Symptoms of Infectious Illness in a Cat

sick cat

Infectious disease is not something that’s only for animals that spend time outside. Even your everyday indoor cat can become infected with something like this, and it’s one of those things you simply have to learn to recognize. Cats are not always immune to things, even when they don’t go outside. Did you know you can bring in infectious and contagious disease yourself, share it with your cat and be the reason your favorite feline ends up sick at the vet’s office? Your feet are everywhere; you don’t know when or where you might pick up something less than ideal, and that’s why it is so imperative that anyone with a cat learns to recognize the signs and symptoms of infectious and contagious disease.

Assuming your cat is protected from serious illness because he or she is inside is a mistake you’re not willing to make. You can bring anything in your home on the bottom of your shoes, your kids’ shoes, the neighbor’s shoes; you just don’t know. And because you just don’t know, we like to think that you’d much rather be safe than sorry. So that you can ensure your cat is not one that ends up sick due to pathogens your feet track in the house, make sure you learn the symptoms of contagious and infectious disease as soon as possible.

Respiratory Infections

What makes respiratory infections so dangerous to felines is the fact that they are so commonly spread through the air. They might be very common in cats, but that does not make them any less dangerous to your feline friend. Anyone can spread a respiratory illness through the air, so you have to learn which signs and symptoms are indicators that your cat is feeling ill.

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Running eyes
  • Sudden decrease in appetite
  • Ulcers in the mouth

These are just a few of the most common signs and symptoms of respiratory infection in cats, and they can be deadly if they are not treated in time. Some cats might exhibit just one or two of these symptoms at a time. Very unlucky cats will exhibit many of these symptoms, and it will be something that you notice. On that note, you do know your cat better than anyone else. This means you will likely recognize when he or she is no longer its usual self, and this might lead you to suspect respiratory illness soon enough you can seek treatment from your cat’s vet before it is too late. Respiratory infections are very coming, but that does not mean that they can be ignored. These are also common symptoms of a cold or the flu in a cat, but it’s always better to seek veterinary help for your cat than it is to let it go and hope for the best.

Gastrointestinal Infections

Upset stomachs happen to all of us. We might not expect it. It might come out of nowhere. It might be something that we felt coming on all day. Whatever it is, do not allow your cat to suffer through an upset stomach that might be more than just an upset stomach. Sometimes, what you might mistake as a simple tummy ache is actually a gastrointestinal infection that can cause your cat to become very, very sick if not treated in a timely fashion.

  • Vomiting
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Lethargic behavior

Vomiting, diarrhea and sudden weight loss are a very bad combination. What this means is that your cat is not eating and/or losing too much weight as a result of throwing up or using the bathroom regularly. This could indicate that your cat is sick, but it can also mean a more pressing issue; dehydration. If your cat becomes dehydrated, you’ll need to worry about a lot more than a gastrointestinal issue in the immediate future. Your cat needs to see the vet right away if you notice one or more of these symptoms. Hopefully your vet can rule out a gastrointestinal disease or other serious issue in favor of something else, but there is really not guarantee that your cat is not sicker than he or she seems.

Systemic Infections

There are no real symptoms to recognize here; if your cat is exhibiting health issues in many different forms, it means things are not going well for your feline friend. What you have to do is get with the program and call the vet. You might notice a number of the symptoms mentioned above, in addition to a few other major symptoms.

  • Inability to move
  • No longer climbing or jumping
  • No longer seeking attention
  • Difficulty breathing
  • No longer eating
  • Eating too much

Essentially, if your cat seems to be anything but his or her normal self and has any of these symptoms, your job is to get the cat to the vet right away. It could be a common cold and nothing to worry about if you are lucky. It could be one of the infectious and/or contagious health issues mentioned here. But more importantly, it could be a sign of a much larger problem. Many cats that exhibit health issues such as these are suffering from more dangerous health issues such as feline leukemia.

Don’t hesitate to get your cat to the vet. He is a part of your family. Your vet can run tests and do blood work to determine whether or not your cat is healthy and just down for a while or if he is very sick. The sooner you know, the sooner you can start any necessary treatments to begin overcoming health issues. Additionally, catching something simple such as a cold early is going to make it much easier for your cat to get over whatever it is that is ailing him; it prevents symptoms from worsening and causing additional health issues. You want a healthy cat, so get him or her to the vet as soon as you notice anything off.

Photo by Getty Images

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