Friday, May 1, 2009

Cat Health - Common Problems

No matter what breed of cat and no matter how well you look after your cat, like us humans, they will suffer from common cat health problems during the course of their life. As a cat owner, you will need to be aware of the most common problems, some of which can be avoided with the right awareness and by taking basic precautions.

The most common cat health problems are colds, bite wounds, digestive problems, urinary problems and diarrhea, and eye problems.

Cats are sensitive to many respiratory viruses and infections such as the common cold and like humans they can usually rely on their own immune system to deal with it. However, if your cat is off its food and appears listless and in some distress then you should consult your vet for appropriate medication.

Cats, particularly Tom cats do fight a lot. Often with other cats and sometimes with dogs and more dangerously with the dreaded fox. This can lead to various wounds which will need treatment from a vet to avoid infections setting in. Eyes are particularly vulnerable.

Fleas are also a common cat health problem, especially if your cat is outside a lot. Tapeworm and other parasites are common problems cat health problems too and often cause symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. Your vet will have medication to deal with these issues.

Another common cat health problem, mainly associated with Tom cats that have not been neutered, is urinary tract infection. If your cat stops using the litter box, or the urine is particularly strong smelling then these are clear signs and your vet should be consulted without delay.

Although not normally a cat health problem on its own, hairballs or fur balls are very common and can lead to problems under certain circumstances. Cats naturally swallow fur from their constant grooming and although it will normally pass through the cats digestive system, there are times when it gathers into a fur ball and may become lodged in the digestive tract or intestine with serious consequences if not treated quickly. Symptoms are not eating properly, constipation and listlessness. Often a cat will cough up a fur ball if it gets caught in the throat. You can help prevent hairballs or fur balls occurring if you brush your cat regularly.

Feline leukemia used to be a very common cat health problem and was often fatal. These days, however, with modern vaccines available the disease can be prevented. Always have you cat vaccinated if there is a risk of infection because this is a highly contagious disease.

The main message here is to monitor you cat's health, visit the vet regularly for check ups and take advice from your vet on suitable vaccinations.

Author: Richard G M Taylor

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