to potentially serious illnesses. Feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus are common in multi-cat living situations through something as basic as sharing a food or water dish.
These viruses can be transmitted very quickly through sneezing, coughing or during grooming.
Symptoms of upper respiratory infections in cats include:
- Congestion cat
- Gagging, drooling
- Runny nose or clear/colored nasal discharge
- Loss of appetite
Diabetes in Cats
If a cat is unable to produce sufficient insulin to balance blood sugar or glucose levels, they develop diabetes mellitus. Untreated this condition may lead to some very serious symptoms, such as:
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Motor function problems
If diabetes is poorly managed, the disease could shorten your cat's lifespan and lead to numerous health problems such as nerve disorders. Diabetes in cats can also result in severe emergency situations. Treatment can include insulin injections and will be focused on the long-term management of this condition.
Cancer in Cats
The uncontrolled growth of cells can cause cancer, which can affect a wide range of organs and cells in your cat's body. The disease first begins to develop within a cell, before it attaches to tissue below the skin and potentially spreads to other areas of the cat's body.
A common contributor to cancer in cats is Feline Leukemia Virus, which is entirely treatable through vaccinations. Another potential cause is environmental toxins and If caught early during a routine exam, your Seattle vet may be able to treat cancer.
Symptoms of cancer in cats include:
- Lumps or bumps that change in size or shape
- Sores that do not heal
- Odor from the mouth
- Unexplained bleeding or discharge
- Marked increase or decrease in appetite
- Chronic weight loss
- Difficulty urinating or defecating
Based on whether the tumor is caught and diagnosed early enough, the type of cancer, the extent of the disease, and the specific location of the tumor within the body, an effective treatment plan may be developed to treat your cat's cancer. Treatments such as radiation, surgery and chemotherapy are often used to treat cancer in cats.
What To Do If I Notice That My Cat Is Ill
If you notice that your cat is under the weather and showing signs of illness then you should book an appointment with your Seattle vet as soon as possible.