This article is contributed by guest writer, Emily G. (Author of Modern Day Pets).
6 Cat Diseases You Need To Be Aware Of
No one likes seeing their furry feline friend get sick. It’s unpleasant for all, and veterinarian bills can also be extremely expensive. When it comes to cat diseases, prevention is better than cure, and the most powerful way you can protect your kitty from common diseases is by ensuring they have regular visits to the vet, and that you have pet insurance so you’re able to pay for their treatment if it’s necessary. With this in mind, here are 6 of the most common diseases that affect cats.
Conjunctivitis in cats is characterized by a similar symptom to human conjunctivitis – pink, crusty and swollen eyes. This inflammation of the eyelid membrane is most commonly seen in kittens, as their immune systems have not yet fully developed. You can prevent conjunctivitis in your cat by ensuring they don’t come into contact with infected animals. However, if they are unlucky enough to catch it, treatment is simple with a prescription topical medication for the eyes.
2. Fleas, ticks, and worms
Fleas are majorly annoying for cats, and can leave uncomfortable and itchy bites, as well as spreading throughout your home! Ticks are much more dangerous, and can actually be fatal to your cat if left untreated, or if you’re unaware your cat has been bitten by one. In terms of worms, your cat should be regularly treated with worming treatments starting when they’re a kitten to prevent infestation of intestinal and heartworms. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on the best flea, tick, and worming treatments for your cat.
3. Urinary tract problems
In cats, there is a range of different conditions that can affect their urinary tract and cause them pain, as well as making it difficult for them to ‘go’. Symptoms of urinary tract problems include frequently urinating, painful urinating, urinating in the incorrect places, and the inability to pass more than a small amount of liquid each time.
Cats that are obese are more likely to suffer from urinary tract problems, so be sure to monitor your cat’s weight, as well as their overall health and wellbeing. Just like pet insurance can help you to reduce the stress and expensive cost of vet visits, closely monitoring your cat’s health can help to keep your cat well before a serious condition develops.
Diabetes is one of the most common diseases for pets, especially cats that are considered to be obese. There are a few warning signs that come with cat diabetes, and symptoms may include:
- higher levels of thirst
- excessive urination
- weight loss
- lower activity levels or weakness
This is another instance where you can prevent your cat from developing this health condition by taking care of their weight and wellbeing. If you do suspect that your cat has diabetes, make sure you take them to your veterinarian as soon as possible so they can begin treatment. Veterinarians and pet food experts advise to feed a diabetic cat a high protein and low carbohydrate diet.
5. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is a very serious disease that can be fatal to cats in the long-term. The virus can lay dormant in cats’ bodies for years and lowers their immune response so they’ll be more likely to suffer from other diseases. Cats may display symptoms like wounds that never seem to heal, enlarged lymph nodes, and unexplained weight loss. The best way to protect your kitty from FIV is to ensure they don’t come into contact with FIV-positive cats.
6. Cat Distemper
Distemper in cats is called Panleukopenia. This awful cat disease attacks the blood cells in both your cat’s bone marrow and their intestinal tract, leading to a host of symptoms. Symptoms to look out for when it comes to Panleukopenia include high fever, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, and an unexplained lack of coordination. To keep your cat safe from this disease, vaccination from your veterinarian is the best prevention.
Keeping your cat healthy
It can be overwhelming when your cat gets sick, however fortunately there are many action steps you can take to keep them healthy and safe from harmful and common cat diseases. Keep your cat inside so they’re less likely to catch anything or be harmed, monitor their weight and overall health, and make sure they have their regular veterinary check-ups. By following these steps, you and your kitty friend will be living a healthy, happy life together for many years to come.