Cats seem to groom themselves all the time. But even the cleanest feline can succumb to some of these common health issues.
Fleas are a very common health issue for cats as well as dogs. Fleas can live over a year and cause anemia in your cat if left untreated. They have some specific signs and are one of the easiest issues to treat. There are several treatment options including powders, foams, topical medication and oral medication. Consult with your vet on the best choice for your pet. Here are some signs your cat has fleas.
• Constant scratching
• Irritated red skin
• Hair loss
• Frequent licking
• Flea dirt on their skin which looks like little black dots
• Hot spots or infections
Vomiting is very common with cats due to many causes. It could be from eating something poisonous or inedible like ribbon, hairballs, an infection, diabetes or urinary tract disease. Aside from the usual symptoms, it can include include abdominal heaving and drooling. Vomiting can dehydrate your cat rather quickly so call you vet if your feline acts ill or continues to vomit. Your vet may request a sample so be prepared to take one along.
FLUTD – Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
Vets estimate that as many as 3% of the cats they see have FLUTD. Feline lower urinary tract disease is actually a group of disease with many causes. Both male and female cats are at risk to contract FLUTD and is common in cats that are overweight, unfit or generally only eat dry food. Other contributing factors can be stress, sudden changes to their lifestyle, and even multiple cats in the homes. Treatments are based on the type of FLUTD that your cat has. If you think you cat may have FLUTD, contact your vet immediately. If your cat can’t urinate, there is definitely a problem. Here are some symptoms to watch for.
• Bloody urine
• Urinating in unusual places
• Straining to urinate
• Lack of appetite
• Crying while urinating
• Continuous licking of the urinary area
Tapeworms are common in cats. Cats usually get tapeworms as a result of swallowing a flea. They live in the cat’s small intestine and can grow up to 2 feet. While they can grow rather large, they are segmented and usually break apart when expelled. You will usually just see segments of the tapeworm rather than a whole worm. The easiest way to see if your cat has tapeworms is their check their feces, anus or bedding. You will see small white worms, that look like grains of rice. The worms usually come out when your cat relaxes or sleeps. These are the best times to check for signs. Vomiting and weight loss are symptoms but many times it is hard to tell if they are infected. There are different treatment options available that include injections, oral or topical medications.
There are many reasons why your cat can have diarrhea including spoiled food, allergies, parasites, liver disease, infection and even cancer. It can last anywhere from a day to several months. If your feline has diarrhea, be sure to offer plenty of fresh water to help prevent dehydration. Removing their food for up to 24 hours may help reduce the length of the episode. If you see vomiting, fever, lethargy, dark or bloody stool or loss of appetite, consult your vet immediately.
There can be multiple causes for eye problems in cats. Viruses, trauma, conjunctivitis, glaucoma, cataracts, retinal disease, and inflammation are the most common. Here are some symptoms that there may be a problem.
• Watery eyes
• Tear-stained fur
• Gunk in the corner of their eye
• Red or white eyelid lining
• Pawing at their eye
• Visible third eyelid
If you don’t know what is causing your cat’s eye issues, be sure to treat it as an emergency and call your vet for an appointment.
Maintaining your cat’s health is an important part of pet ownership. Be sure to consult your vet whenever you have questions about their behavior.