Diseases That Are Common in Cats

November 18, 2019 in Uncategorized

If you've ever served as the caretaker of a cat, you know there's a litany of conditions that can affect the health of your feline friends. Cats, even those that are usually confined to the home, can be stricken with many conditions that can leave them miserable. Some of the conditions are highly contagious and can be harmful to other felines who share the same space. Other conditions stem from biomechanical issues that result in compromised bodily systems. In any event, when your companion begins to feel under the weather, it's important to get professional assistance, even if it means a trip to an emergency animal clinic.

Woman with pet cat at emergency vet nocatee

When these common conditions strike suddenly, they can cause fright and panic for cat owners who are concerned about the well-being of their pets. That's a reasonable response given the severity and life-threatening nature of many common cat illnesses. Many immediately turn to a emergency animal hospital in Nocatee, FL, for answers and treatment. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most common cat diseases that can cause strife for pets and their owners alike.


Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) can be a devastating condition for cats that are exposed to it. FIV can be latent for years after contact with symptoms emerging long after the exposure occurred. By then, there could be severe damage to the cat's immune system, making it susceptible to common, routine infections and illnesses. The disease will eventually become chronic and, unfortunately, fatal. However, with the right care, many felines with FIV live for many months or years before they succumb to the effects of the virus.

Feline Leukemia Virus

Feline leukemia virus, (FelV) is another devastating illness that can compromise a healthy cat's immune system. Spread through contact with bodily fluids from other infected cats, it tears down the immune system and leaves the cat without protection against many common illnesses. Like FIV, symptoms of exposure may not emerge for months of years after contact, so it's important to test any cat for the virus before exposing it to other felines.


Cats, like their owners, can experience cancer when cells begin to grow at an accelerated rate. With nowhere else to go, the aggressively growing cancerous cells invade nearby healthy tissues and damage them, and it can leave the initial area where it formed and impact other system in the feline body. Cancer isn't contagious, but it's devastating nonetheless because treatment options are few, especially when cancer isn't diagnosed and treated in its early stages.

Woman with pet cat at emergency vet nocatee

Feline Distemper

Feline distemper, or panleukopenia, is a highly contagious disease that cats can get from exposure to other infected cats. It strikes quickly and can be spread through exposure to the bodily fluid of infected cats through blood, saliva, feces, or urine. It's almost always lethal in kittens, and it strikes the digestive tract and immune system aggressively. There are vaccines to protect against feline distemper, but in populations that are largely unvaccinated, it can be devastating.

Kidney Failure

While not common in younger cats, renal failure is a common cause of illness and death among older cats. It can be caused by old age, genetics, improper diet, or consumption of poisonous substances. There is little that can be done to treat it once it begins, though some cases can be mitigated with dietary improvements and medication.

If your cat exhibits signs of any medical distress, it's important to seek medical attention from your veterinarian immediately. Don't try to self-diagnose, since time can be an important factor in treating many of these common cat conditions. To schedule an appointment for your cat at Forever Vets Animal Hospital, an emergency vet care clinic in Nocatee, FL, visit us online or call 904-686-2779. Forever Vet Animal Hospital has 8 convenient locations with extended hour. Serving Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Orlando, Nocatee, St. Johns, St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and more.