Common Cat Health Problems

If you have just become the proud owner of a cat, you will be surprised to discover that health problems in cats are quite common and can be expected, no matter which breed of cat you choose. However, although some health conditions are hereditary, many others can be easily prevented. Here are details of some of the more frequent cat health problems which you are like to encounter.

Worms

Tapeworms, roundworms and hookworms are a common and recurring problem whatever breed of cat you have. If your cat appears not to be gaining any weight, is constantly scratching or has small white dots in his stools, worms are likely to be the cause. Worms need taking care of with medication from your vet as they can turn out to be life-threatening if left untreated.

Hairballs

Hairballs are the most widespread health problem for cats. Cats clean themselves up on a daily basis, and swallow the hair shed from their coats when doing so. This loose hair collects together and forms a ball which can become caught up and stuck in the cats digestive system instead of passing through the body in the normal way. Your cat will cough and splutter and eventually dislodge the hairball without incurring any other health problems. In exceptional cases, the hairball will travel down to the intestine area, and cause a blockage. This then becomes a serious problem and can be fatal if treatment is not received. You will be aware that this has happened when your cat has a dull coat, becomes constipated or simply changes his eating habits and when displaying any of these signs he should be taken to the vets right away. A good way to prevent the situation of hairballs arising is to brush your cat a couple of times each week, removing the loose hair. There are particular brands of cat food on the market which control hairballs too.

Urinary Tract Infection

This is a regular infection within cats, predominantly in male cats that have not been neutered, although females do occasionally suffer from urinary tracts problems as well. When this infection is present your cat will stop using his litter box and his urine will smell unusually strong. A visit to the vets is necessary if you suspect your cat has an infection of this kind. Medicine will be prescribed by your local Mt Pleasant, SC veterinarian and you will receive advice to help combat this condition in the future.

Feline Leukemia

Cat Leukemia has, in the past been the biggest cause of death. Although your cat will not meet with an immediate demise, he is not likely to have a long life-span. Nowadays, vaccines are available to treat this disease and it is best for your cat to be given the shot prior to being exposed. If your cat is unfortunate enough to have Leukemia you should make sure to keep him away from other cats as this disease is highly contagious.

In order to protect you cat make sure you take him to the vet for his regular checks. Although some cat health problems are inevitable, many of them are avoidable. Keeping your cat indoors will protect him from the majority of them but if yours is definitely an outdoor cat keeping him up-to-date with his vaccinations will ensure a long, happy and healthy life.

Ringworm

Both dogs and cats are prone to suffer from ringworm a common skin disease. Despite its name, ringworm has nothing to do with worms. It’s actually caused by a kind of fungus known as a dermophyte. These fungi feed on dead tissue on the surface of the skin, and are related to the fungi that cause athlete’s foot in humans. In ninety-five percent of all feline cases of ringworm, the fungus responsible for the disease is one called M Canis.

Most cats get this disease from objects that have come into contact with another infected animal. These could include bedding, nail or hair clippers, or the animal itself. If there are animals around your house, or in your home that have ringworm, your cat could be the next one to come down with this disease. Kittens or cats less than a year old are the most vulnerable to ringworm, and can easily contract it if allowed outside. Outdoors, there are many different vectors through which your cat could acquire ring worm. It takes a long time for a kitten’s immune system to become reliable enough to fend off this common disease.

Ringworm causes inflammation and itching. In cats, this means that the most common symptoms are rough patches in the coat, or broken hairs. Hair loss around the pays and head also signify ringworm. This disease can also be seen as a scaly patch of skin, surrounded by broken or damaged fur. This area will probably be quite sensitive, and thus should not be touched. If your cat presents any of these symptoms, immediately take them to the vet. Mt Pleasant, SC dog boarding kennels really have to watch out for this. Ringworm isn’t dangerous, but it can be irritating, and can spread to humans.

If your pet is diagnosed with ringworm, he’ll probably prescribe either tablets or topical ointment. Which medicines your cat will take will depend on the seriousness of the ringworm infection. Should your cat need to take a pill, try giving them at meals. Ointment, on the other hand, can simply be applied directly to infected areas. Be sure to continue to administer medication even if symptoms subside early. Otherwise your cat could have symptoms return later. It usually takes around six weeks to clear up a case of ringworm.

Cats that have ringworm can communicate it to other pets and to humans. This means that you should wear gloves when handling your cat until the infection is cleared up, and keep other people, especially children, at a distance. Even though this is a relatively harmless disease, it can spread easily, and the itching from it is annoying. Clearing up a case of ringworm takes a long time. Therefore, it’s best to avoid it entirely.