How to Treat Common Cat Diseases

By: Dr. H. Ellen Whiteley
cat diseases
Learning how to spot and treat a disease in your cat can help ensure a long, happy life. See more cat pictures. GK Hart/Vikki Hart / Getty Images

Some people have the idea that animals carry all kinds of dangerous diseases. Some of those fears are well founded, especially among wild or exotic animals. But the truth is, there aren't very many serious diseases you can catch from a domestic animal -- and especially not from a pet. Otherwise, it wouldn't make very good pets, would they? There are, however, some diseases that can be very serious for your cat. In this article, we will review and provide treatment for various cat diseases over the following sections:

  • Cat Disease BasicsBefore you can understand how to diagnose a cat with a disease or go about curing one, there are a few fundamental facts you should know. First, we will dispel the myth that you can catch diseases from your cat. Most diseases like cancer or diabetes are not contagious anyway. There are, however, a few conditions that you can catch from your cat, and we will review these for you. Fleas or ticks, for example, can attach themselves to you just as easily as your cat.
  • Early Signs of Cat IllnessThere are many different types of diseases you cat can suffer from, but there are some general indications that your might not be feeling well. We will describe these telltale signs for you in this section. Changes in your cat's behavior, though hard to detect, can be a sign of a serious problem. Changes in appetite or elimination are also a strong sing that your cat is coming down with something. Finally, changes in your cat's appearance are also a sign to look for.
  • When to Call the VeterinarianWhile we want to give you the information you need to recognize a potentially dangerous disease in your cat, there are some problems that should only be handled by your veterinarian. Proper cat care is part or being a pet owner, but you should also know your limitations. In this section, we will tell you the situations that you should definitely not try to take care of yourself. Even if your cat already has an illness, we will tell you the signs you need to look for that your cat's symptoms have taken a turn for the worse.
  • How to Treat Cats With AsthmaA cat can be predisposed to asthma in the same way that humans are -- from allergies. And just like people with asthma, cats can also suffer asthma attacks. During an attack you cat will have trouble breathing and will be clearly struggling to catch her breath. If an attack is serious enough, it could be fatal for your cat. In this section, we will show you the steps you can take to ease your cat's asthma. Much like a human with asthma, you might have to asthma-proof your home for your cat.
  • How to Treat Cats With CystitisIf your cat has frequent urinary or bladder problems, they might develop a highly problematic disease named cystitis. Symptoms of this condition include blood in the urine, frequent urination, or difficulty urinating. Your cat can even form something similar to kidney stones, which can be very painful. In this section, we will show how you can reduce your cat's risk for cystitis. First of all, what you feed your cat can have an enormous affect on whether or not your cat contracts cystitis. Also, stress can play a role in affecting your cat's health.
  • How to Treat Cats With DiabetesMuch like in humans, an overweight cat has a significantly higher risk of contracting diabetes. Diabetes in cats works in the exact same way that it does in people -- the body's ability to produce insulin and process sugar is hampered. Diabetes is rare among cats, especially younger cats. However, a cat with diabetes can have very dire complications. In this section, we will show you how to diagnose cat diabetes and how to reduce your cat's chances of contracting the disease. We will also alert you to the signs that your cat could be falling into hypoglycemia.
  • How to Treat Cats With Feline Immunodeficiency VirusFeline Immunodeficiency Virus is sometimes referred to as feline AIDS, however, this is not entirely correct. There are some strong similarities between the two diseases, but the important distinction to make is that humans cannot, under any circumstances, catch the AIDS virus from a cat. This was a common misconception among pet owners that has lead to a lot of anxiety in the past. We will tell you how to get your cat tested for this virus and what to do if your cat has a positive reading. We will also show you how to treat your cat symptoms and how to work with your veterinarian.
  • How to Treat Cats With Kidney DiseaseKidney disease can be a silent killer of cats. The major problem is that a cat with kidney disease will probably not show any outward signs of illness until the disease has progressed to a dangerous point. Kidney disease can eventually result in kidney failure, which is often fatal for cats. We will tell you what the signs of kidney disease are and how to spot them.
  • How to Treat Cats With Liver DiseaseUnlike kidney disease, liver disease will have outward symptoms that you will notice. The only problem is, the signs of liver disease are easily mistaken for other common illnesses. We will describe the warning signs of liver disease and show you how to tell them apart from other disorders. We will also show you how to work with your vet to treat your cat.
  • How to Treat Cats With Tooth and Gum DiseaseIf plaque builds up on cat's teeth, your cat can develop gum disease. If left untreated, your cat's gum disease could result in pain and the loss of appetite. In this section, we will show you how to administer proper dental care to your cat. We will show you the proper ways to brush your cat's teeth and what foods with produce healthy teeth for your cat.
  • How to Treat Cats With Upper Respiratory DiseaseIf you come down with a cold, you can probably assume that you have been exposed to a germ or virus. If your cat catches a cold, there are a small number of feline viruses that you can attribute the illness to. There are vaccines for theses viruses, but they do not guarantee that your cat will never catch a cold again. In this section, we will show how to prevent upper respiratory diseases and how to stop your cat from spreading them around the neighborhood.