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5 Most Dangerous Cat Diseases

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5 Most Dangerous Cat Diseases

By Sarah Winkler, Animal Planet

According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are more than 70 million feral and stray cats roaming the streets. Because stray cats often carry dangerous diseases, the best thing that you can do to protect your domesticated cat against serious illness is to keep it indoors. By staying inside, your cat is less likely to fight with other animals and risk the chance of spreading diseases through wounds. You’ll also keep it away from infection-spreading parasites, including fleas and ticks, and prevent the kidney failure that can come as a result of ingesting poisonous substances such as antifreeze.

Outdoor cats and those that live in multi-cat homes have the highest risk of disease. However, indoor cats and “only cats” can get sick, too. The good news about cat illnesses is that most are easily preventable; the bad news is that once your cat contracts an illness, it can be very difficult to treat. It’s also important to keep in mind that even minor ailments can suggest major health problems. But some cat diseases are more dangerous than others. Read on to learn about some of the most serious ones.

5: Feline Leukemia Virus

Feline leukemia is a disease that spreads through urine, nose discharge and saliva. Cats can catch the disease through bites, sharing food and water bowls, and from simply living together. Mother cats can pass the disease along to their kittens, and kittens are more likely to contract the disease than adult cats.

Some cats will immediately become ill upon contracting the virus; however, in other cats, symptoms of the disease will not manifest for several weeks. Feline leukemia can result in a number of conditions, including system-wide infections, diarrhea, skin infections, eye disease, respiratory tract infections, bladder infections, infertility, anemia and cancer. Any severe chronic illness can be a sign of feline leukemia.

Although there is no cure for feline leukemia, the disease is easily preventable. Keeping cats indoors, restricting exposure to other cats, maintaining a clean living environment and ensuring your cat is vaccinated can all help prevent feline leukemia. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, veterinarians rarely see cases of feline leukemia among vaccinated cat populations.

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Read more: Cats, Everyday Pet Care, Pet Health, Pets, , , , , ,

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1:44PM PDT on Sep 2, 2013

Feline calicivirus and feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) are very contagious and highly dangerous too. Vaccinate your animals, it's way more easier for your pets than treatment and way more cheaper. 2 of my cats have contracted panleukopenia 3 weeks ago, thank gods now they are safe and healthy. It was my fault - i haven't vaccinated them this year. Beware and don't repeat my mistakes!

6:25PM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

Great article, thanks for the information.

4:57AM PDT on Apr 23, 2013

There is also Cancer which is very common in cats that were fixed later in the years. My cat actually has had 2 Mammry tumors removed. Its very sad to see them go through that. So far since the second one has been removed she is better and no signs of any more tumors. PRAISE GOD!

12:53AM PDT on Apr 10, 2013

Thank you for the information.

8:16AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Animals are very intelligent.

11:36PM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

Thanks Christin, will look for cat traps (didnt know you actually HAD stuff like that !)

1:44PM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

Sima J. There are sprays out there that you can spray on your fence line, etc. The best way however is to rent a couple of traps and trap the cats in a humane way, turn them over to your Humane Society or other organization to get them spayed and re released. But no more babies.

11:45PM PDT on Jun 7, 2012

Does anyone know how I can get rid of stray cats in a humane way? There are about 6-8 strays that keep coming into my back yard, shitting all over the the place and generally making a nuisance of themselves. For some strange reason they don't dig a hole when they shit, just do it on the hard ground. I seem to be cleaning it up all the time.
There is no municipal system of getting rid of strays where i live. The people next door keep giving them food as they feel "sorry" for them, and in spite of complaints have done nothing. And every 3 months there is a new litter that adds to the problem.

Desperate! Need help as I dont want to resort to horrible things like poison.

7:21AM PDT on Jun 7, 2012

Feline infectious peritonitis should definitely be on this list; it is highly dangerous because it is both contagious AND there is no vaccine to prevent it nor cure it once your cat has it. I lost my beloved Indy to it last year, and it broke my heart.

9:13PM PDT on Oct 6, 2011

Very much appreciated Samantha. Our Kismet aka Kizzy is now 14. We fear we are 'losing' him:(
Time to go to the Vet ...

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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