Cats, like other animals, can suffer from various diseases. Understanding common diseases in cats can help owners recognize symptoms early and provide timely treatment. Below are some common diseases that cats may suffer from:


Upper Respiratory Tract Infection


Chronic upper respiratory tract infection in cats is one of the common and highly contagious diseases, especially affecting cats under 1 year old, posing a complex issue for multi-cat households and breeding facilities. The disease often causes cats to have runny noses, coughing, sometimes conjunctivitis, and in severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia and death.



  • Runny nose;
  • Sneezing;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Heavy breathing or snoring due to difficulty breathing;
  • Labored breathing (noisy breathing through the mouth due to obstruction of airflow through the nose or throat).



  • Regular vaccinations, maintaining a clean environment, avoiding contact with sick cats;
  • Regular veterinary check-ups and preventive care can help identify and treat problems early;
  • Practicing good hygiene and thorough handwashing when handling and caring for cats.



Dental Disease


Dental disease in cats causes discomfort, pain, and serious damage to health. Prolonged conditions can affect eating habits. Additionally, cats may experience broken or missing teeth, dental crowding, oral tumors, etc. Cats are often adept at hiding pain. The disease progresses silently over time and is challenging to detect early on.



  • Bad breath;
  • Difficulty eating, loss of appetite, and reduced food intake;
  • Missing or loose teeth;
  • Pawing at the mouth or rubbing the mouth on the ground;
  • Yellow or brown tartar on teeth;
  • Bleeding gums or red gums (or blood on chew toys or in food and water bowls);
  • Excessive drooling;
  • Irritability, discomfort;
  • Weight loss;
  • Inflammation in the mouth, mouth pain.


  • Gum care, regular dental hygiene, regular oral health checks;
  • Kittens' teeth should be cleaned twice a year, X-rays taken, polished, and diseased teeth removed when necessary. X-rays are essential as they can detect dental issues early in cats;
  • Adhering to vaccination schedules as viruses can cause gum inflammation/gingivitis. Do not be complacent thinking that indoor cats do not need vaccination;
  • Keep the cat's feeding area clean.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)


FIP is an infectious disease caused by a coronavirus in cats. It can affect multiple organs and body systems of cats and is often fatal.


Affected Group

Cats of all ages infected with the Corona virus may be at risk of developing FIP. Additionally, cats with weakened immune systems such as kittens, cats infected with feline leukemia virus (FeLV), and older cats are also at risk. Most FIP viruses develop in cats under 2 years old, but cats of all ages can still be infected.



  1. Typical form: characterized by the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, or in the chest (but less common), cats may have symptoms similar to atypical forms, including weight loss, fever, loss of appetite, and lethargy. However, the progression is often rapid, cats suddenly have a swollen abdomen, due to the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity when there is too much fluid, it can cause respiratory failure. FIP is difficult to diagnose because each cat may show different symptoms, and the symptoms resemble many other diseases. 
  2. Atypical form: This form does not manifest externally. Cats will manifest less clearly than the typical form, symptoms include chronic weight loss, depression, anemia, prolonged fever that cannot be treated with antibiotics.


  • Limit contact with sick cats, maintain environmental hygiene;
  • FIP vaccine: There is a vaccine available to prevent FIP (Primucell, Pfizer Animal Health, New York).





Diabetes in cats is a common metabolic disorder. This disease occurs when a cat's body cannot produce enough insulin to control blood sugar levels, or the body cannot use insulin effectively.



  • Frequent and more frequent urination: Cats with diabetes will urinate more frequently than usual and more often throughout the day;
  • Drinking more water than usual: Cats with diabetes often have a greater need for water than usual because their bodies lose water more quickly;
  • Weight loss: Although cats may eat more than usual, they can still lose weight due to inefficient use of glucose and other nutrients;
  • Increased appetite: Because the body cannot use glucose, cats with diabetes will feel hungry more quickly and tend to eat more;
  • Difficulty breathing: Cats with diabetes may breathe heavily or breathe faster;
  • Matted fur: The fur of cats with diabetes may become matted and dull.



  • Dietary management, increased physical activity. Typically, the diet for diabetic cats will include high-fiber, low-fat, low-sugar foods, and may supplement essential nutrients like taurine;
  • Insulin injections: If your cat has type 1 diabetes, the veterinarian will inject insulin to help control blood sugar levels. Typically, cats need to be injected with insulin daily according to a predetermined schedule. However, insulin treatment needs to be done correctly and accurately to avoid dangerous conditions;
  • Monitor for infections: Cats with diabetes may also be prone to urinary tract infections or other infections. Therefore, monitoring for infections and overall health of cats is crucial;
  • Regular monitoring: Cats with diabetes need to be regularly monitored by a veterinarian to check their health status and blood sugar levels. Regular monitoring helps detect and adjust health issues in a timely manner;
  • Weight control: Body mass index (BMI) of cats is also an important factor in controlling diabetes. Make sure your cat is not overweight or obese.


Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)


Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a significant infectious disease for domestic cats, present worldwide due to a type of virus belonging to the Retrovirus family. It is the same type of virus as feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).



Cats infected with FIV go through three stages of the disease, similar to HIV infection in humans.

  1. Acute stage or acute stage: This stage is typically characterized by fever, swollen lymph nodes, sensitive skin, and susceptibility to infection or intestinal infection. Usually occurs 4-6 weeks after exposure to FIV;
  2. The second stage is the latent or subclinical stage: This stage can last for many years and usually has no obvious symptoms. In this stage, the immune system may gradually deteriorate, and when immune deficiency becomes severe, the third stage of infection will occur;
  3. The third stage is the final clinical stage similar to AIDS and most commonly occurs in cats aged 5-12 years. 
  4. In this final clinical stage, the cat's immune system cannot function because the FIV virus has killed immune cells in the system. Therefore, the cat's body is prone to infections caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites. Typically, they are unlikely to cause severe illness in cats. But since they are not controlled by the immune system, they will proliferate rapidly and cause disease. These diseases are called opportunistic infections.



In fact, there is still no specific antibody to treat FIV infection. And because cats can carry the bacteria for a long time before symptoms appear, treatment mainly focuses on prolonging the asymptomatic phase, or when symptoms gradually appear, to reduce bacterial activity according to the signs of the disease that the cat is suffering from.


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