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Cat Illnesses Symptoms

Cat Illnesses Symptoms

It is vital that you seek veterinary care anytime your cat is feeling unwell. Leaving health conditions untreated can have serious consequences for your cat. Here, our Southern Wisconsin vets talk about some of the most common illnesses in cats and the symptoms to watch for.

What are the most common illnesses in cats and their symptoms?

As a pet parent, there are a number of different symptoms you can watch for in order to spot illnesses as soon as they start. It is crucial that you get your cat to the vet if you think that they may be sick in order to prevent complications.

Here are some of the most common illnesses in cats and the symptoms that may be experienced with each one:

Feline Upper Respiratory Infections

Viruses and bacteria can cause serious infections that can affect your cat's respiratory system. Often passed around in multi-cat households and shelters, cats may contract feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus through something as basic as sharing a food or water dish. 

Cats can quickly transmit this virus to other cats the same way, as well as by sneezing or coughing. It can also be passed along when grooming. 

Some of the common symptoms that may be present with respiratory infections in cats include:

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

Diabetes in Cats

If a cat is unable to produce sufficient insulin to balance blood sugar or glucose levels, they develop diabetes mellitus. Untreated this condition may lead to some very serious symptoms, such as:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Dehydration
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Motor function problems
  • Coma
  • Death

If diabetes is poorly managed, the disease could shorten your cat's lifespan and lead to numerous health problems such as nerve disorders. If not properly managed, diabetes in cats can cause serious health complications and emergency situations. Treatment can include insulin injections and will be focused on the long-term management of this condition. 


Cancer can affect cats of all ages and breeds. The disease first begins to develop within a cell, before it attaches to tissue below the skin and potentially spreads to other areas of the cat's body. 

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

Symptoms of cancer in cats include:

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

Based on whether the tumor is caught and diagnosed early enough, the type of cancer, the extent of the disease, and the specific location of the tumor within the body, an effective treatment plan may be developed to treat your cat's cancer. Treatments such as radiation, surgery and chemotherapy are often used to treat cancer in cats. 

What to Do if Your Cat is Sick

If your feline friend is unwell and exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, it's critical to bring them to the vet as soon as possible. At Badger Veterinary Hospital, we have an in-house laboratory and onsite vet pharmacy to provide your pet with the care they need.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your cat showing the symptoms associated with any of the conditions listed above? Book an appointment at Badger Veterinary Hospital today for your feline friend.

New Patients Welcome

Badger Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients. Our team is passionate about the health of animals from across Southern Wisconsin. Contact our closest location to book your first appointment today!

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