Common Cat Diseases and Their Causes

The most effective way to prevent common cat diseases is to bring your feline friend into Mount Carmel Animal Hospital

If you’re a cat parent, then it’s essential to be able to recognize the signs of common illnesses that could affect your cat. What’s even more critical is being knowledgeable about prevention. The most effective way to prevent common cat diseases is regularly bringing your feline friend into an expert veterinary hospital such as Mount Carmel Animal Hospital. If you’re unaware of common cat diseases and their causes, then this is a must-read. 


Cancer is a well-known disease where cells grow uncontrollably, attack the surrounding tissue, and often spread to other areas of the body. Just like people, cats can get various types of cancer. The condition can be localized, meaning that it stays within one specific area of the body (in the case of a tumor). The disease can also be generalized, meaning that it can spread throughout the body. There are many reasons why cancer cells form. Often, there’s no singular cause, but environmental and hereditary factors can cause cats to develop cancer. Common symptoms include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Lumps (they’re not always malignant, but worth mentioning to your veterinarian) 
  • Sores and skin infections
  • Bad breath
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Change in mood
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Urination and/or defecation issues


Diabetes is another well-known disease that affects cats (and dogs) the way that it does people. When the body no longer makes the insulin hormone, the body can’t break down glucose. As a result, hyperglycemia (elevated blood glucose levels) occurs, and this causes many health problems for a cat without treatment. Diabetes is manageable and even preventable (in the case of Type II diabetes, where the body still makes some insulin). Genetics is a contributing factor to the development of diabetes and pancreatic cancer. Obesity also plays a role. Here are a few ways that you can tell that your cat may have diabetes:

  • Weight loss
  • An initial increase in appetite 
  • Excessive drinking and urination
  • Dehydration
  • Sweet-smelling breath

Kidney Disease 

Chronic kidney disease (also called “chronic renal failure”) occurs when the kidneys progressively lose function over time. By definition, when this happens, kidneys lose their ability to remove waste products from the body and toxins can build up in the bloodstream. However, kidney failure is not necessarily synonymous with the inability to urinate. Cats actually often urinate more when they have this disease, but the body’s waste excretes inefficiently. The most common cause is genetics combines with age, but other causes can include toxic plants (such as lilies), antifreeze, pesticides, and cleaning fluids. Some common symptoms are:

  • Frequent and excessive urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting and diarrhea 


Hyperthyroidism is a medical term meaning “overactive thyroid.” It’s the most common glandular disorder in cats caused by an excessive concentration and circulation of the thyroxine-a thyroid hormone (commonly known as T4 in the bloodstream). This disease presents with older cats, and some of its common symptoms are:

  • Weight loss
  • Excessive appetite 
  • Hyperactive activity
  • Panting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst

Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, We’ll Treat Your Pets Like Family!

Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!

This entry was posted on Friday, January 3rd, 2020 at 3:43 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.