Cats are curious, playful, independent, and self-sufficient creatures. They only require a little focus and are quiet. While this can be a big plus when you have other things on your plate, it can also be a downside.

Cats are only sometimes good at communicating their health concerns. You must recognize any symptoms and address them as soon as possible. If you’re wondering how well your feline friend is doing or what issues might arise during its lifetime, read on.

What Are the Common Health Problems in Cats

Health Problems in Cats

Respiratory Infections

A virus or bacteria usually triggers respiratory infections in cats. FVR and FCV are the two most common culprits, accounting for 90% of these illnesses. Cats can also get bacterial infections from Bordetella bronchiseptica and Mycoplasma felis. The latter spreads through contaminated litter boxes and cat carriers. At the earlier stage, antibiotics can help treat the condition. The most effective antibiotic is amoxicillin.

Amoxicillin for cats is an antibiotic with a broad range that cures various infections, including skin allergies, urinary tract infections, and respiratory infections. It does not mess with the cats’ gastrointestinal conditions.

Consider giving this medication with food if your cat throws up after taking it. The dosage is 5–10 mg/pound every 12–24. However, it’s prudent to consult your vet if you need to give this med to your fun cat.

Common signs of respiratory infection include sneezing, a runny nose, and eye discharge. But it’s important to note that some cats with respiratory issues can appear perfectly healthy. If your cat shows any of these signs, you should provide them with medical treatment soon. This will prevent underlying health problems, if any, from getting severe.


With 33% obese and 26% overweight cats, obesity is the most common health problem among them. The real culprit behind obesity in cats is excess food intake, lack of exercise, and genetics.

Obese cats suffer breathing difficulties due to increased body fat around the chest area. They also have arthritis due to the extra pressure of body weight on joints. Similarly, they also suffer from heart and other health issues.

The signs of obese cats include having trouble moving around quickly, lethargy, joint pains, depression, etc. If this happens, talk with your vet about how to treat obesity. If your cat isn’t obese, then don’t be relaxed and take preventive steps.

It’s essential to monitor your cat’s weight to prevent or reduce the risk of developing obesity. Get them plenty of exercise, for example, playing with toys or running around in parks.

Avoid feeding them high-calorie food. It’s best to feed them wet canned food in favor of kibbles. The water content will make them full soon. This will keep them from over eating while also supplying sufficient nutrients.

Dental disease

As published in the Cornell Feline Health Center, 50-90% of cats suffer from dental problems. These can be minimally unpleasant to potentially fatal, based on the condition and its seriousness.

Dental disease usually begins with plaque buildup on your cat’s teeth. The buildup causes inflammation in the gums. If you don’t take care of this issue, it might result in an infection and oral sores.

The infection can spread to other organs or tissues in your pet’s body through blood vessels or lymph nodes. And your cat might have respiratory, urinary, kidney, and other health problems.

Therefore, keeping your pet’s mouth healthy is essential. Regular brushing your cat at home and wiping your cat’s teeth with special wipes and brushes can help prevent plaque buildup. It removes the bacteria underneath them before they cause damage over time.



Allergies are the most common problem in cats. Fleas and grasses usually trigger allergies in them. If your cat is sensitive to fleas, you’ll see symptoms of itching and sneezing. And if it’s allergic to grasses, your cat may cough when outside.

A food allergy can be challenging to diagnose in cats. When cats consume allergic food, they rarely suffer from gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea or vomiting. Instead, they develop dermatological issues such as dermatitis or recurrent ear infections due to their immune system overreacting.

If you suspect one of these conditions is affecting your cat or if you notice any symptoms consult a veterinarian immediately. There are treatments available for both types of allergies: antihistamines for respiratory allergies like pollen and medicated shampoos/sprays for skin irritations from allergens like dust mites. Also, there are immunotherapy treatment options available too!


Arthritis affects about 90% of cats over age 10. The condition is a degenerative disease that causes inflammation and pain, most often affecting the joints in your cat’s legs and hips.

Arthritis can cause stiffness, lameness, difficulty getting up when lying down or sitting down, and reluctance to move around. While these symptoms are all unpleasant for any cat, they’re incredibly distressing in older pets.

Several factors can trigger arthritis in cats. Some experts believe genetics may play a role. That’s because certain breeds think Scottish fold cats tend toward earlier onset than others.

In addition, obesity might also increase risk factors due to excess weight putting pressure on joints. If your pet has become sedentary lately due to changes in lifestyle or weight gain, this could be contributing factor too.


Hyperthyroidism impacts the thyroid gland. It leads to the secretion of active hormones. It’s not contagious and can affect cats of any age. But it’s most common in older cats over 10 years old. Cats with hyperthyroidism often experience weight loss, increased appetite, thirst, heart rate, or blood pressure.

You may treat this illness with medication and surgery. Medications are usually given once or twice per day. It depends on how severe your cat’s case may be.  However, some cases require a daily prescription for life.

That’s due to their severity, while others only require short-term treatment. Short-term treatments are until they reach an adequate weight level before being considered healthy enough to stop taking medication altogether.

A part of the thyroid gland is excised during surgery. There won’t be excess production happening inside your cat’s body. Hence it prevents further complications, such as hormones circulating through their bloodstream.

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus occurs when the body does not make or maintain insulin. Hence blood glucose level shoots up and causes severe damage to the body’s cells. Diabetes mellitus is non-curable. But with diet, meds, and exercise, you can control the condition.

One of every 230 cats develops diabetes. Considering the 370 million cats in the world, that’s a lot. The chances of your cat suffering from it are high. If your cat develops it and you don’t seek immediate treatment, the condition may cause permanent damage like kidney and liver failure, including death.

Hence, it’s essential to recognize the signs of diabetes and offer immediate treatment. Signs are weight loss, lethargy, weight loss, increased urination, and extreme thirst, among many others.

Health Problems in Cats: Key Takeaway

Health Problems in Cats

Your cat needs regular checkups with the vet to be healthy. Depending on your pet’s age and health, visits can be once or twice a year. During these visits, vets will examine your cat’s overall health.

Assessments include teeth and ears; taking his temperature; listening to his heart and lungs; measuring his weight and height; giving him vaccinations if needed; testing his fecal matter for parasites; providing immunizations against diseases such as rabies and feline distemper; and so much more.

Such routine examinations aid in avoiding any health concerns remaining unnoticed for an extended period.  And thus, treating them becomes extremely difficult. In the end, many health conditions affect cats.

The most common ones are listed above. It is essential to recognize the common health problems in cats to help your cat live a long, healthy life!

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