As with humans, cats can get sick and suffer from many different diseases and also die from some diseases. At this point I would like to limit myself to the cat diseases that occur most frequently. I will briefly explain genetic errors or diseases that are genetic at the end.
Cat flu - Upper respitartory Infections
The term cat flu covers a number of diseases of the respiratory tract and mucous membranes in cats that are caused by various pathogens. These are both viruses and bacteria. The entire head of the cat, especially the mouth, nose and eyes, is affected by cat flu. As harmless as the term cat flu sounds, it is usually a serious infection that, if left untreated, can lead to death.
As with cat disease, it is transmitted through excretions, mainly from the nose, eyes and saliva.
As with the cat disease, a cured animal can also become a shedder, ie the animals are outwardly inconspicuous and without symptoms, but can spread the disease for life. Sick animals must be treated and after recovery, the veterinarian should check whether the animal continues to excrete pathogens. The incubation period here is only 1 to 4 days. Symptoms include sneezing, sticky eyes, discharge from the nose, excessive salivation, mouth ulcers, and fever. In addition, there is a loss of appetite and refusal to feed as well as fatigue. The best protection is early vaccination.
Feline disease (feline panleucopenia) is a viral, highly contagious disease that is widespread. This viral disease can affect cats of any age, especially young, sick or unvaccinated animals are at risk. Especially at the age of 6 to 16 weeks there is a high risk (especially without vaccination), three quarters (75%) of the cats die from it. Cat disease is transmitted by infected, sick or healed animals through excretions. Cat disease pathogens are very resistant and can remain active in our environment for months. The incubation period is 4 to 12 days. Infected animals initially refuse to feed, tend to lack drive, sleep a lot and vomit. They get dehydrated and very thirsty. In the further course, the number of white blood cells drops drastically. As a result, the cat gradually loses its immune system and becomes susceptible to further diseases and parasites. Sick animals must be treated and after recovery, the veterinarian should check whether the animal continues to excrete pathogens.
The best protection is early vaccination.
Feline Leukaemia / FeLV
Today, Feline Leukaemia is known as FeLV infection because it is caused by the feline leukemia virus. It is a dangerous viral infection that is still one of the leading causes of death in cats today. There is no clear incubation period for this disease, as infected cats can stay healthy for years. A variety of unusual health disorders appear as symptoms, e.g. Weight loss, listlessness, diarrhea. If such unexplained symptoms exist, a veterinarian should be seen who can test the cat for the virus. The transmission occurs through mutual cleaning, licking, rank fights, shared toilet etc. An infection with the feline leukemia virus is incurable, the cat dies within a period of 2 to 5 years, often after just a few months. Vaccination provides protection, but a cat should be tested for the virus before vaccination.
This deadly virus infection (humans can also become infected) is known to almost everyone. This is a deadly virus infection caused by the rabies virus and which can also be dangerous for us humans. This disease is notifiable or notifiable and unvaccinated, infected animals must be killed. The infection occurs through the saliva, usually through a bite. After infection, the virus begins to settle in the brain via the nerves.
The incubation period of rabies is about two to eight weeks, after the outbreak of the disease it takes about a day to a week before the infected animal dies with increasing paralysis. The symptoms of rabies show up clearly in various changes in personality, e.g. B. Aggressiveness, shyness, restlessness, fears, pitiful meowing, swallowing and breathing difficulties, attacking other species and people.
In United kingdom, rabies is considered to be eradicated, but in my opinion a rabies vaccination is indispensable, especially since a valid rabies vaccination is a prerequisite for travelling abroad.
Infectious peritonitis (feline infectious peritonitis) is a viral infectious disease that always leads to death. The causative agent of this disease is a highly virulent coronavirus. Cats often become infected between 6 months and 2 years of age or animals older than 14 years. Infection occurs primarily through contact with infected excretions, but also through direct contact. The virus remains active in our environment for about 1 week and can also be transmitted through humans. The incubation period cannot be clearly determined, it is assumed that it is around 4 months. The virus can be detected in the excretions after about 2 days. A distinction is made in this disease between a dry and a wet FIP, which apart from typical fluid accumulations on the abdomen, proceed similarly. The initial loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue and fever are followed by inflammation of the internal organs, high fever and breathing difficulties. It is difficult to make a clear diagnosis in sick animals that are still alive. Often you can only get a result through an autopsy. There is no vaccination for this disease.
HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy)
HCM is a heart muscle disease in which the heart muscle thickens and the heart can absorb less blood as a result. As a result, the blood builds up and enters the pulmonary circulation. At the end of the illness, water usually accumulates in the lungs.
At the beginning of the disease, cats show no symptoms, but they can often be detected early with an ultrasound. For some breeds, an annual check-up is therefore recommended.
HCM should be treated with medication (at the latest when symptoms appear).
HCM is a disease that has acquired over time and the causes of which have not yet been adequately researched. One assumes, on the one hand, a genetic disposition (this has already been proven in some breeds) and, on the other hand, other factors, e.g. Infections.
To make sure that a cat is healthy, you do an ultrasound of the heart at the vet, but you cannot always make a clear statement.
If you want more detailed information, it is best to speak to a veterinarian.
GSD IV (glycogenic salivary disease)
So far, this metabolic disease has only occurred in the Norwegian forest cats. It is a genetic hereditary disease, a malfunction of the glucose metabolism. The responsible genes can now be detected by a genetic test. Cats that develop GSD IV die at the latest between 10 and 14 months of age.
PK def (pyruvate kinase deficiency)
Pyruvate kinase deficiency is also a genetically determined hereditary disease in which there is a deficiency in red blood cells, which ultimately leads to anemia and death.