Cat Diseases

Upper Respiratory Infections

Cats are prone to many types of respiratory illnesses. See the vaccination section for the many that are protected against by vaccination.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

This is a virus that cannot be cured. It can lead to feline AIDS. A cat with FIV is prone to many other illnesses. It is most commonly spread by bite wounds. If your cat is found to have this disease, the best thing to do is to make it an indoor cat.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis

This is a progressive and highly fatal and incurable disease that affects cats. It is caused by mutation of a common feline virus called coranavirus. Treatment and testing for FIP is difficult.

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)

This a virus that attacks the immune system and lessens the cats defenses against other diseases. It is a common infection and is the leading cause of deaths in cats in comparison to other organisms. It is widespread in the cat population. It can be passed by bites or passed from mother to kittens during pregnancy.

Ear mites

These are most commonly found in cats. Cats can share these with dogs. If your cat is constantly scratching his or her ears, have your veterinarian check for ear mites. It could be mites or an ear infection. Economical treatments are available.


Ringworm is a fungal infection. In kittens as well as grown cats look for patchy areas of missing hair, especially around the feet and face. Ringworm can be spread to other cats, dogs and people. The veterinarian will use a wood’s light and/or a culture to initially look for this fungus. If you pick it up from your cat, you will need to see your doctor for treatment.

Eye discharges

Many kittens can develop eye problems. Infections that, if left untreated, can result in the loss of one or both eyes.


Rabies is a viral disease of mammals most often spread by the bite of an infected animal. The virus infects the central nervous system and ultimately causes death. Once the symptoms appear, the disease is largely untreatable. Once symptoms do appear, death usually follows within ten days. It is most commonly spread by bites. The law requires a routine vaccination against rabies.