Upper respiratory infections (URIs)
URIs are similar to the common cold in humans. Symptoms include sneezing, running nose and eyes, reddened eyes, fever, and decreased appetite. If left untreated URIs can be fatal. These airborne viruses are highly contagious; they can be transmitted to cats through human handling and through contact with other cats and with inanimate objects such as litter boxes, food bowls, and grooming tools.
If your cat exhibits URI symptoms contact your veterinarian immediately. The veterinarian will probably prescribe a dosage of antibiotics to prevent secondary infections and give you precise care instructions. Follow them carefully and make sure your cat eats and drinks sufficiently.
Also known as feline distemper, this is a highly contagious viral disease that can be transmitted through contact with humans, infected cats, clothing, hair, paws, food bowls, and even cat carriers. The disease comes on suddenly with vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. Prevent this disease by getting your cat vaccinated against this virus.
Rabies is a fatal and one of the more common cat diseases.
It is a viral illness that is transmitted through bite wounds from infected animals and attacks the nervous system. Prevent rabies through vaccination and by keeping your cat indoors.
Feline leukemia is the leading cause of cancer in cats.
It can cause severe anemia, damage the immune system making the cat vulnerable to other infections.
The symptoms of Feline Leukemia Virus vary depending on the particular form of the disease. The neoplastic form signs often include enlargement of the lymph nodes, lethargy, fever, vomiting, weight loss, labored breathing, jaundice, pale gums, general weaknessand diarrhea.
Cats can catch feline leukemia only from direct contact with an infected cat. Mother cats can also pass it to their kittens. At-risk cats should be vaccinated every year. Initially, kittens are given two doses of vaccine three-to-four weeks apart, starting at age eight weeks.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
FIV is similar to human acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) but the disease causing virus is different. This fatal virus attacks the immune system, causing a variety of symptoms. General symptoms include chronic, non-responding infections; respiratory problems; appetite loss; persistent diarrhoea; and severe oral infections. FIV is passed from cat to cat primarily through bites.
There is currently no vaccination or cure for FIV. Keep your cat inside to prevent it from contacting FIV
Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)
FIP is deadly virus that is fatal to cats. This virus can take two forms, commonly referred to as wet (which involves fluid in the abdomen) and dry (which does not). Both forms of FIP may cause fever, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea, and loss of appetite. There is no effective treatment for FIP. The best way to prevent this disease is to keep your cat indoors away from strange animals and remain up-to-date
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis
The disease is transmitted from cat to cat by direct contact with infected discharge from the eyes, nose, mouth; by contaminated litter pans, water bowls, and human hands; and rarely by airborne droplets. The virus is stable outside the host for as short as 24 hours or as long as 10 days.
The eye/nasal discharge becomes sticky (mucoid) or puslike (purulent). Open-mouth breathing occurs in cats with obstructed nasal passages.
With herpes virus, the cat develops a spastic cough. If the surface of the eye is severely inflamed, the cat may develop keratitis or corneal ulceration.
Treatment: Confine your cat in a warm room and use a home vaporizer. A cold steam vaporizer offers some advantage over a heat vaporizer because it is less likely to cause additional breathing problems.
Feed highly palatable food or strained baby food, diluted with water. Once the cat begins to eat and drink again, the worst of the danger is past.
Wipe secretions from the eyes, nose and mouth with moist cotton balls.
Shrink swollen nasal membranes by administering Afrin Children's Strength Nose Drops (0.25 percent). Administer cautiously to prevent rebound congestion and excessive drying out of the mucous membranes.If the cat becomes dehydrated, refuses to eat, loses weight or does not respond to home care, seek prompt veterinary care.
Feline Bordetellosis is the upper respiratory tract disease (URTD) caused by Bordetella Bronchiseptica bacteria. Signs include inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose (rhinitis), eye and nasal discharge, fever, sneezing and coughing.
How is the Bb infection diagnosed? It is usually diagnosed from pharyngeal swabs, or from swabs of nasal discharge of affected cats.
How can you protect you cat from? If you consider placing you cat or kitten at a boarding facility, it is recommended that cats be vaccinated to protect against Bordetella bronchisepticaprior to entering the facility.