Cat Care – Learn About Common Health Problems for Cats
As a responsible cat owner, I am always on the look out for any potential cat health problems. Ollie and Gracie are members of our family and just like with our children, we worry about our cats getting sick too.
Like any other responsible pet owner, you should know what health problems your tabby cat may be susceptible to. Cats may appear very quiet and resilient, but they are a target of many viruses, bacteria and parasites that may affect the health of your beloved pet. Pet owners should be familiar with common cat health problems so that they won’t escalate into something worse.
Prevention and early treatment is key to preserving the health and life of your cat. I simply cannot stress that enough.
Here are some common health problems that your tabby may encounter in its lifetime.
1. Cat Colds
When Oliver or Gracie sneezes it puts me in high alert. Colds are not for humans only, but it is also one of the common cat health problems. A cat with a bad cold could be a very serious illness indeed.
Your cat may still be active and normal even when it has the sniffles. If this is the case, then you shouldn’t be worried. But if the cold affects your cat adversely, then you should bring it to the veterinarian.
Some symptoms of a bad cold include loss of appetite, inactivity and murky discharges from the nose and/or the eyes and noisy breathing. Always remember never to give your cats medicine designed for humans as they might worsen their condition, or worse, lead to their death.
2. Feline Urological Syndrome (FUS)
FUS, or the Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is one of the most common cat health problems that owners encounter with their cats. One of the symptoms of the disease that is easy to spot is the appearance of sand-like particles in the urine of your cat. Sometimes, the sand takes the appearance of stones, which can deal your cat great discomfort and pain. Leaving this untreated could mean your cat’s death.
Okay sounds simple but how the heck can we even see the cat’s urine?! I really struggled with this one and the only way I could circumvent it was to do what I could with my cat’s diet to prevent the illness from even getting started.
As an owner, you could prevent this from happening by monitoring your tabby’s diet. You should keep the cat’s magnesium levels low and ensure that it gets the proper amount of water to lessen its bladder retention time. The acidity of the cat’s urine should be also considered, as it should be kept acidic. Veterinarians say that feeding cats canned food is less likely to create kidney problems than dry food.
Always make sure that there is a suitable area for cats to do their business inside the home especially in cold weather. Cats tend to hold in their urine in the cold, so exposing them to a place to do their business inside the warm house could help them take out their wastes properly, thus avoiding disease.
Cats are active animals, and it can’t be helped if they get scratches and wounds. They have sharp claws and teeth that may injure other cats and themselves as well.
The most prominent problem that could present itself in this scenario is infections. Various cat health problems arise from an infected wound, and if left untreated could mean your cat losing a limb, or its life.
If you notice a gash or a wound, clean it immediately with water and soap, then apply an antiseptic like iodine and cover it up with gauze to prevent the cat from licking it and ingesting the antiseptic. This is the first step of the prevention of a bigger infection problem.
If the wound is deep and an abscess forms, allow it to drain naturally. The cat may feel weak as the abscess forms, and usually feels a lot better once it drains naturally. But the abscess may recur, and so it is wise to bring the cat to the vet and allow them to drain the pus from the abscess surgically.
Gracie developed an abscess after being micro-chipped. Apparently this is not a unique problem caused by injections or microchip insertion.
She had this big open wound on her back. Oliver being just a kitten naturally wanted to play with Gracie and even help lick her wound. Keeping cats apart can be tricky as my two hate a closed door. Close the door and suddenly they must enter that room!
We opted for surgery to close the abscess, even though it was nice and dry the vet said it would not heal properly, it needed to be stitched back together. Gracie recovered well but the few weeks that we had to keep Ollie away from her was very tough indeed.
Cats do get up to mischief and two happy loving cats can also turn into little vixens when they want. My sister in law has two Burmese cats, mother and daughter. They live on a big farm with lots of countryside to roam and explore. But both cats now have only one eye. Somehow over the years they have each scratched the others eye out! Poor little mites.
Just remember cats do require good health care and can be a very expensive member of the family! By being alert to your tabby cat health problems you can quickly get medical care to lower the risk of serious health issues.