Cats are susceptible to a variety of feline diseases and disorders that can adversely affect their health and in some instances can be life threatening. Feline diseases occur in the family pet just as frequent as their owners have to deal with specific health concerns. Just as humans receive shots and vaccinations to prevent the development of common diseases and conditions, cats should also be given a regular set of immunizations to help prevent the heartache that comes with sickness, especially when preventable.
Panleukopenia, also known as feline distemper, is caused by a virus. This disease affects both cats and kittens. Symptoms include listlessness, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and blood in the stool.
Upper Respiratory Infections is a group of viral and bacterial diseases of the upper respiratory system with cold-like symptoms. Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Feline Calicivirus and Pneumonitis are included in the group. These diseases are highly infectious and contagious.
Feline Leukemia is a deadly disease caused by a virus that inhibits the immune system. Various types of cancers and other chronic, debilitating diseases develop in association with this virus. It is transmitted from cat to cat via urine, saliva, and other body fluids.
Rabies is a fatal disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. The virus is shed in saliva and is transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. Rabies is transmissible to humans and by law animals must be vaccinated.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis
FIP is caused by a coronavirus and does not produce signs of disease for months or even years after infection. FIP typically affects cats between six months and five years with signs including fever, weight loss, appetite loss, and depression. Fluid may accumulate in the chest and the abdomen. The kidneys and central nervous system can also be affected. This disease is fatal.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a lentivirus that affects domesticated housecats worldwide and is the causative agent of feline AIDS. FIV can attack the immune system of cats and infects many cell types in its host. It can be tolerated well by cats, but can eventually lead to debilitation of the immune system in its feline hosts by the infection and exhaustion of certain cells.