Having a cat is a joy all cat owners can relate to. Yet, this doesn’t mean zero responsibility. Once you make the decision to get a pet, you should be aware that this is a big step. Just like us, these little creatures get sick. In fact, cats are prone to a wide range of illnesses. Although your cat might seem to take care of herself, they still needs your help to stay in perfect health.
Cat health problems can range from being accidental to serious issues. Thus, as a pet owner, knowing these problems would definitely help you in identifying the illness and providing the appropriate treatment in the shortest time possible.
Here are 5 of the most common cat health problems pet owners are likely to encounter:
Vomiting is a very wide-spread cat health issue. This happens every time your pet ingests something that does not agree with their bodies. It can also occur after cats eat either too quickly or too much. In these cases, vomiting is not something to worry about and should be considered a serious health concern only if it lasts for more than a day.
Constant vomiting that persists beyond a day is indicative of a much more serious issue. Therefore, a visit to the vet is recommended. Your veterinarian will ask you a couple of questions to determine the cause, severity of the vomiting incident and then suggest an appropriate treatment.
Persistent vomiting might have symptoms such as:
- Weight Loss
Treatment in vomiting cases varies according to the cause. In most vomiting incidents, however, cats refrain from eating till after the vomiting completely ceases. Then, small amounts of food can be introduced such as boiled potatoes, meats, and rice. Water should be frequently provided and given in small amounts. Sometimes medications prescribed by a vet might help to decrease vomiting. Nevertheless, don’t use any drugs without veterinary approval.
Fleas are probably one of the most common cat health problem. These little parasites hide in your kitten’s coat and feed on your cat’s blood. Flea infestations can be easily treated if they are discovered in the early stages. The problem, however, is that it may take pet parents some time before they notice the fleas on their cat, which would have allowed the infestation to worsen by then.
Fleas don’t only irritate your pet causing her excessive scratching, they also affect her health. Heavy flea infestations may cause anemia, and in young kittens, this might even lead to death. To make matters worse, fleas have the ability to transmit diseases to your cat, potentially leading to a much more dangerous health issue.
- Skin sores
- Hair loss and bald patches.
- Adult fleas, flea dirt and flea eggs (black and white little specks) can be spotted on the cat’s skin usually hidden under the fur, can be seen with your naked eye.
Compared to other cat health problems, fleas might be the easiest to treat. They can be eliminated using flea removal products which kill fleas and prevent their development. Among all products, spot-on treatments are known to be the safest and most effective.
Make sure that you read the instructions on the product carefully before you apply it on your cat. Do not use flea products for dogs on your cat as the flea medication could be overly toxic and prove fatal. It is advisable for you consult your vet to decide on the best treatment for your cat.
Often the result if your little ball of fur loves food and tends to eat a lot. Slowly your cat gets bigger and bigger, and you are more than happy to allow this over indulgence to continue – believing you are harmlessly pampering your cat.
What harm could a little extra food do?
A lot of harm actually! Obesity is one of the most common health problems cats owners face in Singapore! You’ll notice that your cat is slowly getting lazier, tends to sleeps a lot more than usual, loves to eat often.
Bad news dear cat owners! Your cat suffers from obesity. Just as it is with us humans, obesity is a problem which can affect cats and have a negative impact on their health. Recently, obesity has become one of the most common cat health problems among cat owners who just can’t resist pampering their cats.
Obesity can lead to more dangerous ailments, including diabetes, heart disease and joint problems in the long run. Therefore, it is important that you keep an eye on your cat’s weight.
- Excess body fat
- Excessive appetite
- Inability to feel your cat’s ribs or backbone
To get your tubby tabby back into shape, you should reduce their calorie intake, while at the same time increasing the amount of exercise your cat receives (usually during playtime). You can also temporarily stop feeding treats and replace the free feeding system with a calculated cat food diet, which includes 2-3 meals per day.
Tapeworms are another cat health problem which puts your pet’s health at risk. Unlike fleas, tapeworms are internal parasites which live inside the cat’s intestine. As their name suggests, tapeworms are thin, long and flat (ribbon-like). These worms can find their way into your cat’s intestine after their eggs are transmitted to the cat by either adult fleas or rodents which have ingested tapeworm eggs. Tapeworms hatch inside your pet and steal her nutrients, causing her weight loss and diarrhoea.
- Appetite changes
- Weight loss
- Small white worms (like rice) coming out of your cat’s anus or in found in her bedding.
To get rid of tapeworms, oral medications are usually prescribed. In addition, since tapeworm infestations are most likely to occur because of fleas, cleanliness and flea control are essential for the treatment and prevention of such an ailment. It is also important that you keep your cat away from garbage and dead animals to prevent ingesting tapeworms.
5. Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD)
One of the most widespread cat health problems is feline lower urinary tract disease or FLUTD. However, FLUTD is not a single disease. Rather, it refers to a collection of health problems which affect the cat’s lower urinary system. If your kitten suffers from FLUTD, she will face difficulty in urinating or suffer a blockage of the urethra, which can be fatal.
Cats who are overweight or eat dry food are more likely to experience such an illness. Still, there are other factors which might be behind an FLUTD episode, including stones accumulation in the bladder or urethra, stress, injury to the urinary tract and spinal cord issues.
- Frequent visits to litter box
- Inability to urinate
- Bloody urine
- Excessive licking of urinary opening
- Painful urination
- Lack of appetite
- Increased water intake
Treating a serious cat health issue like FLUTD starts by identifying the cause. Your vet will decide the best treatment for your pet depending on her condition. Generally, increasing water intake, urination, and exercise would help in all FLUTD cases. Replacing dry food with wet foods is always recommended in addition to reducing stress and anxiety.
These were some of the most common cat health problems which are likely to attack your kitten. As a cat owner, educating yourself about cat health issues would always keep you ready to handle whatever illnesses that come along. Your cat health is your responsibility. So don’t let her down.