The 8 Most Common Cat Health Issues

If you are a pet owner it is helpful to know about the most common cat health issues, because this will help you prevent certain problems and recognize early symptoms of certain illnesses. Some cats may have genetic diseases, but there are also a number of infections and parasites that cats may be more prone to.

1. Parasites

Parasites may be internal or external and they are very common in cats, especially ones that spend time outdoors. The external parasites are mainly fleas and mange and can cause major irritation. These parasites can be eliminated with sprays and powders and by grooming the pet regularly.

The internal parasites can be of various types:

Except for the heartworms, the other internal parasites are easy to get rid of and are not life threatening. A cure with dewormers can suffice to eliminate the worms. However, the heartworms may cause severe complications and may lead to death.

2. Hairballs

The presence of hairballs can be a health issue, because they can cause digestion problems, stomach pain and even intestinal occlusion. The hairballs are formed by a large number of loose hairs that the cat swallows while grooming. Proper grooming can reduce the occurrence of hairballs. There are also a number of ingestible solutions that can dissolve the hairballs.

3. Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in felines and are caused by bacteria in the urinary tract. Antibiotics can relieve the pain and eliminate the excessive meowing and spraying that can be caused by the condition.

4. Kidney Disease

Cats may be prone to kidney disease and this may be due to a dry diet and poor nutrition. Thirst and more frequent urination can be the first signs of a kidney problem. The kidney disease can develop into kidney failure.

5. Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is a swelling of the eye conjunctiva and can be signaled by red eyes and watery discharges. Antibiotic treatment can be applied to heal the infection.

6. Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

FIP is a disease that is caused by the coronavirus, and it can be very contagious. The disease will manifest through respiratory symptoms, diarrhea and vomiting, but the cat may also display no symptoms. FIP can be deadly, but only in a small number of cats.

7. Feline Leukemia Virus (FLV)

The FLV can be a deadly disease, but it may be prevented through vaccination. FLV is highly contagious, and a cat that carries the virus should be isolated.

8. Dental Problems

Cats may suffer from dental problems from an early age (i.e., 2 or 3 years old). For this reason, it is essential to prevent dental problems by brushing the cat's teeth and giving him chew treats. Dental problems may manifest through lack of appetite, excessive drooling, sneezing and swelling of the gum. The teeth can be treated or extracted, but if the problem is more complex and it involves the gums, the infection can spread to other organs as well.