Your Guide to Cat Diseases and Conditions, and How to Cure Them”

Even with the best care, cats can get sick. Sometimes this means a simple “kitty cold”, and sometimes the illness can have long-lasting or even fatal consequences. The following are some of the most common causes of serious feline illness.

Upper respiratory tract infection (URI) is the medical term for “cat cold” referred to by many cat lovers. In fact, these symptoms are similar to the symptoms of colds, sneezing and runny nose in humans. Although they look similar, the human and feline versions of this infection are different and one species cannot be infected by the other. However, URI is highly contagious in cats. If you have a multi-cat family and notice URI symptoms, isolate the cat immediately.

The best treatment for URI is time and care. Use a warm, damp cloth to keep the cat’s eyes and nose clear of discharge. You may need to reheat her food to enhance the scent and encourage your cat to eat.

Symptoms of URI, including loss of appetite, can last for days to weeks. Watch your cat closely; not eating or drinking can cause dehydration. In addition, if your cat becomes very sleepy, it could mean that the URI has become more severe.

Symptoms of URI can last for several days to several weeks. Cats with URI may also be sleepy and have a decreased appetite. Keep a close eye on cats; increasing lack of appetite and fever can lead to dehydration. Not eating can cause liver problems. Drowsiness can mean that a small URI has become a more serious problem, such as pneumonia. If you notice this happening, or if the discharge becomes very thick and yellow-green, contact your vet. Severe URIs may require antibiotic treatment.

Chlamydia is a bacterium with many mutations. In general, each variant is species specific; feline chlamydia cannot be transmitted to humans. In cats, bacteria usually infect the eyes and cause conjunctivitis. Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics.

Symptoms of Chlamydia in Cats

Anorexia (loss of appetite; may occur as the disease progresses)
cough
Difficulty breathing
Fever (may occur as the disease progresses)
Pneumonia (this can be fatal in kittens between 2 and 4 weeks old)
Runny nose (rhinitis)
to sneeze
Watery eyes (one or both eyes) caused by conjunctivitis

Panleukopenia is a condition in which the white blood cell count in cats falls sharply. Since white blood cells are essential for cats to resist disease, this condition makes cats vulnerable to deadly infections. The virus is spread through body secretions. Stool is a particularly common transmitter. It can be worn in the water or on shoes.

Pan leukopenia is often referred to by many different terms, such as:

Panleukopenia (usually abbreviated as “Panluk” in oral discussions)
FPV (cat panleukopenia virus or feline parvovirus)
FP (cat pan leukopenia)
cat plague
Cat Infectious Enteritis
Cat Infectious Gastroenteritis
Feline agranulocytosis
cat plague
cat fever
Show fever
Pseudomembranous Enteritis
Chat about childhood illness
feline typhus
cat typhus
Colibacillosis
agranulocytosis

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) causes many diseases, including leukemia or leukocyte cancer. Infected cats usually look healthy in the early stages of the disease. This disease can take months or years to cause death. FeLV has long been the deadliest disease in cats. Although vaccinations can be used today to protect cats from this disease, it is still the leading cause of death because there is no cure.

FeLV is usually spread by cats fighting each other. Because a large amount of FeLV will fall at the puncture wound, and cat saliva associated with fighting causes PeLV to be injected into other cats. Other less common ways of transmitting the virus include sharing food and water bowls, grooming each other’s hair, and mother-to-kitten transmission before birth.

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