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    Cat Illness Guide

    Articlecat health and wellbeingFriday 20 May 2011
    Cats can be prone to a variety of different illnesses, some are quite common and not dissimilar to conditions that we can contract and some are very specific and serious to cats. One of the main problems with cat illness is that the symptoms are often very similar. Cat illnesses can sometimes be present without the owner even realising. This guide will familiarise you with some of the most common cat illnesses to help you spot them as early as possible. If a cat is sick, their behaviour often changes so you should keep an eye out for this. If you suspect your cat is unwell, contact a vet as soon as possible.

    Upper Respiratory Infections

    These cat illnesses can be best likened to the common cold in humans. Sick cats that are suffering from these sorts of conditions often exhibit a runny nose, fever, sneezing, a loss of appetite and sometimes bloodshot eyes. Many of these symptoms are present in the human equivalent.

    These sorts of cat illnesses are often contagious and spread through the air. Consequently, sick cats should not share food bowls or have contact with healthy cats until the condition has cleared up. These cat illnesses can often be prevented with a vaccination.

    Parasitical Infections

    The most common place for this type of cat illness is the intestine and include worms such as roundworm, tapeworm and hookworms. Heartworms also exist but are quite rare. One of the best ways to spot if your cat is suffering from worms is by inspecting the faeces. They look like a grain of uncooked rice. Sick cats often have trouble gaining weight or dramatically lose weight. Intestinal parasites are usually very simple to clear up with a wide range of medications.

    Allergic Dermatitis

    Allergic Dermatitis refers to conditions of the skin, often as a reaction to various different substances. These can include flea bites as well as reactions to certain foods. Sick cats can be spotted by the red, scaly and sometimes crusting areas on their skin as well as hair loss, blisters and excessive scratching.
    There are a wide range of treatments for these conditions depending on the type and scale of the cat illness. These can range from special shampoos, to anti-inflammatory medicines and corticosteroids. However, the best way to stop these sorts of cat illnesses is prevention. If flea bites are making the cat sick, use necessary flea control and if it is food, identify it and remove it.

    Feline Panleukopenia

    This cat illness is highly contagious and is also known as cat distemper. It is a viral disease and sick cats should be kept away from other cats as well as not sharing bedding or a food bowl due to the risk of spreading the disease. This cat illness can be spotted by symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting and loss of appetite. Any cat sick should be cleaned up straight away to reduce the risk of infection. This virus can be vaccinated against.

    Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

    FIV is similar to the human condition AIDS. The cat illness isn’t the same however and cannot be passed to humans. Sick cats are affected in their immune system where the virus attacks and they have normally contracted the virus through being bitten. Obvious symptoms include diarrhoea, respiratory problems, loss of appetite and chronic severe infections. This cat illness can be prevented by a vaccination or by keeping the cat indoors.

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