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Category: infectious diseases

There are a number of highly infectious and potentially fatal diseases which can affect your cat. However, for many of these conditions there is a simple protection in the form of vaccinations. Ensuring that your cat completes an initial course of vaccinations and then receives regular booster jabs is important if you want to keep your cat fit and healthy. The ‘routine’ vaccinations given by your vet will not include protection against all these diseases so it is important to consider the benefits of additional vaccinations on an individual cat basis. Your cat’s risk of contracting some of these diseases will depend on its lifestyle.

For some of these infections there is no vaccine available and while treatment may be an option it would be better if you could reduce your cat’s risk of coming into contact with these diseases. You should consult with your own vet on the best way to protect your cat’s health.

One other point to consider is the risk of you contracting a disease from your cat (a zoonotic disease). This is not a common occurrence, but people with a compromised immune system, eg pregnant women, the elderly or sick children are at particular risk. Cats can carry toxplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is caused by an infection with a tiny single-celled creature called Toxoplasma gondii. This is a very common parasite in mammals and birds but it can only live through every stage of its complicated life cycle in cats and in most cats this does not cause any signs of illness. Other parasitic diseases can also be passed from cats to people so it is important to care for your cat’s health for many reasons.


Ringworm is the common name given to a fungal infection also known as dermatophytosis. Ringworm is not uncommon in cats and if your cat has skin problems it may have ringworm. The disease is highly contagious and can be passed


Rabies is a very serious disease, killing more than 30,000 people around the world each year. There are few reported cases of recovery from confirmed infection. If you plan to take your pet abroad then they will need protection against

Feline panleucopenia (Feline infectious enteritis)

Feline panleucopenia is a very serious disease of cats which, before vaccination, was commonly fatal. Even today, with good nursing care, between a quarter and two-thirds of all affected cats will die from the disease. What is panleucopenia? Panleucopenia is

Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV)

Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) is probably the most important virus in cats. About one in three cats that come into contact with the virus develop a permanent infection which is almost always fatal. FeLV infection causes a wide range of

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

Hearing that your cat has Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is one of the worst bits of news you can get from your vet. The disease is almost always fatal, although treatments can make your cat's remaining time more comfortable. If

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

As its name suggests, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is closely related to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) responsible for causing AIDS in people. There is no cure for either disease and the virus causes the gradual destruction of the white

Chlamydia disease

Chlamydia is not particularly common in the average pet cat but can be a significant problem in cats in close contact. It is very easily spread from cat to cat. It is rarely fatal, but can be a real problem

Cat scratch disease

Cat scratch disease is a disease of people carried by cats. Infected cats usually do not show any sign of illness but the disease can be passed to humans via a bite or scratch from the cat. What is cat

Cat pox

If your cat is a keen hunter they may be at risk of catching cat pox from their prey. Cat pox is a viral infection that is also known as feline cow pox. Most cases recover without treatment but in

Cat ‘flu’

Cat flu is very common in unvaccinated cats and is very easily spread from cat to cat. It is rarely fatal, except in young kittens, but can be a real problem because the symptoms may be very difficult to clear