6 Cat Ailments That Require Immediate Attention

Bacteria, fungi and viruses are the root causes of cat ailments. A cat inherits natural immunity from his mother through colostrum, which lasts for 6 weeks after birth. Natural immunity is also attained by the formation of antibodies against various diseases. Antibiotics can help in curing the diseases in cats, but they do not increase immunity. It is also very important to vaccinate the kitten 6 weeks after birth for diseases such as rabies, feline enteritis and pneumonitis. Six important cat ailments that require immediate medical care are listed below.

1. Feline Enteritis

Feline enteritis is a highly infectious viral disease that leads to the death of the cat within 48 hours from the time of infection. Four- to six-month-old kittens are mostly affected by this filterable virus with 100% death rate. This epidemic of felines can wipe out the cats of an entire locality.

The infection occurs by direct contact with the diseased cat, his residence or resting place. If a cat dies of enteritis, destroy his bed, toys and dishes. The incubation period of this virus ranges from 4 to 10 days. High temperature, the vomiting yellow/green fluid (then followed by bouts of diarrhea), loss of tail hair, and the cat's head hanging over the water bowl are the common symptoms of this disease. Decrease in white blood cells can result in death, due to dehydration. Rarely, some sick cats recover by natural immunity. Cats can be saved by giving high-quality vaccines well in advance of the epidemic as there is no permanent vaccination for this infection.

2. Cystitis

Cystitis is the inflammation of urinary bladder by stones (uroliths) or infection caused by other diseases and result death in death of the feline in 48 hours if undiagnosed. Uroliths vary in size and shape, and these stones have sharp edges that can irritate or tear the bladder. Frequent painful urination with strain, bloody urine, blockage due to uremia, bloating and vomiting are the symptoms of this disease. The treatment must be started as early as possible. Usually, the veterinarian removes the stones either by dissolving them or by surgery.

3. Pneumonitis

Pneumonitis is a feline disease caused by the virus Miyagawanella felis. This disease is highly contagious and fatal, and the incubation period is from 6 to 10 days. Nasal discharge, sneezing, running eyes and salivation are the symptoms of pneumonitis. Veterinarian may prescribe antihistamines and antibiotics. Clean the nose, wash the eyes and apply eye ointment on the eyes of the infected cat to suppress this disease. Vaccination gives immunity only for 6 months.

4. Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of inner membrane of the eyelid and front part of eyeball of the cat. Photophobia, redness of eyes and watery discharge are the common symptoms that are aggravated by dust, smoke, soot or injury. Wash the cat's eyes with warm water and apply eye ointment.

5. Diarrhea

The infection in the intestinal tract by parasites, the malfunction of intestinal tract due to poor diet or irritation caused by some chemical may lead to diarrhea in cats. Bowel movements are very loose, watery or even bloody. Diarrhea can be controlled by feeding starchy food. Boiled milk, barley, cottage cheese and cooked rice can help in the normal movement of bowels.

6. Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis is a highly infectious disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. It is spread through saliva, nasal discharge and feces of the sick feline. This disease is also transmitted through the contaminated food left over by an infected animal. Fever, cough, jaundice, difficulty in breathing and loss of appetite are some symptoms of this disease. When this disease affects the nervous system, it may paralyze the cat.

All these ailments can be treated at home under the supervision of a veterinarian. It is advisable to take the vaccinations on time in order to protect the cats from such contagious diseases.