Common Cat Ailments And How To Handle Them

Collaborative post by another author. Cats are beloved family members, but they can be prone to certain ailments and health problems. Common cat ailments can be difficult to spot and diagnose, leaving many pet owners feeling overwhelmed. However, taking the time to understand the most common cat ailments and how to handle them can help keep your feline friend in good health. Knowing the signs and symptoms of the most common cat ailments can help you identify any potential issues and take the necessary steps to make sure your cat is feeling their best. From fleas to feline leukaemia virus, this article will provide an overview of the most common cat ailments and how you can handle them.

A tabby cat looking down on a white background
A bit of planning can help reduce the risk of your cat getting common ailments

Keeping Your Cat Healthy

If you want to keep your cat healthy and avoid common ailments, it's important to maintain a regular grooming routine and make sure you're feeding them a balanced diet. Grooming your cat, especially if the have long hair, will help prevent the build-up of hairballs and keep their skin healthy. Regularly grooming your cat can also help reduce the risk of infection and disease. Feeding your cat a balanced diet will help ensure they have a strong immune system and are less likely to develop common cat ailments. 

Feeding Them A Balanced Diet

Cats are carnivores and thrive on a diet rich in protein. A balanced diet that includes high-quality cat food is key to keeping your cat healthy. This is because protein is essential for cell repair and growth. While cats can survive on a low-protein diet, they can also suffer from health issues, including anaemia, liver issues, and skin problems. Feeding your cat a balanced diet will help keep them healthy, strong, and happy. If you're worried about feeding your cat the right diet, you may want to consult a vet. They can help you choose the best food for your cat. Be aware that kittens should be fed a different diet than adult cats.

Ensuring They Get Plenty Of Exercise

If your cat doesn't get enough exercise, they're more likely to gain weight, which can lead to a number of health issues. These include diabetes, joint problems, and heart disease. You can help your cat stay healthy and fit by providing them with plenty of toys, scratching posts, and plenty of space to explore and play. If you're adopting a kitten, it's important to start playing with them as soon as possible. This will help them get used to being around humans and develop the social skills they need.

Registering With A Vet

It's essential to have your cat registered with a vet as soon as you bring them into the family. Once registered, you will be able to go for regular check-ups every six months to a year in order to ensure your cat is healthy. You will also be able to keep up with your cat's vaccination, which is vital for preventing some of the most common ailments your cat is at risk from, especially if they're an outdoors cat.

Getting Pet Insurance

When you have a pet, getting insurance is vital, especially with cats. Cats are curious by nature and, as a result, are often accident-prone. They can also be territorial and having fights with other cats can lead to minor injuries that need treating. Having pet insurance will allow you to easily claim back the cost of most medical treatment your cat requires. This means you can rest easy knowing your cat is covered for unexpected injuries or ailments they have. To find out more and to arrange pet insurance for your cat, check out

The Symptoms Of A Sick Cat

A healthy cat will display certain behaviours and exhibit certain traits. If you notice that your cat is behaving differently than normal, it could be a sign that they're sick. If you think your cat might be sick, it's important to take them to a vet as soon as possible. Here are some of the most common symptoms that your cat may be unwell: 

  • Hiding
  • Reduced mobility
  • Excessive grooming
  • Sudden behaviour changes
  • Changes in toilet habits
  • Loss of appetite
  • Not drinking water
  • Any other changes in eating or drinking habits

Overview Of Common Ailments

Cats can experience a range of health issues, from relatively mild conditions like fleas to serious illnesses like the feline leukaemia virus. It's important to know the most common cat ailments, as they can be difficult to diagnose and may require special treatment. While there are a number of different ailments your cat could experience, this article will focus on the most common ones as well as the more serious ones that can be prevented or managed with vaccinations.

The most common cat ailments are fleas, worms, cat flu, feline leukaemia virus, diabetes, feline parvovirus, chlamydia felis, and ear infections. Let's take a look at each one to get an idea of how to handle them.


Fleas are small insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. If your cat has fleas you might notice black spots in places where they have been sitting, wipe them up with a damp piece of kitchen towel and if you notice they turn red it is confirmation of fleas as the black specs are actually dried spots of blood. You might also notice that your cat has a lot of itching and scratching sessions. Fleas can also cause anaemia in your cat, so it is important to get rid of the fleas as quickly as possible. For minor infestations, you can typically use the spot-on liquids that go on the back of the neck. However, for extreme flea infestations, your cat may need to have a flea bath to get rid of them. You may also need to treat your home to remove any in carpets or furniture. Once you've treated your cat's fleas, you will need to maintain a regular anti-flea schedule to ensure they are protected against getting fleas again. This is typically done monthly, and your vet can help you get started.


There are several worms that can affect cats, such as tapeworms and roundworms. If your cat has worms, you will notice that they have less energy and appetite, as well as weight loss and enlarged bellies. If you suspect that your cat has worms, speak with your vet about getting them medication, which could include tablets or spot-on liquids. Deworming should be done regularly to prevent worms from building up in your cat's system, and your vet can help you set up a schedule so that you can ensure your cat never has a worm infestation.

Cat Flu

Cat flu is a highly contagious viral infection that affects cats. It can cause symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and a fever. If your cat gets cat flu, you will notice that they have less energy and appetite. It is important to get your cat treated as soon as possible at the vet's because they can pass the virus on to other cats. However, cat flu can be prevented with vaccinations.

Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV)

FeLV is a virus that can trigger leukaemia in cats and can be prevented with vaccinations. If your cat is infected with FeLV, they will show symptoms such as weight loss, anaemia, and general lethargy. If your cat has FeLV, your vet may recommend blood tests, x-rays, and biopsies to confirm the diagnosis. It is important to note that there is no cure for FeLV, so your vet will likely treat the symptoms and try to extend the life of your cat.


Diabetes is a common health issue in humans, but it can also affect cats. If your cat has diabetes, they won't be able to produce enough insulin, which regulates blood sugar. Poor diet, obesity, and getting older can increase the risk of diabetes in cats. If your cat has diabetes, they may produce excessive amounts of urine, may be overly hungry, and may have poor skin quality. If your cat has diabetes, they will need to be fed special food, placed on medication, and have regular vet check-ups.

Feline Parvovirus

If your cat is unvaccinated, they are at risk of getting this virus. If your cat is infected with feline parvovirus, they will show symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, and dehydration. Vets can help by putting them on fluids to rehydrate them, however, like FeLV, there is no cure, and your vet will do what they can to make them as comfortable as possible.

Chlamydia Felis

Chlamydia felis is a common cause of conjunctivitis in cats. It is important to take your cat to the vet to get them checked out as soon as possible if you suspect chlamydia felis. If your cat is infected, your vet will treat the condition with a combination of antibiotics and eye drops. Additionally, while vaccination can prevent chlamydia felis, it can also be used on cats who have already contracted it to reduce the likelihood of recurring infection.

Bottom Line

Cats are adorable and loving creatures who enrich our lives every day. Owning a cat is a wonderful experience, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. Cat owners need to be prepared for the various health problems their feline friends might face at one point or another. If you keep your cat healthy and happy, you can expect to have a lifelong friend for life.

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