5 Deadly Cat Diseases You Should Be Aware Of

Caring for a pet cat is no easy task. There are various aspects to consider, and one of the most important is being aware of the diseases that your cat may be at risk for.

Just like any other pets, cats can get sick. But now that we have more access to pet care products through online platforms, common cat diseases don’t scratch our heads anymore. 

Plus, online pet care shops like PetCareRx are a convenient and efficient way to purchase necessary items for your pets, such as food, toys, and medical supplies. These shops often offer a wide selection of products at competitive prices. They may even offer the option to set up recurring deliveries to ensure you never run out of essentials.

Another advantage of online pet care shops is that they can make it easier to access hard-to-find or specialty items that may not be available at your local pet store. This can be especially useful if you have a pet with specific needs or if you live in a remote location.

Though pet care products let us provide our pets with the best care possible, there are still some deadly diseases a cat owner must know about to ensure the protective measures that need to be taken.

In this article, we’ll go over some lethal diseases that can affect cats.

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease

Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) is a common problem in cats, and it can cause your pet to struggle with urinating. Statistics show that the prevalence of FLUTD in cats that had visited animal hospitals or clinics was 1.5% in the United States and 2.2% in Bangkok in 2020.

FLUTD occurs when the tissues in the bladder or urethra become inflamed. The signs of FLUTD are often subtle at first, but they can quickly worsen if not treated.

These conditions can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  1. Bladder inflammation: This can be caused by infections, allergies, or irritation from certain foods or medications.
  2. Bladder stones: These are hard mineral deposits that can form in the bladder and cause irritation or blockages.
  3. Urethral obstruction: This is a blockage in the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out of the body. It can be caused by bladder stones, mucus plugs, or other debris.
  4. Neoplasia: This refers to the presence of abnormal cells in the bladder or urethra, which can be cancerous or non-cancerous.
  5. Other factors: Stress, hormonal imbalances, and genetics may also play a role in the development of FLUTD.

Symptoms of FLUTD may include difficulty urinating, increased frequency of urination, blood in the urine, and pain or discomfort while urinating. If you suspect that your cat may have FLUTD, it is important to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible, as some of these conditions can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a disease caused by the feline coronavirus. Most infected cats will not develop FIP. But in some cases, involving a mutation within their own systems or exposure to other viruses or bacteria, the virus can cause illness.

Symptoms of FIP can vary but may include:

  1. Fever
  2. Loss of appetite
  3. Weight loss
  4. Lethargy
  5. Abdominal swelling
  6. Difficulty breathing

FIP is often difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can be vague and non-specific. A combination of blood tests, imaging studies, and other diagnostic tests are recommended to confirm the diagnosis.

There is no specific cure for FIP, and the disease is often fatal. In some cases, your vet may recommend supportive care to help manage the symptoms and improve your cat’s well-being. This may include medications to control fever and inflammation, as well as fluids and nutrition to support your cat’s overall health.

It is important to note that FIP is highly contagious among cats, so if your cat is diagnosed with FIP, it is important to isolate him/her from other cats to prevent the spread of the disease.

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)

Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a virus that can cause serious and potentially fatal diseases in cats. It is spread through close contact with infected bodily fluids, such as saliva, urine, and feces. The College of Veterinary Medicine states that between 2 and 3% of all cats in the United States are affected by the feline leukemia virus (FeLV), and it is particularly common among felines who have other health problems.

There is no cure for FeLV. Researchers have found that about 80-90% of FeLV-positive cats die within three to four years. But some treatments can help manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life for infected cats. 

These may include medications to boost the immune system, antibiotics to treat infections, and supportive care such as fluid therapy and nutrition support. It is also important to keep infected cats away from other cats to prevent the spread of the virus.

Prevention is the best way to protect your cat from FeLV. This can be done through vaccination and avoiding situations where your cat may be exposed to infected cats. If you have multiple cats in your household, it is important to test them regularly for FeLV and to isolate any infected cats from the rest of the group.

Feline Panleukopenia

Feline panleukopenia, also known as feline distemper, is a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease that affects cats. It is caused by a virus that attacks the gastrointestinal tract, immune system, and nervous system of infected cats.

There is no specific treatment for feline panleukopenia, but supportive care such as fluids, nutrition, and medications to control symptoms can help improve the chances of survival. It is also important to isolate infected cats to prevent the spread of the virus.

Feline Asthma

Feline asthma is a respiratory disorder that affects 1 to 5 percent of cats. It is characterized by inflammation and narrowing of the airways, which can lead to difficulty breathing, coughing, and wheezing.

It can be managed with a combination of medications, environmental control, and lifestyle changes. Treatment options may include:

  1. Corticosteroids: These medications help to reduce inflammation in the airways and can be given as tablets, inhalers, or injections.
  2. Bronchodilators: These medications help to open the airways and can be given as tablets or inhalers.
  3. Allergy control: Identifying and avoiding triggers that may worsen asthma symptoms, such as certain types of litter or household cleaners, can help to reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.
  4. Weight management: Cats with feline asthma may benefit from weight loss if they are overweight, as excess weight can put additional strain on the respiratory system.

It is crucial to work with a veterinarian to develop an appropriate treatment plan for a cat with feline asthma. Regular check-ups and monitoring of the cat’s condition are also essential to ensure that the treatment plan is effective and to make any necessary adjustments.

It’s important to be aware of these so that if you notice something odd with your pet, it doesn’t end up being something more serious like one of these conditions.