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Common cat illnesses catipedia-icon2.png

What to look for and how to help.


Upper respiratory infection

This is one of the most common illnesses cats contract and is often caused by the feline calicivirus or feline herpes virus. This airborne virus is easily spread from one cat to another. Cats under stress and breeds with truncated nasal passages—like Persians—are particularly susceptible.

Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, rapid breathing or fever. If your cat develops a secondary bacterial infection with the upper respiratory infection, he or she will need antibiotics. Still, the best treatment is always prevention: Make sure your cat's immunizations are current and that he or she receives routine check-ups from a veterinarian.

Feline gingivitis

Feline gingivitis is an early stage of periodontal disease caused when bacteria and food particles collect on the gumline as plaque. This irritates the gums and separates them from the teeth.

Look for red or swollen gums as an indicator that gingivitis has set in. To stop its progression, have your cat’s teeth professionally cleaned and brush them every day. A veterinarian may advise that you switch to a cat food specially formulated to promote dental health.

Roundworms and tapeworms

If your cat's feces appears to contain undigested spaghetti noodles, he probably has roundworms. A roundworm is a parasite that hatches from larvae deposited in your cat's digestive system that he or she ingests by eating infected prey or infected fleas. Other symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and weight loss.

Tapeworms have the same effects and symptoms as roundworms, but their appearance is different. They'll look like long, flat white ribbons in your cat's feces—more like fettuccine than spaghetti.

To rid your cat of either type of worm, you'll need to visit the vet for a series of oral deworming medication.

Urinary tract infections

This illness affects your cat’s bladder and urethra. If you see blood in your cat's urine or notice that your cat strains to urinate, take him or her to the veterinarian right away. A course of antibiotics should eliminate the problem within 10 days.

Kidney disease

This is a very serious illness that may be caused by poor nutrition, poison ingestion or an untreated urinary infection. And the damage can be irreparable—kidneys regulate blood and fluid levels and also filter and process waste.

The most recognizable symptoms are excessive thirst and increased urination. If your cat is exhibiting these symptoms, make an appointment with your vet immediately. Your vet will likely run blood tests to determine the cause of these changes in your cat’s behavior, then will discuss a course of treatment based on the test results.



Below you'll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our company, our products and caring for your cats. If you have a question that isn't addressed here, please feel free to contact us.

Q: How can I email or talk with the Purina Pet Care team?

A: If you would like to talk with us, please contact us here or call us at 1­-888­-228­-2469.

Our Hours of Operation:

  • Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST
Q: How are Purina Cat Chow products different from other healthy pet foods?

A: Inside every bag of Purina Cat Chow you'll find a selective blend of protein, fat, and fiber. Everything we use in our premium cat food formulas has a place in your cat's healthy diet.

Q: How can I be sure of the quality of the Purina Cat Chow products?

A: Our top priority is the quality of the food that nourishes not only your pets, but the pets we share our lives with, too. So from source to bowl, the quality of our food is assured by taking the following steps:

Ingredient Sourcing

  • Purina ingredient sourcing and processing meet or exceed FDA, USDA or AAFCO standards for pet food. And every supplier of ingredients for Purina products must meet our stringent standards for ingredient specifications, product safety, sanitation and manufacturing practices.
  • Ingredient Testing
  • All of Purina's North American manufacturing facilities have on-site quality assurance laboratories and staff. And we're working to expand the use of technology to further screen ingredients for quality assurance.
Q: Where is your food manufactured?

A: 99% of all Purina-branded pet food products sold in the U.S. are made in Purina-owned U.S. manufacturing facilities. Purina's sophisticated tracking system ensures important measures of control: All raw ingredients are tracked from time of receipt at our plants, through their inclusion in finished products, and on to retailers.

Q: I am unable to find a particular product in my area. Can you help me locate it?

A: Yes, we can help. Although distribution of our Purina Cat Chow products is national, not all stores carry all sizes and varieties. Contact our Customer Service department via our Contact Us page or call us at 1­-888­-228­-2469.

Q: Do you offer coupons?

A: We recommend signing up to become a member of our MyPerks loyalty program to receive exclusive offers. We also offer coupons in local papers, through direct mailing programs and via emails to registered members. Make sure to watch for sales or promotions at your local retailer as well.

Q: Where can I find articles and information about my cat?

A: We believe there's always more to learn and to share and that discovery should be fun. It's one more way we're helping you and your cat share a better life together. Visit Catipedia for articles and information and... a little bit of fun.

Q: Help! My cat has a health issue and I’m not sure what to do.

A: We strongly recommend talking to your veterinarian for immediate answers to urgent situations. While is an excellent resource of information provided by cat care experts, your veterinarian can provide the best care for your individual cat.