Many people have cats, however only few of them know about the most common cat illnesses and their typical symptoms. Getting informed about some of the typical cat diseases allow you to much better protect your pet. Because, once you realize the symptoms, you can immediately react and your pet can get required treatment instantaneously, which will allow your cat to recover much quicker.


This will not only reduce the severity of most cat illnesses, but also the stress your cat or kitten is suffering from when she is sick. That’s why it is really important that you get informed about some of the typical feline diseases, their symptoms and the immediate actions that should be taken to better protect your beloved pet.

Providing loving care for your cat or kitten is just one of your responsibilities as a pet owner. But it’s equally important to assure optimal nutrition for your cat and to take the right actions in case your pet becomes sick.

Some cat diseases will require the help of a qualified veterinarian, but there are also many cases where such help won’t be needed. Often it takes only simple actions when you recognize early symptoms to allow your cat to quickly regain its full strength and health. And of course, there are also certain precautions you should take to protect your cat as much as possible from getting sick.

Now let’s have a quick look at some of the more common cat diseases and their symptoms:

Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infection is a frequent cat illness. Typical symptoms are that your cat may whine or yelp when using the litter box. In rare cases, even blood may be found in the urine. You may also notice that your cat makes more frequent trips to the litter box without getting any urine to pass.

Cat urinary tract infection causes kitten a lot of pain and your cat may begin to urinate all throughout the house. The reason for that is because your cat relates the pain to the location she is urinating rather than to an internal problem.

Often, feline UTI varies in severity. Some mild cases will even be gone before you even realize. But there are also more severe cases, which will require the help of a veterinarian. Your vet will often use antibiotics to treat this cat illness, which will cure urinary tract infection in most cases.

In some rare cases and if not treated properly, cat UTI can cause complications and spread to the kidneys, which will cause your cat a lot of pain. A blockage that prevents your cat from urinating can quickly become life threatening. And that’s why it’s really important to consult a vet as soon as you realize some of the symptoms mentioned above.

Signs Your Cat May Be Sick


Cats are often infested by worms. The most common types of worms are:

  • Roundworms: Cats sometimes get these kinds of worms by eating infected lizards, mice or birds.
  • Hookworms: These are very small worms with hook like mouth parts that burrow into your cat’s intestinal wall and suck blood. They can cause anemia, black or bloody diarrhea and in more serious cases even death in kittens.
  • Tapeworms
  • Heartworms

The question now is, how do you realize that your cat has worms? Here are the most typical symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea (might contain blood)
  • The cat’s coat may be in poor condition
  • Anemia – The cat or kitten has pale gums
  • The cat has a pot belly appearance – especially in kittens
  • Worm segments around the anal area. These segments look like small grains of rice or sesame seeds
  • The cat loses weight

Worms can easily be cured with the appropriate medication. If worms are not treated, they can cause serious health problems.

Additional information on cat worms can be found at: Cat Worms – Common Types of Feline Worms and Typical Symptoms


Typical causes of vomiting are:

  • Intake of irritant or toxic substances
  • Gastric disease
  • Minor digestive upset
  • Cat needs to eliminate a hair ball
  • Travel sickness – caused by a disturbance of the balance organs in the inner ear

In case your cat or kitten is vomiting, food should not be given for about eight hours (except your cat is vomiting a hair ball – that’s normal and there is nothing to worry about), but a small quantity of water can be given after two hours as long as this does not provoke more vomiting.

Continue to give water every hour until the cat is no longer thirsty. When feeding is resumed, offer a small quantity of a bland food at fist and then gradually increase the quantity to the normal amount. If vomiting resumes, is persistent or is accompanied by other symptoms, take the cat to a veterinarian.

Additional information on cat vomiting can be found at: Is Your Cat Vomiting or Throwing Up Frequently?

Cat Diarrhea

Here are some typical symptoms for cat diarrhea:

  • Intestinal parasites and worms
  • Bacterial or viral infection
  • Medication: diarrhea can be caused as a side effect if your cat is treated for another illness.
  • Eating the wrong kind of food or too much food.
  • A sudden change in your cats or kittens diet

Diarrhea often doesn’t last for more than 24 hours – if it does it is recommended to withhold all food for the next 24 hours. However, this only applies to adult cats. Don’t do this with your kitten, because they may become hypoglycemic (dizzy and lethargic due to low blood sugar levels). Water should also be reduced to only small quantities every few hours.

Additional information on cat diarrhea can be found at: Feline Diarrhea, Cat Diarrhea – Causes and Cures

Upper Respiratory Infection

Upper respiratory infections in cats or kittens are very similar to the common cold in humans. Also be aware that these infections are airborne and that they can easily be transmitted among cats through contact with the ill cat or by sharing items such as food bowls.

Typical symptoms are:

This of course is not a comprehensive list of cat illnesses, it’s just a brief overview of some of the more common feline diseases. The cat diseases listed above as well as others are treated in greater detail in the Cat Illnesses blog on this site.

And yes, I know some of these cat diseases can be really worrisome, but the more informed you are the better you’ll be able to recognize symptoms at an early stage and to take the appropriate actions to best possible help your cat.

So, once again, remember: spotting symptoms of typical cat illnesses early will allow for early treatment, faster cure and reduced risk and stress for your pet. Also, in case you are not absolutely sure what to do, I highly recommend you get help from a qualified veterinarian to look after your cat.

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