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Cats are independent creatures who take care of themselves. But they are also social animals who want and give affection generously. Between these two personalities, it can get easy for you to stop paying as much attention to your pet’s health as you need to. Unfortunately, a lack of attention often means that you don’t realize how sick your cat is until his/her condition worsens significantly. Keeping these five common cat health concerns on your radar can help you plan your pet’s wellness plans more easily.
1. Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD)
Feline lower urinary tract disease describes conditions that affect a cat’s urethra and/or bladder. It affects about 3 percent of cats each year, and may become serious if left untreated. FLUTD can occur in both male and female cats, and is most commonly observed in felines that are overweight, neutered, middle-aged, on a dry diet, and also those who get little or no exercise. Symptoms include bloody urine, crying when urinating, vomiting, a lack of appetite and frequent licking around the urinary area.
2. Feline obesity
Half of all cats in the United States are living with obesity. The condition places pressure on pretty much all the organs of your cat’s body. The consequences of feline obesity include diabetes mellitus, arthritis, liver disease, acne and a poor quality of life. An active lifestyle and diet management can help your feline shed pounds and stay healthy.
Signs indicating that your cat may be overweight :
- No discernible waist
- You cannot feel your cat’s ribs when you move your hands along its side
- Your pet has difficulties walking or exhibits slow movements
- Your pet experiences shortness of breath
Tapeworms reside inside a cat’s small intestine. Though not dangerous to your pet’s health, they feed off the nutrients your pet consumes, and heavy infestation can make it nutritionally deficient and cause weight loss. One way to check for tapeworms in your cat is to look at its faeces or anus. Small white pieces resembling cucumber or sesame seeds indicate the presence of tapeworms. Cats with tapeworm infestation may vomit, lick their anus, or address their itching by dragging their hind quarters along the floor.
4. Eye diseases
Cats are susceptible to a number of eye diseases, including glaucoma, cataract, retinal disorders, inflammation and conjunctivitis. Some symptoms to watch out for are watery eyes, crusty gunk or white discharge at the corner of the eyes, or constant squinting or pawing at the eye. If you observe one or more of these symptoms or suspect that your pet may have an eye problem, consult your vet without delay.
The trouble with fleas is that they can carry tapeworm or heartworm larvae, which they then transmit to your pet through bites. Signs indicating that your pet has fleas include frequent licking and scratching, hair loss or red skin. A number of flea control and treatment options – such as topical medication, oral medication and foams – are available.