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What are some common cat illnesses & symptoms?

What are some common cat illnesses & symptoms?

Many cat illnesses and their symptoms can cause concern and could become fatal if not treated promptly. Our veterinarian in Roswell provides information on the signs and symptoms to watch out for. 

What are some common cat illnesses?

If you're a cat owner, it's essential to know about some common cat illnesses. Cats often hide when they're unwell, so it's crucial to be ready to see a vet when needed. Here, we'll discuss three prevalent cat illnesses and their symptoms.

Upper Respiratory Infections

Viruses and bacteria can infect your cat's throat, nose, and sinuses. This often happens in homes with multiple cats and shelters. Cats can catch feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus through something as basic as sharing a food or water bowl. 

They can transmit this virus to other cats through 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 make enough insulin to control their blood sugar or glucose levels, they can get diabetes mellitus. If not treated, this can cause some serious  symptoms like:

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

If diabetes is poorly controlled, the disease can shorten a cat's lifespan and lead to numerous health problems, such as nerve disorders. It may also result in severe emergency situations. Treatment can include insulin injections and will be focused on managing this condition. 


Unregulated cell growth can lead to cancer, which can affect a wide range of organs and cells in a cat's body. Initially, the disease begins within a single cell and later connects to tissue beneath the skin, potentially spreading to other areas. 

A common contributor to cancer is the Feline Leukemia Virus, which cats can be diagnosed against. Other causes include environmental toxins. If caught early during a physical exam, your vet may be able to treat cancer. 

Symptoms include:

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

The choice of treatment for cancer depends on various factors, like how early the tumor is detected, the type and stage of cancer, where it's located in the body, and more. Depending on these factors and the possibility of creating an effective treatment plan, treatment options like radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy can be considered.

What should I do if my cat is ill?

If your cat is sick and exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, it's critical to bring them to the vet as soon as possible. At Animal Emergency Center of North Fulton, we have an in-house laboratory, onsite pharmacy, and emergency clinic to provide your pet the care they need (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 Animal Emergency Center of North Fulton today.

Experienced Emergency Vet Care

Animal Emergency Center of North Fulton is an after-hours and critical care hospital, providing veterinary emergency care since 1991. If your pet is experiencing an emergency, contact us to get the help your pet needs.

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