Three of the Most Common Feline Diseases and Their Effects

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Did you know, according to Smithsonian Magazine, cats were first domesticated approximately 12,000 years ago? At that time, our feline friends were extremely useful for protecting our food from mice and other pests. However, these days they are much more commonly our friends and companions than our furred sentinels.

It is estimated by Petfinder that over 57% of American households keep a cat or dog as a house pet. Millions of cats snuggle up to their human owners every night across the United States. 90% of pet owners consider their pets to be actual members of their family. Unfortunately, just like our human family members, cats can become ill and pass away as a result of fetal feline diseases and other common problems.

If your feline friend is acting unusual and showing symptoms of illness, you need to find out what you are dealing with. Doing so, you can be more educated about the issue when speaking to your vet. Further, this step can help you prepare for what might be a shocking prognosis.

  • Feline Infectious Perionitis
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    Feline Infectious Perionitis, FIP, is one of the most common fatal cat diseases. FIP, which may be considered among the fetal feline diseases, can be passed to cats in a number of ways. Oftentimes it is passed from mother to offspring, hence its possible designation among fetal feline diseases. It may also be passed through exposure to other animals’ feces.

    Regardless of how the infection occurs, many cases of FIP are innocuous, simply making your cat a carrier. However, when FIP progresses, according to Cornell University, it turns into the Feline Infectious Perionitis Virus. This cat disease symptoms are lethargy, sensitive abdomen, and inability to eat. Unfortunately, most cases of FIP are terminal.

  • Feline Distemper
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    Feline Distemper, or Panleukopenia, is among the most common cat diseases because the virus is present everywhere. However, the ubiquitous nature of the virus is also what grants cats considerable defenses against it. Most kittens and cats will have a natural resistance to Panleukopenia from constant exposure and evolutionary traits. If the disease does manifest, however, you should be looking for appetite loss, fever, and intestinal problems, according to VeterinaryPartner.com. While most cases of Panleukopenia are fatal, many cats do recover when medical treatment is immediately given.

  • Feline Leukemia
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    Feline leukemia is unarguably the most famous of cat diseases. Like FIP, leukemia is often considered to be one of the fetal feline diseases as genetic expressions adding to the likelihood of the disease are often passed on in a hereditary fashion, according to the ASPCA. Having said that, cats can be inoculated against the virus with varying success. If your cat is diagnosed with leukemia, there is a high probability that death will occur in the ensuing months.

Nobody wants to hear that their best friend, furred or otherwise, may have a life threatening disease. However, knowledge is power. By knowing what you are up against, you can be more prepared for any emotional trauma that may come your way. It may be that your cat simply has a cold, but it could be much more. If your cat is acting at all unusual, contact your vet immediately.