Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

What are some common cat illnesses & symptoms?

What are some common cat illnesses & symptoms?

There are various illnesses and symptoms in cats that could make you worried and if some are left untreated can even be fatal. That's why our vets in Louisa are explaining some signs and symptoms you should be aware of.

Common Cat Illnesses

If you are a parent of a cat there are several things you should know about. One of them is to always be ready to visit a veterinarian if you have to, especially because cats usually isolate themselves by instinct when they are sick. Below we talk about 3 common illnesses in cats and their symptoms.  

Upper Respiratory Infections

Your cat's upper respiratory tract (which includes their throat, nose, and sinuses) can become infected with bacteria and viruses. They are often passed around in multi-cat households and shelters. Cats can contract feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus through something as basic as sharing a food or water bowl. 

They can spread this virus to other cats in the same way, or by coughing or sneezing. It can also be transmitted during grooming. 

Symptoms include:

  • Congestion 
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Gagging, drooling
  • Runny nose or clear/colored nasal discharge
  • Decreased or lost appetite


If a cat doesn't produce sufficient insulin to balance blood sugar or glucose levels, they can develop diabetes mellitus. Left untreated, it could lead to several serious symptoms, such as:

  • Thirst
  • Dehydration
  • Increased urination
  • An Increase in appetite (as the body cannot use the energy in food) or loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Motor function problems
  • Coma
  • Death

If diabetes is poorly controlled, the disease could shorten a cat's lifespan and cause numerous health problems such as nerve disorders. It might also result in severe emergency situations. Treatment may include insulin injections and will be focused on managing this condition. 


Uncontrolled growth of cells can cause cancer, which can affect many organs and cells in a cat's body. The disease begins to develop within a cell before it attaches to tissue below the skin and potentially spreading to other areas. 

A common contributor to cancer is Feline Leukemia Virus, which cats can be vaccinated against. Other causes include environmental toxins. If caught early during a physical exam, your veterinarian might be able to treat cancer. 

Symptoms include:

  • Lumps or bumps that change in size or shape
  • Sores that do not heal
  • An odor from the mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding or discharge
  • Marked increase or decrease in appetite
  • Chronic weight loss
  • Difficulty urinating or defecating

Depending on whether the tumor is caught and diagnosed early enough, the type of cancer, its extent, its specific location in the body, and other factors can determine a number of treatments such as radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy that might be attempted. 

What To Do If Your Cat Is Sick

If your cat is ill and is displaying any of the symptoms listed above, it's very important to bring them to the vet as early as possible. At Tri-County Animal Clinic we have an in-house laboratory, onsite pharmacy, and emergency clinic to help give your feline companion the care they require.

If you believe your cat is sick or if they are showing any of the signs or symptoms mentioned above bring them to see our vets at Tri-County Animal Clinic today.

New Patients Welcome

Tri-County Animal Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Louisa companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

Contact (606) 673-1144