Cat Health Information by Disease

Cat health information is important for any cat owner to have. If you don't know how to keep your cat healthy, you could end up paying expensive veterinary bills or neglecting to relieve your pet's discomfort or pain. The following is a list of common cat diseases, and what you can do to help your cat if you think it is suffering from that disease.

Respiratory Infection

A respiratory infection is when all or part of the respiratory system is infected by a species of bacterium or virus. It's basically the same as what is known as a common cold in humans. Symptoms of a respiratory infection in a cat are red, bloodshot eyes, a decreased appetite, coughing or wheezing, or a fever. While most respiratory infections are minor discomforts and heal on their own within a few days, some can be fatal if left untreated.

Respiratory infections are airborne illnesses, so they are highly contagious. If you have multiple cats, and one has a respiratory infection, keep it away from the others. If a respiratory infection seems serious, contact your veterinarian, who will most likely prescribe some antibiotics to mix with your cat's food.


Feline panleukopenia is also known as feline distemper. It is caused by a virus that attacks the digestive system. Cats with panleukopenia suddenly start to vomit excessively. Other symptoms of panleukopenia include appetite loss and diarrhea. This disease is transmitted from cat to cat through physical contact, which not only includes cats touching infected cats, but also cats touching things that infected cats have also touched. Since panleukopenia is a viral disease, it is difficult to treat in its advanced stages. Vaccines are available, so it is easy to prevent your cat from ever contracting it.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

The feline immunodeficiency virus works the same way as the one that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome in humans. It attacks the immune system, which leaves the cat with no defense against other pathogens. Symptoms of a feline immunodeficiency virus vary, depending on what other diseases the cat contracts as a result of a compromised immune system. Other diseases commonly include chronic respiratory infections, appetite loss, diarrhea and oral infections.

There is no cure or vaccination for the feline immunodeficiency virus, so the only way to help your cat in this area is to prevent it from contracting the disease. Since the feline immunodeficiency virus is most commonly spread when an infected cat bites another cat, the best way to prevent it is to keep him from getting into fights with other cats. You can do this by making sure to neuter male cats and keeping your cats inside as often as possible.

It is important to be aware of the different diseases that your cat could suffer from, so if your cat gets sick, you know what the problem is and what you can do to help. If you know your pet is sick, but you cannot identify the illness, make an appointment with your veterinarian.