Cat Illnesses & Symptoms

Updated July 19, 2017

Lethargy and frequent trips to the litter box might not seem like symptoms of a serious feline illness, but they can be. With immediate diagnosis, medication can be effective treatment.

Urinary Tract Infection

Symptoms of urinary tract infection include frequent trips to the litter box and signs that urinating is painful. Antibiotics are usually the form of treatment.


Distemper is caused by a virus that is transmitted through contaminated litter boxes, food and water. Cats that vomit, have no appetite and are lethargic may have distemper and need to be treated immediately to prevent death.


Peritonitis is another cat illnesses caused by a virus and is more common in multiple cat homes. A swollen abdomen is the most common symptom of this disease, and unfortunately, this disease is usually fatal.


Diabetes occurs when cats cannot produce enough insulin to keep their blood sugar at a normal level, and common symptoms include an increased appetite and frequent water drinking. This condition is treated by insulin shots or diet changes.


Hyperthyroidism is marked by an increase of energy and appetite, but a loss of weight. Hyperthyroidism is treated with various medications.


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About the Author

Alison Faria began writing professionally in 2002. Her articles have been published on Happy News and various other websites. She has a Bachelor of Arts in writing, literature and publishing with a minor in history from Emerson College.