Cats are different than other pets in many ways. Cats are
obsessively tidy, are prone to stress and anxiety, and often, are
too headstrong to be trained. For these reasons, cat health
problems can usually be traced back to the cat's natural instinct
to dictate its own comings or goings, leading to parasites or
diseases introduced from the outdoors, wounds from darting through
sharp brush or fences, or their fastidious cleaning rituals.
Cat flu presents much like human flu: sneezing, runny noses, and
loss of appetite. Like in humans, the flu must simply run its
course: there are no medications that will help ease your pet's
discomfort. Keep your kitty well-hydrated and fed by providing an
appetizing and irresistible meal like a canned tuna or chicken
smoothie (just add water, no fruit or milk). Cat flu normally lasts
from 7-14 days, however, even after they have recovered, they can
shed the virus at times of stress.
Hairballs are a natural result of your kitty cleaning his or her
coat, but some cats tend to overdo it and clean far too often,
resulting in excessive hairballs. This affects long hair
breeds as they tend to swallow a lot of fur. If your cat is a clean
freak, help out with a daily brushing. There are also cat foods
such as OPTIMUM™
Furball which has been specifically
formulated with beet pulp fibre which aids in the passage of
furballs through the digestive tract, minimising the amount of
shedding, reducing the number of hairballs you have to deal with.
If your cat is cleaning a part of his body until there is no hair
left, this indicates an issue with anxiety and should be treated
holistically by removing stressors from the cat's environment.
If your cat has diarrhoea, one of the first questions a
veterinarian will ask is how long and how often this happens. That
is because acute diarrhoea, even lasting for several days, is
perfectly normal and can happen as a response to a change in diet,
environment, on increased stress. Chronic diarrhoea, which lasts
for several weeks, can be indicative of a more serious problem. If
your cat is young, with no history of illnesses, the best course is
to wait it out while observing the cat's environment for potential
elements that may be causing your cat stress. Common stressors are
normally environmental such as new family members, human or animal,
moving to a new house, a change in daily routine, loud parties and
noises, and the view through the window. In order to deal with
this, there are several options; either change the situation
causing the stress, change the response of the cat, or do both.
Changing the situation is appropriate if the cat is only getting
stressed in specific situations. If stress is constant, then it'd
be best to talk to your local veterinarian about possible
medication to help relieve the stress. However, if you notice that
your cat's bowel movements accompanied by straining, vomiting, or
blood should be referred to a veterinarian immediately.
Ear mites are a common cat health issue that can have severe
repercussions if ignored, including partial or total hearing loss.
Ear mites can be easily identified by a unique pattern of dried
blood, which may resemble coffee grounds, inside your kitty's ear.
The blood forms in this pattern only when your kitty is under
attack by mites, not wounds or other diseases, due to the way mites
feed in large numbers on small capillaries. It is not recommended
to treat them at home because they can cause long-term damage and
migrate to other animals or people. It's best to call a
veterinarian for a prescription if you suspect your cat has ear
A common cat health problem that can lead to serious
consequences, including blindness, eye infections can be the result
of an underlying infection, fungus, eye injury, or leukaemia. Eye
infections typically present as excess fluid around the eyes,
redness, inflammation, or sensitivity to pressure. They are can be
caused by viruses, bacteria, and fungi. The most common eye
infection in cats is caused by the Feline herpesvirus-1 which
causes feline conjunctivitis. If the symptoms of an eye infection
are present, it is important to consult your veterinarian
immediately as eye issues can progress very rapidly.
Corticosteroids and antibiotics are typically prescribed to reduce
inflammation and treat these infections.
Fleas are a commonly misunderstood cat health problem. If you
find a flea on your cat, there's no reason to panic and fumigate
your whole house. Most cats carry a specific species of
flea,Ctenocephalides felis, and fortunately, this flea will not
live on humans. Cats also ingest any fleas that are on their coat
when they clean themselves. Serious flea infestations could disturb
individuals with sensitive skin, typically with redness and itching
around the ankles. Fleas are best treated by prevention and
monitored unless they become a serious problem, causing sickness or
patchy fur. The some signs that your cat has fleas include intense
and frantic biting of the coat, excessive grooming, red skin
lesions or scablike bumps, and red spots in your cat's bedding
fabric. Flea treatments vary in price and effectiveness. These
treatments include flea collars, shampoos, flea combs, spays,
tablets, powders, insect growth regulators, and topical
While they may sound ferocious, tapeworms are a relatively
normal part of a cat's life. Kittens can contract tapeworms
from fleas, which are highly impossible to eliminate altogether.
Fortunately, tapeworms aren't dangerous. Typically, your cat will
begin to lose weight and have mild diarrhoea. Particularly severe
infestations could cause your cat's coat to become patchy and
rough. You can check your cat for tapeworm by observing his or her
stool: they will look like tiny rice grains. Tapeworms are easily
treated with an oral medication from your veterinarian.
Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) has several possible
causes, some more serious than others. All FLUTD diseases are
described by the way they present: difficulty or pain while
urinating, excessive licking of the genitals, and increased
frequency of urination. Early symptoms can be hard to catch early
on, however, if you see your car cry or howl in obvious pain
whilst urinating, or idf you see a tinge of red or pink in
the urine, take your cat to the vet as soon as possible. These
signs can be indicative of anything from urinary stones to cancer,
and your veterinarian should make a proper diagnosis.
Vomiting in cats can be caused by minor annoyances, like
hairballs, or by serious problems in the cat's digestive system.
All cats vomit from time to time, and some even vomit as often as
weekly, even if nothing is wrong with them. In middle-aged or
overweight cats, vomiting could be more worrisome. In young,
healthy cats, it's often a sign of eating too fast or anxiety. We
recommend brushing all cats regularly as this can significantly
reduce vomiting. However, if vomiting is accompanied by other
symptoms such as not being able to keep any meals down, blood in
vomit, weakness/lethargy, a change in appetite, drinking or toilet
patterns, it'd be best to contact your vet as soon as possible.
Cats, like any other animal, will get wounds from time to time.
In many cases, a cat's wounds will heal on their own. If your cat
appears with a fresh wound, apply first aid treatment by applying
direct pressure to the wound until it stops bleeding, then applying
a gauze or bandage with tape to the wound. Once the wound has
stopped bleeding, apply a solution made specifically for cats that
you can purchase at a pet store, never hydrogen peroxide or
alcohol. If the laceration is long or deep, stop the bleeding and
immediately seek help from a veterinarian instead.