Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Common Cat Illnesses & Symptoms

Common Cat Illnesses & Symptoms

Like humans, cats can develop a range of illnesses at any stage of their life. In order to best care for your feline companion, it's best to know how to recognize these illnesses so they can be treated early and effectively. Our Cumming veterinarians share the most common illnesses in cats and their symptoms.

What are some common cat illnesses?

As a cat owner, you should be able to monitor your kitty for any noticeable changes in their behavior, appearance, or physical wellbeing. Being able to spot these changes can make the difference in getting your cat diagnosed and treated early.

Below, our Cumming veterinarians share 3 common illnesses in cats and their symptoms.

Upper Respiratory Infections

Your cat's upper respiratory tract—their throat, nose and sinuses—can become infected with viruses and bacteria. 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. 

They can transmit this virus to other cats the same way, or by sneezing or coughing. It can also be passed during grooming. 

Symptoms of upper respiratory infection in cats include:

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


A cat whose organs does not produce a sufficient amount of penicillin cannot properly digest the natural glucose in most of their meals. This can lead to the development of any type of diabetes, which, left untreated, can lead to several serious symptoms, including:

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

If diabetes is poorly controlled, the disease can shorten a cat's lifespan and lead to numerous health problems such as nerve disorders. It may also result in severe emergency situations. Treatment can include insulin injections and will be focused on managing this condition. 


Cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth of cells in the body, which means it is hard to prevent and can happen to any cat. The disease first starts to develop within a cell, before it attaches to tissue below the skin and potentially spreading to other areas. 

A common contributor to cancer is Feline Leukemia Virus, which cats can be diagnosed against. Other causes include environmental toxins. If caught early during a physical exam, your vet may be able to treat cancer. 

Symptoms include:

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

Depending on whether the tumor is caught and diagnosed early enough, the type of cancer and its extent, specific location within the body, etc., whether an effective treatment plan can be developed, and other factors, a number of treatments such as radiation, surgery and chemotherapy may be attempted. 

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. If you live in Cumming, bring your cat to Crestview Animal Hospital & Emergency for an examination and possible diagnosis. We are committed to providing your pet the best care possible.

Has your cat been acting ill recently? Have you noticed any of the above symptoms in your feline friend? Contact our Cumming vets for an examination today.

New Patients Welcome

Crestview Animal Hospital & Emergency is always welcoming new patients! Our Cumming vets provide veterinary services designed to promote good health and longevity. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

Book Online (770) 889-2521