Cat health problems can be either genetic or a result of factors out of your control, but I can’t stress enough the importance of a healthy feline diet and the availability of fresh water when talking about cat health care. A healthy, species appropriate feline diet can go a long way towards prevention of some common cat health problems.
Knowing this ahead of time can create a much happier life for you and your feline friend by decreasing the human and cat stress that go along with cat illnesses, as well as the unpleasant frequent and often costly trips to the vet.
If you suspect your furry friend isn’t feeling well and may be suffering from a feline illness you should consult your veterinarian right away for proper advice and treatment. Pay attention to your cat’s normal habits, and as unpleasant as it may sound this includes paying close attention to their normal bathroom habits as well. When you start noticing changes in these things it could be a sign of a potential health problem.
Proper cat health care is is key. Keeping a close eye on things and taking action early can help catch cat illnesses in early stages and help prevent more serious problems down the road.
Part of sharing your home with feline friends means finding the occasional hairball. While grooming they inevitably ingest loose hair which sometimes collects and in time forms a ball in their stomach. Sometimes the hairball will make its way through the digestive system without any real problems, but sometimes it can cause constipation.
Make sure the vomiting is caused by a hairball. If your cat vomits often after eating and you don’t see a hairball in it, she may have a sensitive stomach and need a different cat food. Keep in mind vomiting isn’t always caused by a hairball.
Vomiting in Cats
There are several things that can cause your cat to vomit. The vomiting can be due to a hairball, a sensitivity to certain foods or it can be a symptom of an illness. If your cat is vomiting frequently or if the vomiting is accompanied by other symptoms or behavior changes, take your kitty to the vet to make sure it’s not a symptom of a health condition.
Fleas not only make your cat extremely uncomfortable, but flea infestation and flea bites can also cause allergic reactions, tapeworm or anemia. Controlling fleas is important for you and your cat as they can cause other cat health problems and they can be an extreme irritation for both of you. Learn more about Flea Treatment for Cats Including Natural Flea Control.
If your cat has fleas there is a chance she may have an allergy reaction to the flea bites. Flea bites are one of the most common causes of feline allergies. Itchy skin causing excessive scratching, grooming and pulling out hair are signs that a cat may have allergies. Learn more about Feline Allergies.
Worms are internal parasites that feed off of the host animal. The two most common intestinal worms found in cats and kittens are roundworms and tapeworms. Heartworm and ringworm are two other worms that can affect cats; although ringworm isn’t actually a worm, it’s a fungus. Learn more about Feline Worms.
Ear mites in cats is a common but potentially serious problem. If not treated the ear mites can cause severe damage to the ear canals and eardrum that can result in permanent hearing loss.
Ear mites can live anywhere on the body, but they cannot survive long off of your cat. Ear mites are easily spread to other pets in the household, so all pets should be checked and treated at the same time. Humans aren’t affected by ear mites.
You can find commercial ear preparations to kill ear mites, just be sure to get a treatment that is suitable for cats and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Feline Dental Health & Feline Dental Disease
Consistent, proper feline dental care is an important part of cat health care… not just for your cat’s health but her comfort as well. The bacteria and toxins from an infection started in your cat’s mouth can circulate through the body and contribute to other cat health problems relating to the kidney, liver or heart. Dental disease can also be very painful for your cat, making it hard for her to eat.
Help prevent dental disease in your cat with:
- Regular brushing, using a cat toothbrush and cat toothpaste
- Regular check ups
- Feeding dental treats, the best are dehydrated or freeze dried
- Supplements or drops to add to your cat’s food and/or water
- An oral gel made for feline dental care to remove plaque build up and kill bacteria
- A healthy diet, which helps maintain a stronger immune system
Conjunctivitis In Cats
Conjunctivitis is the inflammation or infection of the lining of the eyelid. Conjunctivitis in cats can be a result of feline allergies or an infection caused by a virus, bacteria or fungus. Symptoms of conjunctivitis can include redness of the eye and/or discharge of the eye.
Conjunctivitis can be painful and in some cases cause vision impairment or blindness. It’s important to seek medical attention to treat your cat’s eye infection and to see if it may be a symptom of another cat illness.
Cat stress is one of the health issues that isn’t always considered when thinking of cat health care. Cats like routine and changes to that routine can cause anxiety for them. Things like moving, a pet or person joining or leaving the household, a fellow pet dying or changes in routine are a few things that can cause cat stress. Unfortunately too much feline stress can also lead to cat behavior problems and other cat health problems.
If your cat hasn’t had a bowel movement in several days she may be suffering from feline constipation and should receive treatment right away. Constipation can be uncomfortable, even painful for your feline friend, and it may be a sign of another health problem. Learn more about Feline Constipation
Feline Urinary Tract Infections
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) refers to a number of urinary tract disorders in cats. FLUTD-related cat health problems can be painful for your cat and if not treated they can even cause death in some instances. If you suspect your cat has a urinary tract infection seek medical treatment right away. Learn more about Feline Urinary Tract Infection.
Diabetes in Cats
Feline diabetes is an illness that develops when the body isn’t able to regulate blood sugar levels. Symptoms of feline diabetes include, excessive thirst, frequent urination, recurring urinary tract infections, urinating outside the litter box, changes in appetite, weight loss, and lethargy. Learn more about Diabetes in Cats.
Cats with diabetes can live normal, healthy lives with proper treatment and cat health care. Part of the treatment process is feeding your diabetic cat a high quality, high protein, low carbohydrate diet with little or no grain.
Kidney Disease In Cats
The kidneys filter out toxins in the body and excrete them through urine. When a cat has kidney disease it means the kidneys are damaged and no longer able to effectively concentrate the toxins in the urine anymore.
The feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is the cause of feline leukemia as well as other immunodeficiency disorders and other cancers. The virus can be transmitted to other cats through bodily fluids like saliva, urine or feces, but it usually takes multiple exposures to infect an adult cat.
Hyperthyroidism in Cats
Feline hyperthyroidism is caused by an overactive thyroid gland that starts overproducing hormones. The hormones produced by the thyroid gland regulate the body’s growth, development and metabolism. Since the higher hormone levels increase the body’s metabolic rate, feline hyperthyroidism can impact other systems in the cat’s body.
This is just a short list of some of the more common cat health problems. If your cat isn’t behaving like his or her normal self monitor him or her closely and if you suspect something isn’t right consult your veterinarian. Keep in mind a high quality feline diet and good medical care are the best forms of cat health care when it comes to preventing and treating most common cat health problems._____________________________________