Health Problems In Cats
There are many feline health problems, some more common than others. Some problems are easily preventable, while others are hereditary. Below are some of the more common health problems that cats encounter
Hairballs are a very common complaint because as cats
groom themselves they swallow loose hair. Sometimes this hair forms into a
ball and lodges in the cat's stomach.
Cats are often infested with worms. Roundworms,
tapeworms, and hookworms most commonly infect cats. Cats can occasionally
develop heartworms, as well. Symptoms of worms can include weight loss, pot
bellied appearance, poor coat appearance and vomiting. Worms are easily cured with a few doses of medication, but
if left untreated, they can cause serious health problems.
There can many varied reasons why a cat vomits, from a
serious illness to eating something disagreeable. An occasional, isolated
episode of vomiting is usually normal
Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are another common health problem
in cats. Bladder diseases occur in both male and female cats, although males
have a higher risk of life-threatening blockage of the urethra
Cat flu is the general name given to a viral infection of
the upper respiratory tract in cats. It is a common disease in cats and can
make them very sick and miserable. It can be fatal
in kittens and immunosuppressed older cats
Ear mite infestations in cats can be extremely
uncomfortable. Ear mites can also cause disfigurement and severe ear
Cats are sensitive creatures and are prone to stress.
Common Stress Symptoms
• Spraying (even in
Read More:- Feline Stress - Causes and Management
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)
FIP is caused by a mutation of the corona virus. According to some experts, cats living in multi-cat environments tend to test positive for enteric corona virus. Cats can live with that virus remaining quietly in the intestines with no sign of disease for their entire lifetime. In other cases, probably a genetic pre-disposition, the virus mutates into FIP.
Once a cat has contracted FIP, it will display symptoms of a mild upper respiratory infection: sneezing, watery eyes, and nasal discharge. It may also have diarrhea, weight loss and lethargy. Most cats fully recover from this primary infection, although some may become virus carriers. A small percentage of exposed cats develop lethal FIP weeks or even years after the primary infection.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
FIV, or cat AIDS, is not always fatal. FIV decreases the ability of the cat's immune system to fight infections. Cats with FIV may remain free of symptoms for years. It is when the cat contracts other illnesses in the chronic stage of FIV infection that FIV is first suspected. This long list of illnesses includes oral-cavity infections, upper-respiratory infections, weight loss, ear infections, kidney disease, and many others. Although there is, as yet, no vaccine, all cats should be tested for the virus. The virus is transmitted through saliva, usually when a cat is bitten in a cat fight.
Feline Leukemia Virus
FLV was, until recently, the most common fatal disease of cats. But with a vaccine now available, the number of cases is dwindling. Although the name leukemia means cancer of the white blood cells, this is only 1 of the many diseases associated with this virus, such as other types of cancer, anemia, arthritis and respiratory infections. FLV is preventable if the cat is immunized before being exposed to the virus. Although the disease is not always immediately fatal, cats with FLV rarely have a long life expectancy. NEVER bring other cats into your household when you have a cat with FLV.
If your cat spends time outdoors, you should check him regularly for ticks. If you find a tick on your cat's body and he has been lethargic and acts as if he is in pain, ask your vet to test for Lyme Disease. This disease is transmitted to people and animals by deer ticks.
Some cats may show subtle symptoms while others may show none -- symptoms are hard to recognize and often may be confused with other illnesses or old age. Be observant of your pet's behavior. It is the only way to know if your pet has contracted Lyme disease if no tick was found. Some symptoms of Feline Lyme Disease include:
(b) reluctance to jump or climb stairs,
(c) limping, or reluctance to put weight on a paw,
(d) loss of appetite.
The key to dealing with Feline Lyme Disease is prevention and early diagnosis and treatment. You should reduce the tick population around your home with simple landscape changes and spraying.
Abscess from cat bites or scratches
Cats have extremely tough skin which does not easily tear.
Consequently, teeth or claws do not leave large open wounds in the skin. Instead
they puncture deep into the muscle tissue under the skin through relatively
small holes that quickly heal over. The bacteria present on the tooth or claw
are seeded in the tissue under the skin where they thrive in the warm moist
environment. An abscess is extremely painful and can cause your cat to become
Toothache and Tooth Decay in Cats
The first symptom you may notice if your cat has toothache may be the cat's reluctance to eat. Any pressure on the tooth is extremely painful. The cat may be very hungry and will attempt to eat but drops the food when he gets it in his mouth.
A cat may reach a point where he no longer attempts to eat and he becomes thin and loses condition. He may also refuse to drink and become dehydrated. Read More:- Toothache and Tooth Decay in Cats (Pictures included)
Bad Breath in Cats
Although a cat's breath under normal circumstances is not the sweetest smell in the world you will certainly notice when it becomes foul smelling. Bad breath is usually an indictor that something is not right with your cat's health.
Read More: Possible Reasons for Bad Breath in Cats
Pregnancy and Giving Birth
The reproduction process