Top 10 Feline Diseases Every Cat Owner Should Know

  Apr 2, 2024

Are you planning to add a feline member to your family? No wonder, feline companions bring immeasurable joy, comfort, and companionship to our lives, so, as a loving master of your feline, it is your responsibility to ensure their well-being.

No matter, if you’re an experienced cat owner or about to get a cat for the first time, you’ll need to expect times when your pet gets ill just like human babies.

You need to hear the fact that cats are prone to certain conditions. Considering this, it could be a smart move to do some research, and you can easily spot the tell-tale signs of sickness.

To keep your cat in its best shape, you have to be familiar with some common cat diseases. And, to lessen your research work, we have mentioned 10 feline diseases, every cat owner should know.

Dental Disease

Tooth and gum disease is by far the most common disease among cats. Mostly, middle-aged or older cats will have at least some plaque or tartar on their teeth. Besides, it could include everything from gum disease and bad breath to tooth decay and loss.

Periodontal can lead to discomfort and may show a significant impact on organs like the heart and kidneys.

The best way to prevent them from dental diseases is to brush their teeth regularly and schedule professional dental cleanings with a veterinarian.

 the U.S. veterinary oncology market size

As per the reports from 2022, the U.S. veterinary oncology market size was valued at USD 87.96 million which is further expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.0% from 2023 to 2030. 

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Kidney disease in cats begins as your cat companion gets older. In cats, it refers to the inability of the kidneys to work properly or filter waste products from the blood. Mainly, there are two main types of kidney disease in cats i.e. acute kidney injury (AKI) and chronic kidney disease (CKD).

 Difference Between AKI and CKD

What causes kidney disorders? Aging is the foremost factor, other than that, high blood pressure, toxicity, infections, stones, or tumors give rise to it.

Symptoms of CKD include drinking and urinating more frequently than usual, weight loss, vomiting, lethargy, and eating less.

Unfortunately, nothing can be done to repair the kidneys when they fail. But, still, you can give your cat a prescription diet and supportive care to cope for as long as possible. 

Upper Respiratory Infections (URI)  

Think of your cat with a stuffy nose and sneezing fits – that’s what URI looks like. Feline URIs are very similar to the common cold in humans which is caused by several different viruses (like feline herpesvirus and calicivirus) and bacteria. It includes signs like sinus congestion, sneezing, fever, and runny eyes.

To prevent such infection, you are advised to maintain a clean and stress-free environment for your cat. And, the moment you notice any symptoms, consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)

In this condition, the cat pops back and forth to the litter box every few minutes. Even, your feline might strain, experience painful urination, or pass blood in their urine. In medical terms, this condition or disease is known as feline lower urinary tract disease.

It can become life-threatening if left untreated. For its prevention, plenty of fresh water and a high-quality diet is required. 


Middle-aged or older cats are mostly affected by hyperthyroidism. It occurs when glands produce too much of the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4). It occurs due to a goiter (thyroid enlargement or lump).

Cats with high thyroid hormonal imbalance suffer from diarrhea and vomiting. Noticeable symptoms like weight loss, increased appetite, and restlessness should be taken seriously. 

For its cure, the veterinarian might suggest surgery to remove the gland or radioactive iodine therapy.

Diabetes Mellitus 

Diabetes isn’t just a human condition, even cats and dogs are affected by it. This is yet another chronic condition that mainly affects a cat’s endocrine (hormone) system. In this metabolic disease, the pancreas won’t produce enough insulin to lower its blood sugar.

The warning signs of your feline being affected by diabetes include excessive thirst and constant peeing. 

The best way to prevent it is to feed your cat a nutritious diet and maintain a healthy weight.  

Skin Conditions 

 Cat Skin Conditions

If your cat is constantly scratching and licking, a skin problem may be to blame. It is because cats are susceptible to skin infections, parasites, allergies, and many more like humans. Feline acne, bacterial infection, yeast infection, ringworm, sporotrichosis, fleas, etc. are some of the skin conditions your cat might suffer from.

Fast Fact:
Studies have shown that abscesses are the most common cause of skin disease in feline patients.

Common signs of skin disease in cats include excessive scratching, licking, or chewing of the fur, loss of fur, swelling or bumps, scabby, scaly, or flaky skin, and redness. 

The diagnosis might rely on how a cat will react to a trial of medical therapy or dietary modification.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Just like dogs, cats occasionally get an upset stomach. The main causes of gastrointestinal Issues in cats include hairballs, ingestion of foreign objects, food, stress, parasites, food allergies, or infections.

This disease has a variety of symptoms like vomiting, weight loss, constipation, diarrhea, etc. And, to prevent such issues, cat owners are suggested to change their diet and if that doesn’t change anything, schedule an appointment with a vet. 

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

FeLV and FIV are believed to be a serious viral infection that compromises an immune system and leaves your feline vulnerable to other diseases. Its transmission usually happens through saliva from nasal contact or bites. 

FIV causes immunosuppression but is not transmissible to people. Their symptoms include lethargy, pale gums, breathing problems, and several chronic infections

To prevent this, look no further and consult a veterinarian straight ahead. 


Cancer affects cats too, yes, you heard it right. It occurs when the cells replicate uncontrollably, which often leads to tumors. Just like humans, different types of cancers affect different parts of the cat’s body.

For instance, lymphoma is the most common cancer that occurs in the small intestines. The other kinds of cancers are soft-tissue sarcomas, squamous cell carcinoma, and mammary carcinoma.

Symptoms of cancer drastically vary from just a visible lump to weight loss, vomiting, and diarrhea, loss of appetite. 

The treatment even depends on the cancer type which ranges from chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, and immunotherapy.

Final Words 

Now, that you know the most common disease your cat might get affected with, it is your responsibility to be aware. Understanding these conditions and taking action at your earliest convenience might save your furry companion from leaving your side. 

Preventive measures penned in this guide are worth looking at because it’s necessary to educate ourselves first to enjoy healthy lives filled with joy and companionship.

At any moment you are in doubt, kindly seek help!