The first question to consider when addressing this topic is the definition of "common." Common to whom? Perhaps not surprisingly, medical conditions in cats vary in their frequency and severity depending on the situation in which cats find themselves.
So for instance, if speaking of feral cats, or cats who are "indoor-outdoor", exposure to feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) can be of significant concern.
Rescue groups commonly see feline upper respiratory infections (e.g., feline rhinotracheitis) in litters of young kittens taken from shelters or directly off the streets. Not surprisingly, these are associated with, and aggravated by, stressful situations. It goes without saying that external parasites such as fleas, mites, and ticks, along with worms and other internal parasites are also found as a matter of course in rescued and highly stressed animals.
Also stress related are the occasional outbreaks among young kittens in foster homes of the fungal dermatitis known as ringworm. While not life-threatening, this infection does compromise kittens' adoptability due to the many weeks they must remain under involved treatment to ensure total eradication. Ringworm is one of the very few infections of cats that can be transmitted to humans (young children being the most susceptible).
Perhaps of greatest interest to our members who do not work with feral colonies, rescue, or foster care are circumstances of dental disease, urinary tract health, trauma, poisons, and the diabetes seen generally in older cats. To this we may add the predisposing conditions of obesity, stress, and consequences of inactivity in the average indoor cat. These can also lead to, or be a result of, various behavioral and psychological as well as physical issues.
In this session of Feline-Human Relations 101, we will examine a number of medical conditions and circumstances that frequently result in visits to veterinarians for advice and treatment. The emphasis will be not only on causes and cures, but also on the predisposing factors that lead to common medical issues and what each of us can do to protect our cat(s).
During the second hour in accordance with our meeting format, time will be available to address any questions or situations related to cats that individuals are experiencing and have brought to this group for advice and, where possible, resolution.
PLEASE NOTE: Much of the information presented in Feline-Human Relations 101 is widely accepted and practiced throughout the feline rescue community. Other recommendations are derived from the experience and knowledge of the Instructor. However, in neither case are guarantees stated or implied that these methods will work 100% of the time.