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What are some common cat illnesses & symptoms?

What are some common cat illnesses & symptoms?

Several cat illnesses and their symptoms may cause you concern, and if left untreated for an extended period, they can be fatal. Our Fremont veterinarians provide information on warning signs and symptoms.

What are some common cat illnesses?

Here are some illnesses to be aware of as a cat parent. If necessary, make an appointment with your veterinarian, especially since cats tend to isolate themselves when they are sick. The following are three common feline illnesses and their symptoms.

Upper Respiratory Infections

Viruses and bacteria can infect your cat's upper respiratory tract, which includes its throat, nose, and sinuses. Cats can contract feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus from something as simple as sharing a food or water bowl in multi-cat households and shelters.

They can transmit this virus to other cats the same way, or by sneezing or coughing. It can also be passed during grooming. 

Symptoms include:

  • Gagging, drooling
  • Runny nose or clear/colored nasal discharge
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Decreased or lost appetite
  • Congestion 


If a cat doesn't produce sufficient insulin to balance blood sugar or glucose levels, they develop diabetes mellitus. Left untreated, it may lead to several serious symptoms, such as:

  • Thirst
  • Increased urination
  • The increased appetite (as the body cannot use the energy in food) or loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Motor function problems
  • Coma
  • Death

Diabetes can shorten a cat's lifespan and cause a variety of health problems, including nerve disorders if it is not properly managed. It could also lead to life-threatening situations. Insulin injections may be used as part of the treatment, which will be aimed at managing the condition.


Cancer is caused by uncontrolled cell growth, which can affect a wide range of organs and cells in a cat's body. Before attaching to the tissue beneath the skin and potentially spreading to other areas, the disease begins to develop within a cell.

Feline Leukemia Virus, which cats can be tested for, is a common cause of cancer. Toxic substances in the environment are another cause. Your veterinarian may be able to treat cancer if it is discovered early during a physical exam.

Symptoms include:

  • Lumps or bumps that change in size or shape
  • Sores that do not heal
  • The odor from the mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding or discharge
  • Marked increase or decrease in appetite
  • Chronic weight loss
  • Difficulty urinating or defecating

A variety of treatments, such as radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy, may be tried depending on whether the tumor is caught and diagnosed early enough, the type of cancer and its extent, specific location within the body, etc., whether an effective treatment plan can be developed, and other factors.

What should I do if my cat is ill?

If your cat is sick and showing any of the symptoms listed above, you should take them to the vet right away. We have an in-house laboratory, onsite pharmacy, and emergency clinic at Ace Animal Hospital to provide your pet with the care they require (help for after-hours emergencies is also available).

Do you suspect your cat is sick? Our vets are experienced in diagnosing and treating many common illnesses and conditions. Book an appointment at Ace Animal Hospital today.

New Patients Welcome

Ace Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Fremont companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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