6 Deadly Cat Diseases Symptoms & Treatments

Feline disease are those infections or diseases that infect cats. Some of these cause symptoms, sickness or the death of the animal. Some of these are symptomatic in a cat but not in other cats.


Feline Panleukopenia

Feline distemper caused by a resistant virus that many remain infectious for more than a year at room temperature on inanimate objects. It is transmitted through blood, urine, feces, nasal secretions, and fleas from infected cats. It destroys many of the cat's white blood cells and attacks the intestines and lymph nodes. *Fatal for 50% to 70% of cats. Symptoms: lethargic, vomiting, high fever, and dehydration. Sickness can last 3-4 days after the first signs are noticed and before death occurs. This is highly contagious.


This attacks the lungs and lower respiratory tract causing pneumonia (the cause of 40% of all respiratory diseases in cats). Often it is complicated by other infections and can be fatal. Symptoms: Ulcers may be seen on the tongue and lips. This is highly contagious and may be passed from cat to cat by sneezing.


This attacks the upper respiratory tract. All kittens and cats are at risk and recovery is slow, although it can be fatal. Kittens may become carriers for life and can shed the virus intermittently, especially when under stress. Symptoms: Sneezing, coughing, mucous discharge from nose and eyes. This is highly contagious.

FIP-Feline Infectious Peritonitis

This affects cats of all ages, but most of the time ages are from 6 months to 2 years when infected. It is a viral infection that is usually fatal. Symptoms: Low grade upper respiratory infection, anorexia, depression, anemia, vomiting and/or diarrhea. This is highly contagious.

Chalamydia Psittaci

This attacks the respiratory tract and produces conjunctivitis. It's a bacteria, not a virus and causes 15% to 20% of all feline respiratory diseases. It can be transmitted to cattle and humans. Symptoms: Inflamed eyes, occasional sneezing, tearing with salivation and coughing, and possible fever. This is highly contagious.


This attacks the immune system and increases susceptibility to other diseases. It is spread via saliva and is eventually fatal. Symptoms: weight loss, recurring or chronic illness, lethargy, fever, diarrhea, unusual breathing patterns, and yellow color around the mouth and white of the eyes.