While cats tend to be independent, they rely on us to keep them in the best of health.  Besides regular vet check-ups and keeping up-to-date on vaccines, it is important to be aware of common aliments that can effect  our cats .  A little knowledge can go a long way in alerting you to conditions that may need treatment.  Safe for your pet includes keeping your cat in the best of health since unfortunately, they really do not have nine lives.


  1. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease – Or FLUTD, covers different conditions that can affect a cat’s urethra and bladder. Symptoms include straining without urinating, going outside of the litter box, blood in the urine or excessive licking in the genital area. Any of these symptoms warrant that your cat be seen by their veterinarian right away. The issue may be infection, bladder stones, a blockage or cancer.
  2. Infections – Most common is a respiratory infection and some can be prevented with vaccinations. Symptoms include runny nose, cough, fever or teary eyes.  Many infections are viral so there are no medications, but it is important that the vet determines this. Feline panleukopenia is a highly contagious viral infection whose symptoms include fever, bloody diarrhea, lethargy and dehydration. Vaccination is critical in prevention of this infection.
  3. Cancer – Lymphosarcoma, cancer of the lymph system, is the most common cancer found in cats followed by squamous cell carcinoma which is found most often in white cats. Symptoms include lumps, swelling, weight loss, skin lesions, vomiting and difficulty breathing. Treatments options include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy and will depend on the type and stage of cancer.
  4. Heartworm – Some cats may show no symptoms while other cats may vomit and have respiratory issues. There is no effective and safe treatment and it can be fatal. Many cats though are able to fight it on their own. Preventative heartworm medication is key.
  5. Dental Disease – Symptoms include bad breath, loose teeth, drooling, red or swollen gums. Similar to dogs, a cat’s teeth should be brushed and she should be offered a chew toy to remove tartar and exercise her gums.
  6. Fractures – Signs that your cat may have a fracture would be limping or not moving. Prompt treatment is important to survival.
  7. Vomiting and Diarrhea – typically this is associated with something a cat has eaten, but it can also be a sign of illness. Persistent vomiting or diarrhea lasting longer that 24 hours requires immediate medical care, especially if the stools are black or bloody. Treatment generally includes fluids followed by a bland diet.
  8. Obesity – This common problem can cause diabetes and liver problems. Your cat requires less calories after spaying or neutering and more exercise.  A decrease in treats can go a long way in controlling obesity.
  9. Kidney Disease – Toxins can build up in a cat’s bloodstream when the kidneys reduce their ability to remove waste in the urine. Caused by infection, kidney stones, cancer or high blood pressure or older age. Symptoms include decreased appetite, vomiting and diarrhea, or no symptoms at all. Determining the cause is key to treatment
  10. Fleas – a flea is a parasite that feeds on blood and symptoms include excessive scratching and licking and hair loss. Treatment involves killing the fleas and stopping eggs from developing.1395097612nq9kw

7 comments on “Keep Your Cat Safe From Illness – 10 Of The Most Common Cat Ailments

  • good site here. lots of beneficial information. the layout is nice and easy to read and understand, broken up nicely with some sweet images. good to see some decent products on offer as well . haven’t really got a bad word to say about this site its wonderful. keep up the great work

  • Hey Erin!

    I was looking through your website and you have some good info about the illnesses. I used to have a cat but now i currently have 2 dogs. My boyfriend and I were just talking about cats the other day and how some cats are indoor only and some are indoor/outdoor. What is your opinion on cat safety for those cats that are outside? What is your preference?

    • Hi Megan,

      My advice for cats that just love being outdoors is don’t do it! They are so much safer if they remain indoors. They are less likely to pick up disease and bring it into your home. They cannot get hit by a car if they are inside and keeping cats indoors will definitely help with overpopulation of cats. The consequences of allowing cats to be outdoors is not considered often enough so I glad that you asked this question!

      Take care,


  • More diseases are becoming common. One of our de-sexed cats, Oscar, got FIV. We had asked for him to be vaccinated but the tunnel-visioned vet we were seeing at the time said there wasn’t any in Tasmania. We sure don’t recommend her to anyone!

  • Erin,
    What a lovely site!
    This is an interesting article. I have a friend and her cat actually has AIDS! I am assured it is not harmful to humans and the cat doesn’t appear unwell at all but they told me it is apparently quite common. Have you heard of this?
    Poor cat.
    Thanks, Kris

    • Hi Kris, there is a disease called Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, or FIV, that is similar to AIDS that people can contract. FIV is very a species-specific virus that infects only felines. In the U.S about 1.5% to 3% of healthy cats have the FIV virus. In cats that are sick or are considered high risk the number infected climbs to 15%. The virus is spread through biting and cats that are kept indoors are less likely to become infected.

      Thanks for telling us about your friends cat!

      Take Care,


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