Seven Common Afflictions and Diseases in Cats

Just like humans, cats can also get sick. Your cat can be happily playing one minute and then hiding the next, displaying signs of illness. Being able to identify the signs and symptoms of cat afflictions and diseases is crucial. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs, we have highlighted seven common afflictions and diseases to look out for in your cat.

1. Sickness

Vomiting is a very common problem that affects many felines, and it can be caused by several different factors. These factors can vary from a cat consuming something toxic or indigestible, to picking up a virus, developing a urinary tract infection or diabetes to even common hairballs.

If you have ever witnessed your cat vomit, then you will recognise the obvious symptoms which often include salivating and dry heaving. Always call your vet if your cat continues vomiting as they will lose plenty of fluid and be left feeling very dehydrated.

2. Fleas

Fleas are a very common external parasite that affects many cats, causing them considerable irritation and discomfort. Your cat’s warm moist fur can provide a welcoming home for fleas and if left untreated can attract future infestations. The good news is that fleas are easily treatable. If you are worried that your cat has fleas, then look out for the following signs and symptoms.

  • Flea dirt (tiny black spots on your cat’s skin)
  • Continuous scratching
  • Repeated licking
  • Sore and inflamed skin
  • Fur loss
  • Skin infections

There are many different flea control treatments available on the market today ranging from liquid drops to oral medication. If you are unsure about what best treatment to use, then speak to a qualified vet who can advise you on the best option for your cat.

3. Tapeworms

Tapeworms are one of the most common health issues found inside cats. Tapeworms survive inside a cat’s small intestine and have been known to grow to a staggering two feet in length. However, tapeworms typically break into pieces when expelled. It is very rare for a tapeworm to be discovered in one piece.

If your cat is infected by tapeworms, then common symptoms can include sickness and weight loss. If you are worried that your cat has tapeworms, then always check their faeces and anus. Tapeworms can often appear from your cat’s anus whilst they are resting and relaxed. Tapeworms often look like small white worms or like white seeds or rice grains. If you see these in your cats’ faeces, then it is highly likely they have worms. 

The good news is that tapeworm is easily treatable. Many cats suffering from tapeworms can get treated with an injection or by ingesting oral medicine. Cats typically get tapeworms if they have swallowed a flea, so always treat any flea issues that they have first before you treat tapeworms.  

4. Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is another common issue that affects many cats. Diarrhoea in cats can be the result of intestinal parasites, food poisoning, allergies, viruses, and in some extreme cases the result of liver disease or cancer.

Diarrhoea symptoms in cats can include faeces being very loose, runny, or appearing as a liquid stool. There are many issues that cause diarrhoea, and it can last for a day to even months in some extreme cases.  

If your cat is suffering with diarrhoea, then there is a high risk of them becoming dehydrated. Therefore, always offer your cat plenty of fresh water to keep them hydrated.  Monitor them closely and remove food for no more than twelve hours. If your cat has diarrhoea for more than a day and you notice blood in their stalls or if they are vomiting and losing their appetite, then take them to your vet immediately.

5. Eye Problems

There are a range of eye conditions that can affect your cat, with some being more common than others. The most common type of eye infections found in cats are often viral infections. Other eye problems in cats can typically include conjunctivitis, cataracts, glaucoma, injury, soreness, and retinal infections, to name but a few.

Symptoms in cats include watery eyes, stained fur around their eyes, eye gunk, excessive blinking, and pawing at their eye.

However, without knowing the root cause of your cat’s eye problem there is not a lot you can do other than speak with a qualified vet immediately.

6. Ear Problems

Ear problems in cats are very common. Your cat’s ears are incredibly sensitive and need to be kept clean to safeguard against any possible infections. Some common symptoms can include the following:
  • Ear discharge
  • Eye scratching
  • Red and inflamed ear flaps
  • Ears emitting a strong smell
  • Continuously tipping their head
  • Scabs and fur loss around their ears
  • A loss of balance

If you notice any of these symptoms, then it is advised to always visit your vet to get a professional opinion. Additionally, below are also some of the many ways your cat’s ears can become infected:

Ear mites

Ear mites are a surface mite that lives on cats and can burrow into their ears causing them to develop soreness and swelling.

Skin allergies

Many cats can become allergic to specific parasites or by consuming certain foods. Cats can then develop skin allergies which when scratched can easily become infected if bacteria gets in to the area.

Ear injuries

Ear injuries are also very common in cats and if not cleaned can also become infected. Keep a close eye on your cat for any signs of ear abrasions, wounds, or any sign of trauma, especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors.

Wax build-up

Your cat’s ears need to be regularly cleaned to stop dirt from building up often accumulated from their daily adventures. Excess dirt and wax can create the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive in which can cause possible infections.

7. Canker Sores

Another common affliction for cats is mouth ulcers—also known as canker sores. Canker sores are very painful for cats and can easily become inflamed and infected if not treated. Signs of canker sores can include:

  • Irritation and inflammation of their mouth area
  • Yellow and discoloration of their gums
  • Painful cat vocalisations
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sickness

There are many reasons that cause canker sores to develop in cats and these can include the following:

  • Malnourishment
  • Metabolic defects
  • Poor immune system
  • Foreign viruses
  • Acidic foods

Always monitor your cat’s teeth, mouth and gums and ensure that you look out for any symptoms mentioned above. If you are ever concerned about any of these symptoms, then always seek the professional help of a qualified vet.

Final thoughts…

We hope you found this article helpful. If you suspect your cat is suffering from any of the afflictions mentioned within this article and would like a professional opinion, then it is advised you book an appointment to see your vet. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs we are proud at providing a luxury cattery service for the Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Bedfordshire region. We operate in and around Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth and Baldock. Call us on 01462 742658 if you would like to enquire about our luxury cat boarding services.