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What are Some Common Cat Illnesses & Symptoms?

What are Some Common Cat Illnesses & Symptoms?

Many cat illnesses and their symptoms may be worrying to see in your pet. Some can even be fatal if untreated for too long. Our vets offer insight on signs and symptoms to be aware of to our Torrance and Carson patients.

What are some common cat illnesses?

As a cat owner, here are some of the illnesses you should be aware of. Be ready to visit your veterinarian if it's required. This goes double since cats tend to self-isolate when they are ill. Here are 3 common cat illnesses and their symptoms.  

Upper Respiratory Infections

Your cat's throat, sinuses and nose can all be referred to as their upper respiratory tract. These can get infected with bacteria or viruses. Often passed around in multi-cat households and shelters, cats may contract feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus through something as basic as sharing a food or water bowl. 

Cats can transmit this virus to other cats in the same manner or by coughing and sneezing. This virus can also be passed around by grooming.

Symptoms include:

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


If a cat isn't able to produce a healthy amount of insulin in order to balance out their glucose or blood sugar levels, they will develop diabetes mellitus. If that is left untreated, it may lead to other serious symptoms like:

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

If diabetes is not or is poorly controlled, it can shorten a cat's lifespan significantly and cause a multitude of health problems like nerve disorders. It can also result in urgent and emergency situations. Treatment can include insulin injections and will be focused on managing this condition. 


Cancer is caused by uncontrolled growth of cells in a cat's body. This can affect a wide range of organs and cells in their body tool.  The disease first starts to develop within a cell, before it attaches to tissue below the skin and potentially spreading to other areas. 

Feline Leukemia Virus is a common contributor to the development of cancer in a cat, but other factors like environmental toxins can also have an effect. If it is caught early during a physical exam, your vet may be able to treat cancer in your cat.

Symptoms include:

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

Depending on whether or not a tumor is detected early, the type of cancer, the efficacy of the treatment plan and its extent throughout the body, a number of treatment plans may be used against cancer such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

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 Torrance Companion Animal Hospital, 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 that your cat is sick? Our vets are experienced in diagnosing and treating the above illnesses as well as many other common conditions. Book an appointment with Torrance Companion Animal Hospital today.

New Patients Always Welcome

We look forward to meeting your precious pet at Torrance Companion Animal Hospital.

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