Cats are cute! From playing in boxes to prancing here and there, they can elevate your mood in no time. If you have a cat, you would be well aware of the pure entertainment they bring by way of their antiques. It is always a pleasure to see them after a tired day’s work and they look especially irresistible when they cuddle up in your lap. A pet is like your baby – a part of your family and if it’s a cat special care becomes even more necessary for they tend to be weaker and more vulnerable than dogs. Though, for most part of their lives, cats experience good health but regular visits to the vet are important to keep them healthy. Although, they cannot articulate suffering, a lot can be revealed by observing their actions, appetite and behavior. Your cat is not well if it is losing its appetite or hides at unusual places in the house. The following information sheds light on some of the common feline health problems that it might be facing.
Feline Health Problems
Cats are endowed with wonderful soft fur which they like to maintain. They like to keep it clean and hence, keep grooming themselves. In the process they also ingest the dead, loose hair which normally passes through the gastrointestinal tract and comes out of the stool. Sometimes, a ball of hair gets formed if too much hair collects in the stomach. An occasional hairball is no worry. But if your cat vomits up a hairball more than twice a month, it’s time you visited the vet.
If your cat is losing weight and vomiting but developing a pot belly, you urgently need to take stock of its health. These are the symptoms of worms. Worms present a great risk to cats, even proving fatal at times. Roundworms, tapeworms and hookworms are the most common worms that they are infested with. They can be treated easily through medications.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)
Cats living in multi-cat environments usually tend to test positive for FIP. It is caused by a mutation of the corona virus. This virus can either lie dormant in the intestines causing no major illness throughout the cat’s lifetime or can mutate into FIP. If your cat has contracted FIP, it may show symptoms such as mild upper respiratory problems like sneezing, watery eyes and nasal discharge and may exhibit weight loss, lethargy and diarrhea. Few cats can also develop fatal FIP weeks or even years after the primary infection triggered by the corona virus.
If your cat loves outdoor trips, it is not uncommon for it to get hurt and bitten while scuffling with other neighborhood cats. This can result in an accumulation of pus or an abscess. The cat will show reduced appetite and listlessness while the abscess is building up usually around the head, back or base of the tail. If the abscess does not burst within four to five days and the cat does not regain its appetite within twenty four hours, it needs to be taken to the vet.
Tooth Decay And Bleeding Gums
Like humans, cats too are susceptible to tooth decay and gum problems. If your cat is very hungry but drops the food when he gets it in his mouth, it indicates toothache and decay. It may also refuse to drink thereby becoming dehydrated. If your cat drools excessively or flinches when you touch it in the mouth region, you must examine its gums. A redness and swelling at the point where the tooth meets the gum is a case of bleeding gums.
Red, swollen, watery, crusty or goopy eyes are usually caused by conjunctivitis. The most common cause of conjunctivitis in cats is infection with a Herpes virus. This is a sneaky virus and lies dormant until it gets a chance to show up on the immune system. It is painful and causes redness and watery discharge from the eyes. A photophobic cat showing a lopsided squint must be taken to the vet to check for conjunctivitis.
Apart from the above mentioned health problems, cats may also suffer from health conditions such as anemia, kidney disease and bacterial infections and hence must be medically examined at least once a year.