“The most common infections in cats are respiratory in nature,” says Beaver. “Some can be prevented with vaccinations.” Symptoms of upper respiratory infections in cats include runny nose, teary eyes, sneezing, cough, fever, or sores in the mouth. As for treatment, most upper respiratory infections are viral, so there isn’t much you can do, says Beaver. But it’s important to take your pet to the veterinarian for an evaluation since some upper respiratory infections can be fatal.
Another common infectious disease is feline panleukopenia, a highly contagious viral illness caused by the feline parvovirus. Symptoms can include fever, bloody diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, and dehydration. There is no medication that can kill the virus, so treatment usually consists of lots of fluids and watching over the cat’s general health until he can fight off the infection on his own. Kittens under eight weeks of age have little likelihood of survival, so vaccination is crucial to preventing feline panleukopenia.