You may be surprised to find that health problems are a common thing, especially if you are new to owning a cat. No matter what breed of cat you own, health problems are to be expected. Some may be hereditary, while others can easily be prevented. A cat’s behaviour may indicate that there is an issue to be addressed. We take a look at some of the most common health issues in cats in this article.

Worms

No matter what breed of cat it may be, worms are a very common and recurring problem. Tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms are among the most common that infect cats. Cats who have problems gaining weight, problems with fleas, or if you find white specks in his stool, you should have your vet test him for worms. Worms can be fatal if they are left untreated, however they can easily be treated with medicine.

Hairballs

Hairballs are the most common health problem for cats. All cats groom themselves on a daily basis, normally swallowing the loose hair that comes from their coats. On occasion, this loose hair will gather into a ball and become lodged in the digestive tract instead of passing through in your cat’s stool. When your cat starts to cough and hack, they are normally coughing up a hairball. Although it can be rather disgusting in the end, most cats can dislodge hairballs without any problems.

In rare cases, a hairball can pass through to a cat’s intestine, creating a blockage. Blockages are very serious problems, and can be life threatening if they aren’t treated. If your cat becomes constipated, isn’t eating properly, or has a very dull coat, they could have a blockage. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should take them to the vet immediately. You can prevent hairballs and blockages by brushing your cat 2-3 times a week to remove the loose hair. Special food designed to control hairballs is also available.

resting cat

Urinary tract infection

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is also a common health problem with cats. UTI is more common with male cats that haven’t been neutered, although females can suffer from this problem too. When a cat suddenly stops going to their litter box, this problem is often the cause. Another symptom is when the cat’s urine starts to smell really strong. If you suspect that your cat has a urinary tract infection, you should take them to the vet. Your vet can treat the problem with medicine, and make recommendations to help avoid this problem in the future.

Feline leukemia

In the past, feline leukemia was the biggest cause of death in cats. These days however, there are vaccines available that can treat the disease. Your cat must be given the vaccine before he or she is exposed in order to prevent this disease. Cats that are exposed to feline leukemia sadly normally don’t have a long life span. If you know your cat has feline leukemia, you should never allow other cats around him, as the virus is highly contagious.

sick cat

To protect your cat, you should always make sure that you take them to the vet for their regular check ups. If you keep them up to date on their vaccinations, they should lead a healthy and productive life. Do what you can to avoid common health issues in cats. One option to limit your cat’s chance of issues is to keep them indoors. This will protect them from a majority of health problems, fights and accidents. If your cat is an outdoor cat, regular visits to the vet will keep them healthy. As long as you take your cat to the vet and keep them healthy, they will be your companion for years to come.

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