animal hospital in Tampa

Did you know that there are an estimated 46.5 million households in the United States with pet cats? If you too are a cat lover, it’s crucial to be informed about the most common illnesses that affect cats. Being able to recognize the warning signs is the most important step in protecting them. 

If you suspect that your cat is ill and requires medical attention, consider the Humane Society of Tampa Bay’s animal hospital in Tampa for affordable, high-quality veterinary services. Read on to learn more about common cat illnesses and their symptoms. 

4 Common Cat Illnesses 

If you have a cat in your household, it is important to always monitor them for any signs of illness. Cat illnesses can develop quickly and quietly. 

Feline Leukemia Virus

As the second leading cause of death in cats, Feline Leukemia Virus impacts around 2-3% of all cats in the US. This virus can progress very quickly over a two to three-year period. In cats who are already immunocompromised, potential infection rates increase to 30%. Feline Leukemia Virus can be transmitted from an infected cat through saliva or nasal secretions. If left untreated, the infected cat’s immune system will weaken, and the virus could move into bone marrow, potentially leading to more lethal diseases. 

Feline Panleukopenia

Feline Panleukopenia is a common viral disease in cats. Also referred to as Feline Distemper, it is considered one of the deadliest cat diseases in the unvaccinated cat population. When infected with feline panleukemia, there is a drastic decrease in the number of white blood cells in the cat’s body, which makes the cat extremely vulnerable to other infections. Feline Panleukopenia can be transmitted through any excretions of the infected cat, such as feces, saliva, and mucus, contaminated water, food bowls, or on shoes and clothing.

Upper Respiratory Infection

Upper respiratory infections are quite common in high-density animal populations, such as shelters and feral cat colonies. These infections are caused by the spread of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa and can drastically weaken your cat’s immune system. While vaccines can reduce your cat’s risk of contracting an upper respiratory infection, you should remain vigilant in looking out for symptoms of an infection and seek veterinary treatment as soon as possible if needed.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) affects an estimated 2.5-5% of cats, with higher infection rates observed in male cats and cats who roam outdoors. The primary form of  transmission is through deep bite wounds that occur during aggressive fights, particularly among unneutered cats. FIV is present in the saliva and other bodily fluids of infected cats and can be easily passed on to healthy cats.

Common Symptoms of Illness

There are many symptoms that your cat may show that could be attributed to a wide number of illnesses. If your cat is displaying any of the symptoms mentioned, ensure that you seek necessary medical care from the Tampa veterinary hospital at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay as soon as possible. 

Symptoms of Feline Leukemia Virus

Feline Leukemia Virus affects various cells in your cat’s immune system, leading to genetic mutations, and potentially leading to cancerous cell development over time. Some of the most common symptoms include: 

  • Loss of appetite
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever Inflammation of the gums and mouth
  • Skin and bladder infections
  • Poor coat condition

Symptoms of Feline Panleukopenia

Feline Panleukopenia can manifest in various symptoms among infected cats, but some common symptoms to keep in mind are:

  • Depression or listlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea, sometimes with blood
  • Dull and rough coat
  • Skin that has lost its elasticity
  • Green and yellow discharge around the eyes and nose
  • Other infections may develop

Symptoms of Upper Respiratory Infection

There are multiple types of upper respiratory infections that your cat could contract, with each resulting in different symptoms. Some of the symptoms to look out for are: 

  • Discharge from the eyes and nose
  • Swelling of membranes around the eyes
  • Ulcers found in the mouth
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Difficulties breathing in some cases

Symptoms of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

FIV is a virus that can only be found in cats. It attacks and weakens your cat’s immune system and there is currently no cure. There are different strains of FIV and they can vary in severity. If you notice any of the following symptoms in your cat, be sure to take them for a check up immediately:

  • Poor coat condition
  • Consistent and recurring fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inflammation of the mouth and gums
  • Constant diarrhea
  • Chronic or recurring infections in the eyes, skin, upper respiratory tract, or bladder
  • Seizures
  • Persistent eye problems

HSTB’s Low-Cost Veterinary Services

While cats are an important part of many families, it is no secret that veterinary care can be expensive and difficult to get for families in need. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay is proud to offer affordable vet services for cats, including vaccinations, regular physical exams, testing, and screening at our Tampa animal hospital to ensure that your cat is receiving the medical care they deserve.

In 2022, HSTB saved 13,298 animals and treated 39,298 pets between the shelter and the animal hospital. If your cat is displaying any unusual symptoms, be sure to visit HSTB’s trusted, accessible Tampa veterinary hospital. 

Make an appointment for a check-up with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay by calling 813.870.3304or booking an appointment online today.