7 min read

5 Illnesses That Cat Parents Should Watch Out For

<p> Ian Barbour / <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/barbourians/7220144234/" target="_blank">Flickr</a> (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/" target="_blank">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>) </p>

Cats are generally good at self maintenance. But if proper care is not taken, they are susceptible to some health problems. As a good pet owner, you should know which are common diseases which can cause discomfort to your kitty. Here are a few common diseases to watch:

1. Feline lower urinary tract diseases (FLUTD):

Feline lower urinary tract disease covers different conditions that affect the bladder and urethra of a cat. Most common causes of FLUTD in cats include:

  • Urolithiasis (urinary stones)
  • Feline idiopathic cystitis
  • Urinary tract blockage
  • Cancer

Symptoms of FLUTD include:

  • Straining to urinate
  • Crying out while urinating
  • Frequent and/or prolonged attempts to urinate
  • Blood in the urine
  • Excessive licking of the genital area
  • Urinating outside the litter box

What can one do to prevent FLUTD in his cat?

  • Feed small meals on small intervals
  • Provide fresh and clean water
  • Keep litter boxes clean
  • Provide enough number of litter boxes
  • Avoid diet with additional urinary acidifiers

2. Vomiting:

Vomiting can be minor sometimes which is not a reason to worry. Seriousness of vomiting depends on the reason for which the cat is vomiting. Sometimes, a cat eating her meal too quickly can also result in vomiting. Vomiting in cats has a multitude of causes which include:

  • Toxins or chemicals
  • Acute liver failure or gall bladder inflammation
  • Diet-related causes (diet change, food intolerance)
  • Pancreatitis
  • Post-operative nausea
  • Gastric or intestinal foreign bodies (toys, hairballs)
  • Viral infections
  • Intestinal parasite
  • Certain medications
  • Bacterial infection of the gastrointestinal tract

Common symptoms of vomiting in cats include: drooling, dehydration, lethargy, change in water intake, and abdominal heaving.

Giving homemade natural food diet to your cat can help control vomiting. If the problem persists, get in touch with your vet.

3. Diarrhea:

Diarrhea is a health problem in cats that is characterized by frequent loose bowel movements. It is not a major health problem but may be indication of some other serious disease. Diarrheas may be as a result of:

  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Change in diet
  • Dairy or other food intolerance
  • Ingestion of spoiled food
  • Certain medications
  • Allergic reaction
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Bacterial or viral infection
  • Cancer other tumors of the digestive tract
  • Internal parasites, such as roundworms, coccidia and Giardia
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Colitis

General symptoms of diarrhea include frequent and loose stools, dehydration, vomiting, fever, loss of appetite, an increased urgency to defecate, and weight loss.

You can provide plenty of fresh, clean water without giving any food to the cat suffering from diarrhea for 12-24 hours. If the problem still persists and you notice black and bloody stools, take her to the vet.

4. Kidney problems:

Cats with kidney problems develop a potential toxic build-up in the bloodstream as they have reduced ability to excrete waste product in their urine. Common causes of kidney problems in cats include:

  • Infection
  • Urinary obstructions such as kidney stones
  • High blood pressure
  • Immunological disease
  • Congenital or hereditary disease
  • Decreased blood flow to kidneys
  • Kidney trauma
  • Cancer
  • Exposure to toxins, especially antifreeze

Kidney problems are more common in senior cats. Signs of kidney problems in cats include:

  • Change in water consumption
  • Pain in the kidney area
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Urinating in abnormal places or pain when urinating
  • Stumbling, acting drunk
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Lethargy or depression
  • Litter box aversion

Kidney problems in cats are treated by first finding the cause of the problem and then working on the cause of kidney disease. Dialysis or a kidney transplant may be required in severe cases.

5. Infection by worms:

Most common types of worms which can cause infections in cats include roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and lungworms out of which roundworms are the most common internal parasites in cats. There may be different ways in which cats can get worms. Common symptoms of worms in cats include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Worms visible in stool or segments of worm seen near anus
  • Weight loss
  • Bloody stool
  • Constipation
  • Bloating or round, potbellied appearance to abdomen

Cats can be treated for worms after finding out the specific type of worms she has. After finding the worm your kitty has, appropriate treatment can be given to him or her.

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