cats are tough animals that often survive even serious injuries, but
they seem to have less resistance when it comes to viral infections.
Feline distemper, which is not related to canine distemper is probably
the worst of all cat diseases. This deadly disease is also called cat
plague, feline enteritis, and panleukopenia. A quick acting disease,
Feline enteritis is an inflammation of the pharynx and digestive tract.
The highly infectious virus can be found in all the elimination of a
sick cat. Once spread in the vicinity, this virus will remain infectious
for months. Kittens are particularly susceptible to the disease. Without
medical attention the fatality rate among affected cats is 80- 90%.The
first symptom is a very high fever, followed by depressed behavior, loss
of appetite, vomiting, and a desire to drink but an inability to do so.
Diarrhea is not always present. Rapid dehydration sets in followed by
coma and death.
Feline leukemia is a cancerous disease caused by feline leukemia virus (FeLV).
Cats may not start to show signs of disease for months or years after
being infected with FeLV. Infection with FeLV is a major cause of
illness and death in domestic house cats. It is estimated that 1-2% of
otherwise healthy house cats are infected with FeLV. Males are more
commonly infected than females, and cats with access to the outdoors are
more at risk of becoming infected than indoor cats. Kittens are much
more susceptible to FeLV infection than adult cats. Age is a very
important factor in determining what will happen after a cat is exposed
to FeLV. Almost all FeLV-exposed kittens less than 8 weeks of age will
show signs of the disease during the acute phase, and become permanently
Urinary tract infections are another common health problem in domestic
house cats. Bladder diseases occur in both male and female cats,
although males have a higher risk of life-threatening blockage of the
urethra. House cats may go to the litter box frequently, strain to
urinate, pass very small amounts at a time, lick their genitals more
frequently or more intensely than usual, or have blood in the urine. The
cat may associate the burning sensation of cystitis (bladder
inflammation) with the litter box itself, and look for another place to
go where it won't hurt. This leads to squatting in corners, in sinks or
tubs, on rugs, laundry piles, or beds. Immediate medical attention is
Rabies: All mammals can get rabies, and the bite of an infected animal
is dangerous. Once infected the cat may show signs of huge alteration in
appetite, voice and be very aggressive. An inability to drink gives
rabies its other name, hydrophobia - fear of water. Other signs are,
foaming at the mouth, swelling of the skull, jaw paralysis and