There are many different kinds of diseases that can affect cats. Most of these diseases fall under two categories; metabolic and infectious. An infectious disease is caused by a parasite, bacteria, fungus, or virus that can be passed on from cat to cat.
Metabolic diseases are a disorder of body functions or an organ system. These two diseases can range from mild to severe and can be found in kittens as well as adult cats.
Diabetes is the most common metabolic disease found in cats. The symptoms include an increase in urination and water consumption and rapid weight loss in a short amount of time. Many cats who are treated will go on to live long lives with little to no complications. Cats who are not treated have a higher risk of dying quickly.
Kidney disease is the other most common metabolic problem found in cats. The job of the kidneys is to rid the body of its liquid waste and to regulate and balance out the fluids in the body. When the kidneys shut down the cat will become sick and dehydrated because of the accumulation of waste in the body. Symptoms include an increase in thirst, weight loss, and a loss of appetite. Veterinarians will usually treat this disease with special fluids, diets, and medications.
Urinary tract disease is caused when the bladder is inflamed due to microscopic crystal accumulation or a bacterial infection. Symptoms include frequent trips to the litter box, cries in pain when urinating, or urinates in places that is not its litter box. Your local vet should take a look at your cat if you notice these symptoms so that they can treat them immediately. Many cats who are not treated in a proper time frame will have blockage – which – can be life threatening.
The most common infectious disease found in cats in upper respiratory infection complex or URI. When humans have this problem we call it a cold. It can be brought on by several different viruses that can be easily passed around from cat to cat. Symptoms include runny nose, runny eyes, fever, and sneezing. Vets can treat your cat with a vaccination.
Unlike what most people think ringworm is not caused by a worm – but by a fungus. This is found in many cats who are in close confinement with other cats (i.e. breeding colony or shelter). It is possible for cats to become infected with ringworm by touching fungus spores in the soil. Symptoms include red, dry, scaly skin and hair loss. The dry skin will cause the cat to scratch because it is itchy. Ringworm can be spread to humans so it is important to take your cat to your local veterinarian to treat immediately.