As a cat parent, it is important to know about the signs and symptoms of common diseases in cats. Cats are excellent at self-maintenance but they cannot prevent the common diseases from inside their body.
The diseases might develop from anywhere in the body- the ears, eyes, mouth, lungs etc. So once your cat is sick, you need to know where the sickness came from by observing the symptoms.
For this reason, I have created this interactive image to help you identify the diseases in cats caused by the body’s different parts and organs.
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Monitor your cat’s ear once per week. There shouldn’t be any foul odor or excess discharge from the ear. Look along the edges of the ears for any marks, bumps, lumps, thickening, scaling or lesions. If your cat tends to hold the head on one side, rubs ears, or you observe its head-shaking, then consult your vet immediately.
Your cat must have a bright and clear eye without any soreness and should not be squinting or shying away from light. Eye discharge of cats is natural and make sure you clean them regularly with a cotton cloth.
But frequent eye discharge of crusty gunk is a symptom of eye disease. Check for cloudiness or change in the eye color and consult your vet if such symptoms are noticed.
Your cat’s nose should be soft and slightly damp to the touch. There shouldn’t be crusting, bleeding, discharge or excess sneezing. Ulcers are another thing to look for when checking your cat’s nose. Frequent discharge from your cat’s nose may be symptoms of infection.
Your cat’s teeth should be white and clean without any excess tartar that makes it look thick and brown. Your cat’s gums should be pink and healthy without any redness or swelling.
If possible, check the back of your cat’s mouth for any ulcers, swelling lesions or lumps. Foul odor from the mouth is another significant symptom that indicates an underlying digestive or kidney problem.
Fur and Skin
If your cat engages in constant scratching, licking and chewing the skin, it is time for a checkup. There should be no broken hairs, bald patches, dandruff or fleas in their coat.
Check for drainage of blood or pus from their skin, redness or inflammation, rashes, swellings or skin discoloration. If such symptoms are seen, consult your vet.
Check your cat’s paws for any cuts, sores or bleeding. Cats go outside barefoot and many times get wounded. Make sure you keep that checked. Investigate the issue if you see your cat obsessively licking one paw or favoring one leg.
Your cat’s nails should be smooth; rough or flaky nails might require you to pay a visit to the vet. To check your cat’s nails squeeze on the pads of their paws so that the full nail emerges.
Please make sure you check their dew-claws too. If you have an outdoor cat, you should clean their paws regularly when they get home. Indoor cats need regular nail trimming.
If you notice your cat hanging its tail limply, this might be a symptom of nerve damage. Under such a case, your cat may not be able to move her tail or even move it during a bowel movement.
Skin infections may become a secondary concern with limp tails. If you notice your cat cannot flick or move its tail and keep it hanging limply, you should consult a vet.
Keep an eye on your cat’s appetite. Regurgitating food or coughing hairballs is quite normal but there shouldn’t be frequent vomiting after eating.
If you want a dietary change, don’t change their meal suddenly; do it gradually over 7-10 days. Pay attention to your cat’s poop. It should be brown with a solid texture with no mucus or blood present.
Unlike dogs, cats do not breathe with their mouth open. Therefore any signs of panting, wheezing, coughing, erratic rhythm, short breath are not normal. These problems should be cured as soon as possible.
Many cat parents lack in knowing about the disease so they cannot offer their kitty a better treatment. You should know the right time to act. Know the origin of the disease before treating them. For this reason I have created this interactive image to show you exactly how to know about the diseases and their origin with symptoms mentioned. If you want to learn more about the common diseases in cats check- ‘Common Health Problems in Cats‘.