11 Most Common Health Problems In Cats

11 Most Common Health Problems In Cats - Wiggles.in

As a cat parent, you are well aware of how good your cat is at taking care of themselves. However, there may be times when your feline friend falls ill and knowing about the most common diseases in cats can help. Let’s look at the most common cat diseases along with the symptoms and treatment options for them. 


You may have seen your cat vomit a hairball every once in a while but vomiting is a very common problem in cats for several reasons. Your cat could vomit from eating something inedible (like a string from their favorite toy) or something poisonous (like a toxic plant or food), due to an infection, urinary tract disease or diabetes.

You will be able to notice the symptoms right away. Symptoms of vomiting in cats include - drooling and abdominal retching. Cats are usually dehydrated after vomiting, so offer them water or a healthy drink. If your cat vomits 2-3 times in a day or continues to vomit for days, speak to your veterinarian. Recording a video of your cat while they’re vomiting/taking a picture of their vomit/collecting a sample of the vomit can be useful for the veterinarian to diagnose your cat correctly.

It is a good practice to include probiotics and prebiotics in your cat’s diet. These healthy bacterias maintain a good gut environment and reduce the chances of vomiting and diarrhea in cats and kittens. Alternatively, look for foods that are already rich in probiotics and prebiotics or offer watered-down curd. It is also recommended to keep antiemetic medicines handy. 


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Fleas are a very common problem for many cats but luckily, they are easily treatable. Some signs that your cat may have fleas:
- Tiny black dots on the skin (this is flea dirt)
- Constant scratching
- Recurrent licking
- Irritated or red skin
- Hot spots
- Loss of hair

It is important to treat fleas in cats as they can cause anemia and other health problems. It’s best to speak to your vet about which flea control option would work for your cat. Treatments include - oral medications and topical medications like powders, sprays, spot ons and shampoos.



One of the most common health problems in cats, especially kittens is tapeworms. They live inside a cat’s small intestine and can grow up to 2 feet long. These worms are responsible for causing several health issues and disturbing the gut health of your cat.

Symptoms of a tapeworm infection may not be so obvious but may include - vomiting, weight loss and a bloated belly. An easy way to know if your cat has tapeworms would be to check their feces. Sometimes the tapeworms may even come out of the cat’s anus when they are sleeping or relaxing. If you see white spots or rice-like grains in your cat’s feces, they are most likely tapeworms.

Hence, regular deworming is of the utmost importance. It is the easiest way to ensure your cat stays worm-free. Other treatment options include injections and tablets. A pro tip: Most cats get tapeworms after ingesting a flea, hence, it is recommended you tackle the flea problem before attacking the worms.


Diarrhea can be caused by many reasons including intestinal parasites like tapeworms, ingestion of spoiled food/toxic items/foreign substances, allergies, infections, liver disease, cancer and others.

Symptoms of diarrhea are - frequent and/or loose, watery or liquid-like stools. Diarrhea can last for days, weeks or months. If your cat has loose stools for more than one time, you should speak to your veterinarian. Constant diarrhea leaves cats feeling extremely weak and makes them fall really ill, really fast, so it is important to seek veterinary help and treat the root cause immediately. If you notice vomiting, dark or bloody stools, extreme lethargy, loss of appetite or difficulty in defecating, you must speak to your veterinarian at once.

Additionally, you should offer your cat more water or drinks infused with prebiotics to prevent dehydration. 


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Urinary Tract Diseases 

A cat may get a urinary tract infection for many reasons. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases (FLUTD) are not uncommon and can have several causes. It can affect both male and female cats and is common in cats who are unfit, overweight or eat too much dry food. The most common causes for FLUTD are - stress, other cats and sudden changes in food or lifestyle. The symptoms of FLUTD are:
- Drinking more than usual
- Difficulty in urinating
- Blood in urine
- Urinating in usual places
- Crying while urinating
- Licking near the urinating area (they will do this out of pain)
- Dehydration
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting
- Depression

If your cat can’t urinate properly, it is always an emergency. So speak to your veterinarian immediately and at the first signs of FLUTD.



