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Cat Diseases

Dental Care

Cats are subject to gum disease and to dental caries. One of the most common problems in any cat breed is that some will show signs of oral disease by the time they reach three years of age, or even sooner. Many veterinarians recommend that you should brush your cat's teeth several times a week, preferably every day, beginning when she is a kitten. Get your cat used to the flavor of the cat toothpaste for a couple of days first before trying to brush her teeth. A finger brush will do fine. It is also a good idea to feed your cat with foods and treats, that control plaque and tartar.

Upper respiratory disease

Cats can get upper respiratory bacterial and viral infections - in other words, colds. Upper respiratory disease will manifest itself in your cat by cold or flu-like symptoms, like a runny nose and sneezing combined with reddened, runny eyes. If your cat is coughing or wheezing, or has persistent discharge from her eyes or nose, she needs to see a veterinarian.

Acne

Cats can get acne. If you see little pimples on your cat's chin, they may be a reaction to plastic dishes. Switch to stainless steel or ceramic bowls, and dab the acne daily with a cotton ball soaked with a little peroxide until it disappears.

Worms

At some point in your cat’s life, she may have a problem with internal parasites. The more common internal parasites are known as worms. The worms can enter the animal’s body by ingestion, absorption or the worms are passed from the mother to the kitten before the kitten is born. These parasites may cause diarrhea, vomiting, depression, and loss of appetite or loss of weight. Most internal parasites are found in the bowel but not all. Not all internal parasites are worms. A cat with worms needs to see a veterinarian. Don't rely on over-the-counter worming medications, because they are not always effective, and may not even be intended for the specific parasites that are plaguing your cat.

Fleas

Cats, like humans, can suffer from a wide range of allergies. The most common allergy among cats is flea allergy. Fleas are wingless parasites that like to suck the blood of your cat so that they can lay their eggs. The worst time of year for fleas is usually between the months of May through November. In warmer climates, the flea season is longer. Cats usually get fleas from coming into contact with other animals that have fleas or an environment infested with fleas. Fleas are not host specific. They can jump several inches onto a new host. If you suspect your cat has fleas, check her for flea dirt. Flea dirt is actually flea feces, made up mainly of blood sucked from the pet that is eliminated through the flea's digestive system as dried blood. If you spray the flea dirt with water and it turns bloody, your pet has fleas and immediate attention is required. Not only must you treat your cat, but also your house. As cats get older, their sensitivity to flea bites increases.

Vomit

Some cats vomit all the time, while others rarely do. One of the most common reasons for vomiting is hairballs. To check to see if your cat has vomited as a result of hairballs, examine the vomit carefully for small grayish pellets or lumps, regardless of your cat's hair color. Hairballs can occur even with shorthair cats. Another reason for vomiting might be that your cat is allergic to her food. Try switching to another brand with substantially different ingredients and no food colorings to see if that helps.

Diarrhea

If your cat has persistent diarrhea, you can try changing her diet. You can try boiled rice, cottage cheese, bread, plain yoghurt, boiled chicken, chicken broth or strained meat. Choose the ones your cat prefers. If symptoms continue for more than two days, take your cat to the vet with a stool sample.

Feline Urinary Syndrome

Feline urinary syndrome, or FUS, is an inflammation, irritation, and/or obstruction of the lower urinary tract. The inability to pass urine can become a life and death situation if not treated quickly. FUS is far more common among male cats than females. Your cat might have FUS if she strains to urinate, has blood in the urine, makes frequent trips to the litter box with only small amounts voided, or forgets how to use the litterbox.

Diabetes

Diabetes occurs in cats that cannot properly regulate their blood sugar level. Symptoms may include excessive thirst and urination, loss of weight or obesity. Older cats are more likely to develop diabetes than younger ones. Diabetic cats should be kept indoors to prevent accidental feeding that could elevate its blood sugar.

Poisonous Plants

You like plants and so does your cat...only for different reasons. Cats are frequently fascinated with house plants and their attention can range from chewing on the plant leaves to using your plant as a litter box. There are some common houseplants and garden plants that contain toxic substances. SEe Curious cats may find these plants attractive and decide to chew on the leaves or flowers. To discourage chewing, try spraying cayenne pepper on the leaves. For digging or urinating in the plant soil, try covering the dirt with aluminum foil or gravel. If by chance your cat has ingested a toxic plant, determine which plant was eaten and call your veterinarian immediately.

A healthy cat should see the veterinarian once a year for a check-up.  [Learn more ..]