Cats, like any other animals will suffer from common diseases and illnesses. Many of them are not life threatening and can be cure easily by your local veterinarian. On the other hand, there are also diseases that are terminal and most often fatal. On the top of the list of common afflictions a cat can get is hairballs. Hairballs occur as the result of cats performing their everyday grooming routine.
Loose hair and debris collect in quantity on the cats tongue and are then swallowed into the stomach. There, the elements get stuck and will form a round ball of mucus over time. Typically, a cat can dislodge the hairball by coughing, but on occasion one may become lodged in the intestines creating a serious and sometimes life threatening situation. Regular grooming, specialty cat food and cat treats along with visits to the veterinarian are all great ways to both prevent and treat this common ailment.
Just like humans, cats are prone to urinary tract infections as well. The cause for this ailment can be infection and poor quality food. The reassuring news is that such problems can be cured with medicine given by the local vets. It is also preventable by providing specially formulated cat food created to prevent this infection from occurring. If a urinary tract infection is present, common symptoms are that your cat may show signs of infrequent urination, fowl smelling urine, and urinating in places other than the litter box. Male cats that have not been neutered seem to be the most susceptible; however, female cats can be affected as well.
Common Cat Viruses - There are three major viruses cats are extremely susceptible too; Feline Leukemia, Feline Infectious Peritonitis and Feline Immune Deficiency Virus. FIP or Feline Infectious Peritonitis is a very dangerous illness as it is related to the Corona Virus. Testing for FIP is also a problem as the results are not completely reliable. A positive test result has the possibility for being false as the same results appear for the Corona Virus.
There is a vaccination available for FIP; however, many vets believe that such results are still debatable. With no known cure, it is extremely beneficial that this disease is not as easily contracted as some other diseases may be. The feline version of the AIDS Virus known as FIV has not yet proved to be fatal. However, unfortunately it has left owners of these cats fearful that they too will contract the disease.
This belief is false and truly unwarranted. Feline Leukemia Virus is another disease that is preventable. A vaccine is available from a veterinarian's office and must be acquired before exposure to other infected cats has occurred. If you own a cat with FLV it is highly recommended that you do not expose him to other cats. The life expectancy of a cat with FLV is very short. Common Cat Worm Problems - Other than the common issues related to hairballs, a cat can also suffer from worms.
Tapeworms, hookworms and roundworms are all cause for immediate concern. Another worm that is not as frequently found in cats, but is also cause for serious concern is heartworm. Medications are available from the veterinarian that will assist in preventing these nasty parasites from making a home in your cat.
Signs of worm infestation cam come with flea infestation or as tiny white specs appearing in the stool, almost resembling a grain of rice. Loss of weight or inability to gain weight is also signs of a worm infestation. This illness is fortunately one that comes with a treatment and it is usually an affordable one. However, if this infestation goes without treatment, the results are most commonly fatal.
Fleas and ticks are another form of common diseases, cats that spend time outdoors are known for contracting. The tick however brings another illness to the table, Lyme disease. If a tick has been found on your cat's body, symptoms of possible Lyme disease include lethargy, sluggish movement and acting as if in constant pain. This disease is also able to be transmitted to humans by ticks as well. If you have an inkling that your cat has contracted this disease or should you find a tick on his body, a check with the vet will help in the removal of the tick and medication will help in treatment.
Last, but certainly not least is feline obesity. The disease can afflict the other parts of the cat's body and it is a potentially fatal illness. It is also the number one cause for feline Diabetes. Prevention is the most important key in battling these diseases.
Providing a proper diet in combination with exercise is essential in the fight to keep your cat healthy. Luckily, cats with diabetes do live, but need to be put on a special dietary supplement as well as medication. The most important thing you can do to defend your cat against common illnesses and disease is to remember that prevention is the key.
Moses Wright is a pet lover and loves to help new pet owners deal with their pet problems at home. You can also find cat problems and solutions on his site.