Another common disease for most house cats is obesity. It is not often taken seriously and dismissed with laughter, however, an overweight cat can be at risk of many diseases. Obese cats can develop heart diseases, kidney diseases, arthritis and many other serious ailments. An ideal adult cat should weigh between 3-5 kgs.

If your cat is overweight, you might want to switch their diet with a healthier alternative. Speaking to a pet nutritionist can also help as they can provide a diet chart to reduce your cat’s weight in a healthy way. Treats can win your cat’s approval but please give them in moderation as their health should always come first.


Eye infections 

Cat eye infections are not uncommon. Eye infections in cats can be caused by several reasons like conjunctivitis, cataract, glaucoma, trauma, virus, corneal ulcer, inflammation or retinal disease. Symptoms that indicate your cat has eye problems are - watery eyes, discharge from the eyes, pawing at the eye, cloudy eyes, squinting or a visible third eyelid.

Treatment options for eye problems in cats include eye drops, eye ointment or surgery. When you notice an eye disease in your cat, you must consult your veterinarian.


Dental disease 

Gum disease or periodontal diseases are common in cats and occur when plaque collects on the surface of the teeth. When plaque isn’t removed from their teeth, it becomes tartar (solid yellow or brown residue). This tartar goes under the cat’s gums and causes infections. If this infection is not treated, a cat may end up losing their teeth.

Poor dental hygiene and food are some causes of gum diseases in cats. Some signs of dental diseases in cats are:
- Extreme bad breath
- Swelling around the gums
- Bleeding gums
- Brown or black plaque on teeth
- Reluctance to eat

If you notice any of these signs, you should visit your veterinarian. Your vet may prescribe some topical treatment and/or clean their teeth professionally.

To avoid dental diseases, use dental sprays, provide lots of water and try giving treats made to maintain oral health.



  1. Injuries of any kind are quite common in indoor-outdoor cats. A playful cat can endure fractures, injuries and wounds easily. Out of these, fractures may be difficult to identify sometimes. Keep an eye out for any signs of pain, they may include - meowing in pain, limping, loss of appetite or swelling. Sometimes they may not display any of this behavior until you touch the injured area.

    When you notice these signs, you must visit your veterinarian and follow their advice.

    To stay prepared, ensure you keep an emergency kit with a wound healing spray and some gauze.


Some cats often start sneezing out of the blue. This can mean a number of things. Most times, it is an allergic reaction to a new smell/food/plant or due to a change in the weather. Your cat may need veterinary attention if they show additional symptoms like:
- Fever
- Difficulty in breathing
- Heavy wheezing or cough
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Green or yellow discharge
If your cat is only sneezing with no other symptoms, monitor them for 1-2 days. If you have added any new items, introduced them to new foods or are trying a new perfume, candle or room freshener—remove them from their surroundings and see if they feel better. Cats can be very sensitive to new smells. 


Your cat may sneeze due to many reasons

If your cat is only sneezing with no other symptoms, monitor them for 1-2 days. If you have added any new items, introduced them to new foods or are trying a new perfume, candle or room freshener—remove them from their surroundings and see if they feel better. Cats can be very sensitive to new smells. 




Rabies is a viral disease that is common in streeties. It is a deadly disease that affects the brain and spinal cord of all mammals. Once the symptoms are seen, rabies is almost always fatal. Rabies’ symptoms in cats are usually easy to identify and some of them are:
- Changed behavior (extreme agitation or extreme isolation)
- Aggression
- Excessive drooling
- Loss of muscle control
- Light phobia
- Water phobia 

Despite there being a cure for it, this fatal and terrible disease still claims the lives of many community cats. A simple, annual Anti-Rabies Vaccine can protect our feline streeties. We request you to urge your community to participate in ARV drives, help local NGOs with these drives, increase awareness and help eradicate rabies from our planet. 



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*Disclaimer: This blog is vet-approved and includes original content which is compiled after thorough research and authenticity by our in-house team of vets and content experts. It is always advisable to consult a veterinarian before you try any products, pet food or any kind of treatment/medicines on your pets, as each pet is unique and will respond differently.