Cat “Flu”

Cat flu is actually a collection of diseases that cause similar signs to the human – none of which are actually flu.  Symptoms vary but include  snotty or runny nose and eyes.  Sneezing, coughing and a sore throat is common. It is highly contagious and is most common in free roaming cats. It is more severe in young kittens and unwell or stressed adults.

As a result it is very common in cats in shelters. Most cats get better with time but secondary infections are common and can be fatal (especially in kittens). Vaccination is not fully protective but it is provides essential protection.

Vaccination reduces substantially the likelihood of catching cat flu. If they are unlucky enough to catch it prior vaccination reduces the severity and speeds up recovery.  Cats need to be vaccinated prior to boarding in a cattery or attending a cat show.


This is a common problem in outdoor or roaming cats. They are basically a big accumulation of pus and infection usually just under the skin. They form after a cat fight – when one cat bites another the bacteria on the teeth is “injected’ under the skin.

The infection develops and they appear as soft fluidy swellings. Most commonly they are located around the cheek, feet and rump. If left untreated they can burst leaking pus from large gaping wounds. Treatment is best by a vet.

The cat bites that start them can often be small and hard to spot. Prevention is better than cure – keep your cat indoors especially at night. Fighting severe enough to cause abscesses is very rare amongst cats that share the same household.

Car accidents

Being struck by a moving car is one of the most common cause of death and injury for outdoor cats. The force of the impact can be immense frequently breaking bones and crushing organs.


Cats are very good at vomiting and is actually a sign of multitude of causes. Some serious some not.  An occasional vomit is almost normal for cats. Cats can vomit to remove hairballs and to re-examine food.

They can vomit on purpose if they want to. Repeated vomiting, unproductive vomiting or vomiting combined with diarrhoea or blood in it are all signs that veterinary attention should be sort.  The signs of vomiting are usually obvious but a drooling cat can also have been vomiting.

Bladder problems

Cats are prone to problems with their bladders. Straining to urinate, blood in the urine and dripping urine are all common signs of serious problems with the bladder. It is an emergency and should be seen by a vet straight away.


Fleas are nasty little blood suckers than can be a real problem. Frequently you can see the fleas as small fast moving dots especially the thinner areas of fur of the belly and under the tail.

Alternatively their dropping are dark black/red and can be seen when you brush your cat. There are excellent flea control products available now and so successful control is much easier. Fleas carry tapeworm so can also spread this to your cat. (Causing an itchy bottom, weight loss or diarrhoea.)


It also has many possible causes.  Spoiled food, inappropriate food, allergies and sensitivities, infections, parasites and even cancer can all cause diarrhoea. Eating off food or a food that disagrees with them are the main causes.

All cats are lactose intolerant so giving them milk will usually cause diarrhoea.  If you cat seems well otherwise you can treat it by simply restricting food and just giving water for 12-24 hours. If your cat seems unwell as well,  there is any blood in the diarrhoea or its combined with vomiting then take your cat to the vet.


Obesity is a growing trend amongst Australian cats – it is estimated that one in three pet cats is at least somewhat overweight.