Cat owners everywhere know how hard it is when their little kitty gets sick. The worries, the doctors, the appointments, the treatment and the look in their cat’s eyes that says help! No cats are spared, even the most famous cats on the internet get sick, so if you want to know how to best take care of your cat and be prepared for any health problems that might arise, read our list of top 10 cat health problems, take notes and hope for the best! Remember, if you recognize any of the symptoms discussed below, take your cat to the veterinary as soon as possible.
10. Lower Urinary Tract Disease
Symptoms of lower urinary tract disease include straining to produce urine (which could lead to a fatal urethral blockage), not using the little box, excessive licking or blood in the urine. If you see your cat manifest any of these symptoms, then it means that its bladder and urethra are affected. The causes for FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease) are many and range from infection, to bladder stone and even cancer.
9. Heartworm Disease
The good news is that the cat is not a good host for heartworm. The bad news is that sometimes it does happen for cats to contract the disease, in which case, the prognosis is bad. There is no effective treatment for heartworm in cats, but some cats can fight it off on their own. Sings and symptoms include coughing, vomiting and respiratory problems.
The most common cancer in cats is called lymphosarcoma and is, as the name suggests, a cancer of the lymph system. Symptoms include, lumps, skim infections, sores, weight loss, diarrhea, difficulty defecating, urinating or breathing and swelling. Treatment for cancer is the same as it is for humans, chemotherapy, surgery, immunotherapy and radiation.
7. Infectious Diseases
The most common infectious diseases in cats are of the respiratory tract. Most infections can be prevented with vaccines, but some are viral and you can’t really do much to prevent them. For example, if you see that your cat has teary eyes, a runny nose, fever or is sneezing, most likely it has an infection. Take your cat to the vet, because some respiratory tract infections (such as panleukopenia – a viral illness caused by the feline parvovirus) can be fatal.
Fleas are more of a nuisance than a health threat, but sometimes, they can carry disease and cause some real issues. If you see your cat scratching itself and you notice hair loss or flea excretions, then your cat has fleas. Remember to only treat your cat with products especially designed for cats, as they can be really sensitive to dog products.
Obesity is one of the most common cat health problems these days. A fat cat can develop diabetes, liver and kidney problems and will most likely have a shorter life-span than an average-sized cat. If your cat is spayed or neutered, then you need to decrease its caloric intake by 30%. Most people can’t do that and thus are helping the cat get obese. Resist the urge to feed the cat if you want to have it by your side for years to come.
4. Vomiting and Diarrhea in Cats
If your cat experiences vomiting and diarrhea as an isolated episode, then it means that it is connected to something it ate and it should not cause any further problems. Let the cat rest and don’t give it food for a couple of hours after vomiting. But if the vomiting and diarrhea persist, then it is a sign of an underlying condition and you should take it to a vet.
Cats do not have nine lives and contrary to popular belief they’re not bouncy balls that can fall from extreme heights and be fine. If you see your cat limping or not moving, it may have a fractured bone in its legs. The cat’s legs have a myriad of tiny bones and tendons, so you need to take it to a vet and have an X-ray.
2. Dental Disease
Dental disease presents itself with the following symptoms: bad breath, difficulty eating, a change in chewing habits, pain while eating, excessive drooling and pawing at the mouth. Check your cat’s teeth and gums regularly to check for any missing teeth, ulcers or discolorations. Did you know that there are toothbrushes for cats? Are you brushing your cat’s teeth?
1. Kidney Disease
Kidney disease is most common is male cats and it can be the one of the most common causes of death. Kidney disease can be caused by infection, exposure to toxins, kidney stones, cancer, and high blood pressure. You should know that kidney disease is very common in older cats, so if you notice that your cat has a decreased appetite, is vomiting and is lethargic, you should take it to a vet as soon as possible.
Has your kitty ever had any of these cat health problems? How did you treat the illness? Do you have any tips for us? If you do, please write us a line in the comment section below. Your advice could help a cat.