Your cat is a part of your family and just like your other family members, you will want to keep him or her happy and healthy. No matter your cat’s age, it is important to be aware of the symptoms your cat may display when his or her health is in jeopardy. With February being National Cat Health Month, now’s the perfect time to take a look at the top five health concerns you may encounter with your feline to keep you informed and ready to take action
Urinary Tract Diseases
Urinary tract diseases are estimated to occur in as many as 3 percent of cats seen by vets, says Pets.WebMD.com. These are a variety of ailments that affect the bladder and urethra, and can most commonly be detected by such symptoms as bloody urine, difficulty peeing, vomiting and lack of appetite. Although there is no single cause of urinary tract diseases, it could be caused by certain cat foods, dehydration or a bacterial infection. If you notice your cat crying while urinating or peeing in unusual places, it is important to go to the vet as soon as possible. Your vet will be able to monitor your pet and prescribe proper medication. He or she may also suggest changes to your cat’s diet and provide a low-stress environment.
If you notice your pet losing weight and vomiting, he or she may have tapeworms. This common feline health problem can occur when your cat swallows a flea, eats an animal or comes in contact with contaminated soil. Check your cat’s feces for small white worms that resemble grains of rice to see if your cat is infected. If you notice any of these symptoms take your cat to the vet for proper treatment, which may include oral or topical medication. According to Animal Planet, cleanliness, flea control and keeping a cat indoors will help prevent worms.
Kidney (Renal) Failure
Unfortunately, this gradual disease may show no signs in your cat for years. Chronic renal failure is fatal, but your vet can provide you with medication to keep your cat comfortable. CatChannel.com says symptoms include anorexia, vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, constipation, depression and weight loss. You may also notice signs of extreme thirst and frequent urination. Acute renal failure will happen quickly and can be caused by ingesting antifreeze or an illness. If your cat shows signs of kidney failure, take him or her to the vet immediately to evaluate the severity of the damage.
Upper Respiratory Infection
Upper respiratory infections, like calicivirus and feline herpes, are caused by viruses and bacteria entering through your cat’s nose or mouth. Symptoms may include congestion, rapid breathing, fever or loss of appetite. Since this disease can easily spread, it is important to remove your sick cat from other felines immediately when you notice these signs. If possible, board your cat in a shelter that has a proper ventilation system to keep the disease from spreading, like those provided at The Cat’s Inn. As always, take your pet to the vet at the first sign of a concern to receive the proper treatment.
Feline gingivitis is a common dental disease caused by food and plaque gathering at the gums. Without daily brushing, tartar – a yellow substance – can form and irritate your cat’s gums. If your cat has bad breath and red gums, this can be an early sign of gum inflammation. Once diagnosed, get your cat’s teeth cleaned professional and feed your cat special dental-formula food. If severe, your vet may decide to prescribe antibiotics to prevent an infection from spreading and becoming a serious whole-body issue.
The Cat’s Inn cares about the well-being of your feline family members, which is why we’re dedicated to providing healthy and humane options for housing cats. For more information, give us a call at 877-228-7466.