Infectious Diseases

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Filed in Cats, Health

If cats aren't properly vaccinated, they can pass on diseases to other cats and sometimes even to humans. Diseases are passed on through cat fights, flea bites, feces, vermin and through discharges from the eyes, nose or mouth of an infected cat. If your cat is an outdoor cat, it's imperative to have him vaccinated, but it's just as important to have your indoor cat given all the necessary shots as well, just in case your cat escapes.

Here is a list of common feline diseases along with the symptoms that accompany them.

  • AIDS: This feline immunodeficiency virus infection is related to the HIV/AIDS virus in humans. It's transmitted through the saliva injected from an infected cat to a non-infected cat through fight-induced bite wounds. There is no vaccine available on the market for this.
  • Calicivirus: This respiratory illness is caused when your cat breathes or swallows the virus. Symptoms include runny eyes and nose, sneezing, loss of appetite, mouth ulcers, drooling, and depression.
  • Feline Leukemia: This virus is spread through contact with the saliva, blood, urine, or feces of an infected cat. It attacks a cat's immune system and no discernible symptoms may be observable. Watch for mouth, eye, or skin infections, as well as respiratory problems.
  • Infectious Anemia: This disease, which destroys red blood cells and results in anemia, is caused by a parasite. Contact with the blood of an infected cat or through flea bites is the cause. Look for a loss of appetite and weight, depression and a difficulty in breathing.
  • Panleukopenia: This viral disease, also called parvo-virus and feline distemper, is contracted through contact with the secretions or feces of an infected cat. Symptoms include severe diarrhea, fever, and loss of appetite, vomiting, dehydration, and depression.
  • Pneunmonitis: This disease is contracted through contact with discharges from the eyes, nose, or mouth of an infected cat. It's caused by the organism chlamydia and affects the eyeball and the lining of the eyelids. Signs included squinting, teary eyes, and red eyelids, along with eye discharge eventually turning yellow or green. Sneezing or coughing could also follow.
  • Rhinotracheitis: This virus is spread by contact through discharges from the eyes, nose or mouth of an infected cat and affects the eyes, nasal passages and windpipe. Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, and runny eyes and nose. 

 Remember to always keep your cat's vaccinations current. Check with your veterinarian for a list of other diseases and viruses that your cat might be susceptible to.

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