Cats are one of the most common household pets in the world. They are beautiful, independent, and can even be helpful by killing or scaring away mice. Even if the only mice your cat ever meets come stuffed with catnip; however, they can still end up getting illnesses. So, as a pet owner, it is essential to understand the signs and symptoms of common cat diseases so you can get the necessary help for your beloved cat in time. Here are ten common cat diseases and health problems you may want to look for in your pet. Read on!
Table of Contents
Common Cat Health Problems
1. Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) is one of the common cat diseases most of the owner’s face. Cats have very small urethras, and because of this frequently end up with UTIs. Urinary Tract Infections can be very serious in cats, especially males, and it can be hard to detect a problem until it is very severe. UTIs left untreated can potentially become deadly if it spreads far enough.
Luckily, buying the right type of litter can help detect them early. Since UTIs change the PH of the cat’s urine, there are brands of litter that will change color if the cat gets an infection, helping you to get him to the vet long before the infection gets worse.
Ask any cat owner; felines are notorious vomiters. Cats throwing up undigested food is quite common and often harmless. Many times, it is simply a cat being a cat, but it can also be a significant health problem. Vomiting can be a sign of anything from eating a meal too quickly, to full organ failure. If your cat only vomits every once in a while, you can probably skip out on the vet trip.
If your cat is vomiting several times a day or has blood in the vomit then it is a sign of diseases, you’ll want to get your cat to the vet as quickly as possible.
3. Dental Disease
Most cats aren’t terribly pleased with their owners inspecting their mouths, and because of this, it is easy to miss the start of periodontal disease in cats. Dental disease is one of the most common cat health problems; however, and it can reach a very advanced state before the cat begins to show symptoms.
Regular screening at a vet and dental when necessary can protect your pet from harm and increase their lifespans.
4. Kidney problems
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that without a diet that contains meat in it, they will die. Unfortunately, their thirst reflex is not very strong due to the fact that their bodies are designed to get most of their nutrition from liquid-filled prey.
On a diet of dried food, kidney problems are a very real danger, since cats tend to be in a constant state of dehydration. You can help protect your cat from cat kidney illnesses by offering it canned food or getting the kibble wet, in order to help give them the hydration they need.
Although fleas are not cat diseases, however, it has a high impact on cat health. Fleas and other parasites can also frequently plague cats, even indoor ones that never go outside. It’s very easy for a flea to hop on you while you are outside, and use you to hitch a ride straight to your cat.
If you spy your dog scratching, notice “dirt” on your cat, or see live bugs crawling, treat the cat and the house immediately. 30-day flea treatments and bombing your home are good steps to get rid of the problem quickly.
Heartworm is only prevalent in specific areas, but they are a deadly concern for those who live in heartworm areas. Cats should be regularly screened for heartworm, and if you live in an area where they live, keeping the dog on heartworm prevention is essential to your cat’s well being.
Once a cat has heartworm illnesses, it can be very difficult to treat and can be fatal. If you’re not sure whether or not you live in a heartworm area, ask your local vet.
Sure, a fat cat can be pretty cute, but it can cause a lot of health problems in your pet. If your cat is a little heavier than it should be, you can help through getting your cat more active and cutting down on food.
Since cats can’t always be walked on a leash, you can still improve their activity by spreading their food out, so they need to travel around the house to get it, or playing with them.
Fat cats can suffer from a variety of different diseases, including diabetes and heart disease, which are potentially deadly. Keeping your cat slim will increase its lifespan, and make those years more enjoyable for you both.
Cancer is one of the most common cat diseases older cats face. Thanks to good vet care, more pets are living longer, and the longer they live, the more likely it is they will eventually face cancer. It’s extremely important to catch cancer early to give your cat the best chance at a positive outcome, and that means getting the cat checked regularly by a vet as they age.
9. Upper Respiratory Infections
Cats have surprisingly delicate lungs, and one of the problems they frequently face is an upper respiratory infection. Typical signs are sniffling, sneezing, discharge, a change of attitude, and appetite. If you see these signs, get your cat checked by a vet, as a bad infection can potentially be deadly.
Cats that live with other cats, including multiple cat households, are the most likely to come down with an upper respiratory infection. If your cat has the sniffles, take it seriously, and visit the vet for treatment as soon as possible.
10. Feline Leukemia
Feline leukemia is the second most common cause of death in cats, second only to physical injury, such as getting hit by a car. Cat feline leukemia is contagious, and while most cats who encounter the disease can fight it off, those who can’t have a much less happy outcome. Outdoor cats are far more likely to encounter the disease than indoor cats, so for safety, keeping your cat inside may be best.
Cats make excellent pets, and wanting to keep them healthy is a natural part of being a pet owner. If you’re concerned about your pet’s health, paying attention to these ten common cat health problems can potentially save your pet’s life.