10 Common Cat Problems; Cats are independent animals and can mostly take care of themselves. Although it appears your cat is completely self-sufficient and doesn’t need you for more than food, water and a place to sleep, your cat’s health is ultimately in your hands and it is up to you to make sure they are not suffering from any health problems- mild or severe. While every cat is unique, there are some common health issues that most cats will encounter at some point throughout their lifetimes. Knowing what those common concerns are and being armed with the information and resources to take care of any affliction can make life with your feline friend much easier.
1. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
The term Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) refers to symptoms that affect a cat’s bladder and urethra with likely more than one cause. Symptoms can include painful, bloody or frequent urination and the causes can include any problems that have affected the cat’s lower urinary tract like stones, cancer or infections. FLUTD is common in both sexes of adult cats and affects between 0.5 percent to 1 percent of the cat population.
2. Feline Leukemia
One of the most common disease seen in domestic cats, Feline Leukemia is a retrovirus that affects a cat’s immune system and can be transmitted to other cats through body fluids like saliva, urine, and nasal secretions. Feline Leukemia often times shows no symptoms which is why every cat needs to be tested for the disease to make sure it isnt further spread. Cats with Feline Leukemia are susceptible to a number of other diseases because of their compromised immune system.
Blood-sucking parasites that attach to your cat and cause them to scratch, lick and itch themselves excessively are known as fleas and they can be a pet owner’s worst nightmare. Cats that are badly infested with fleas can even develop painful body sores and can become anemic, which can be very serious if left untreated. Preventive measures, like topical and oral flea medications and keeping a cat’s environment clean, are the best way to never encounter a flea infestation. It only takes one flea to cause a massive invasion of the nasty creatures so be vigilant in protecting your cat from this common health problem.
Inflammation of the gum, known as gingivitis, is a common cat disease and the earliest stage of periodontal disease. Gingivitis can be painful for cats, resulting in a change in their behavior and eating patterns, and their gums are usually red with some buildup of plaque. Plaque that has accumulated in the gums is the main cause of gingivitis but some other causes could be Feline Leukemia, old age, poor dental care and autoimmune diseases.
5. Kidney Disease
A number of things can cause kidney disease including exposure to poisons or toxins, trauma, high blood pressure, cancer, infections or decreased blood flow. Kidney disease, also known as renal failure, can occur suddenly or over a long period of time and it is most prevalent in older cats but it can affect cats of any age. Some cases that are more severe may need emergency surgery and hospitalization while cases that are caught before a lot of damage has occurred can be managed with long-term supportive care.
Cats that are overweight are a common sight for veterinarians. A cat that is obese may suffer from a number of health problems like diabetes, liver problems and joint pain because of the added weight on their bones. A cat becomes obese when they begin consuming more calories than they are expending. Obesity can be treated with a proper,balanced diet and regulated exercise but always consult your vet before starting any kind of program to get your cat back to a healthy weight.
The most common parasitic worms found inside a cat is the roundworm and anywhere from 25% to 75 % of cats suffer from this parasitic infection. Cats usually contract the worms as kittens by eating the worm’s eggs or by eating an animal that is infected with the worm’s larvae. A lot of cats and kittens don’t show any signs of infection so they should be regularly tested.
Another parasitic infection cats commonly suffer from is tapeworms. Cats usually contract tapeworms by swallowing a flea which is another reason why it is important to combat any flea problem. Other causes include eating an animal that is already host to the tapeworm’s larvae. Oral and injected medications have proven to be effective to remove tapeworms from a cat.
Cats vomit for a number of reasons and it is a common occurrence in most cats that is not usually a cause for any major concern. Most vomiting is the result of what or how cats ate. If they ate something toxic or inedible they may throw it up, also eating too fast may lead to a cat getting sick. Hairballs are another usual cause of vomiting. However, if vomiting persists or is bloody take your cat to the vet immediately because it could be a sign for a more serious problem like gastritis, kidney failure, parasites, ulcers or a neurological disorder.
10. Upper Respiratory Infections
Infections to a cat’s upper respiratory tract, which includes their nose throat and sinuses, can be a common occurrence in cats.These infections can be caused by a variety of viruses and bacteria and general symptoms include sneezing, coughing, runny nose, congestion and fever. Infections are usually treated with medication and lots of rest, fluids and nutrition.