For the most part, my cats are very healthy animals. However, there are a few moments I can recall from the past where I was worried sick about them. A couple of little sneezes and I start to fear the worst. The last thing I’d ever want for my cats is to have them in pain or ailing in health and me not realize it. The following 8 health problems that cats can get are listed below. If you have the slightest suspicion that your cat might be the victim of any of the more serious ones, then be sure to contact your local veterinarian right away.
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Longhaired cats are more prone to hairballs than shorthaired ones, unless you have a cat with short hair that is also a constant licker. In the spring time, cats tend to shed quite a lot. This is the time of year when almost all cats end up getting more hairballs than usual. These are caused by the excessive amounts of hair that accumulate in your cat’s stomach. Most cats either pass the hairball in the cat box. There are other occasions where you might find a lovely furry mass on the living room rug as well. If your cat is constantly coughing and nothing is coming up, then try offering a blob of butter. This will usually help the hairball pass; one way or another. There is also specific hairball medicine sold at animal supply places.
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These pesky things come along with allowing a cat to roam outside. Thankfully there are plenty of powders, sprays, and collars that protect your cat against both of these parasites. Fleas can easily be seen on light colored cats, but you’ll have to look closely on cats with black fur. They tend to run around the armpit area, on the belly, and around the face. These bugs also cause your cat to constantly itch, which is often a good indicator to let you know you need to take a look. Ticks are usually repelled by an additional chemical that is added to the flea medicine.
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Cats can be allergic to fleas, certain types of food, mold, dust, or something their skin has come into contact with. Allergies to fleas are the most common type among cats. My mom actually has a cat that is allergic to the medicine use to keep fleas off of him. Thank goodness he isn’t allergic to all of them, but it did take her a while to find out which ones didn’t make his skin break out. A food allergy can be remedied by switching to a new brand or avoiding certain brand with the ingredients your cat is allergic to. Signs of allergic reactions include; constant scratching, red skin, excessive licking around the back of the thighs and base of the tail, and crusty bumps on the back of the neck that are accompanied by scratching.
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There are so many types of worms that can affect a cat’s health; tapeworms, lungworms, hookworms, roundworms, and ringworms. Medicine to get rid of roundworms can be purchased at any pet supply store, but most of these worms have to be taken care of with medicine prescribed by a vet. Signs that your cat might have worms include; weight loss, difficulty breathing, dull coat, excessive gas, or diarrhea. Each type of worm causes a cat to display different symptoms.
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This disease is still incurable, but cats can be made comfortable with medication prescribed by vets. Signs include; loss of appetite, bladder infections, irritated skin, seizures, weight loss, fatigue, and much more. Feline Leukemia is easily passed from one cat to another via saliva and close contact. Even though vaccines are available to help prevent this disease, none of them are 100 percent effective. Most cats are able to gain a strong immunity against this illness, but some cats aren’t able to do so. Out of the cats that have weak immune systems that end up contracting Feline Leukemia, about half of them die within 2 to 3 years. As long as your cat is current on vaccines, this illness shouldn’t be something you need to worry about.
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House plants are a huge factor in cat’s being poisoned. There are quite a few common plants that can really affect felines in a big way. Plants that are toxic to cats include; aloe, amaryllis, begonia, bird of paradise, English ivy, caladium, and just about every type of lily. Many other toxic plants exist, but the list is very long. Not only is there a list of poisonous house plants, but many outdoor plants are just as toxic. It’s a good idea to go online and find a list to refer to, so you know if you are harboring any poisonous plants that you need to keep your cat away from.
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This is the feline equivalent of AIDS. Only about 2.5 percent of the cats in the US have this disease. Within the entire world, 44 percent of the domestic cat population is affect by FIV. A vaccine is available, but no one has been able to determine just how efficient it is. Just like with AIDS, FIV affects the immune system. The early stages of this disease include; depression and fever. Later on, signs include infections of the gums, skin, eyes, nose, and even pneumonia can occur. Cats can go from showing the first signs to having none at all. However, even though the signs disappear, the cat will always carry this virus. Only a vet can diagnose your cat, so don’t freak out if your furry friend has a fever and seems a bit down in the dumps. He may have just eaten something he shouldn’t have.
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The slightest wound can easily become severely infected. Cats have tons of bacteria in their mouths. A single puncture wound on your cat can start turning into a nasty mess in a couple of days. As soon as you spot a wound on your cat, it’s helpful to him to pour some peroxide on it. This will cleans the area and help bubble out the bacteria. Keep an eye on the wound and make sure it isn’t getting really red and puffy. If this is the case, then you might wish to make an appointment with the vet to see if more extreme measures need to be taken.
The only possible way to avoid most of these 8 health problems that cats can get is by having only one cat and by keeping it indoors. Having multiple cats, each with a different personality, I know there are some that truly go nuts when made to stay indoors. Have you ever had a cat with any of the above health problems? What was the best way you found to remedy the issue?
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