It’s Cat Health Month! Is your cat healthy?
Cat parents are notoriously lax about getting their pets to the vet as often as they should. Let’s talk about the six most common reasons cats see the vet…and how to prevent them from affecting your cat.
1. Skin Allergies
Skin problems are one of the primary reasons cat parents suspect something’s going on with their pets. From bald spots to red, itchy areas, skin allergies can be a sign of something more serious…or not! Vets often provide advice and assistance to cats suffering from food sensitivities, seasonal allergies, and even fungal infections, all of which can result in skin problems.
How to Avoid Skin Allergies: Don’t let your cat lick a problem area raw. Talk to your vet as soon as possible to set up elimination tests for your cat’s diet and/or environment.
2. Kidney Disease
Kidney disease – otherwise known as renal failure – is incredibly common in senior cats. The earlier you catch the progression of the disease the more successful the treatment usually is; symptoms usually include increased thirst and decreased urination.
How to Avoid Renal Disease: Have your senior cat )age 10+) evaluated by vet twice a year. Talk to your vet about special food with supplements designed to ward off kidney disease.
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A FLUTD is a feline urinary tract disease. Urinary infections are very common in cats and can be difficult to diagnose without a urine test. Other FLUTDs that can affect cats include urinary stones and even urethral obstructions. A cat who is straining to urinate, urinating outside the litter box, or producing too-little urine should be evaluated for urinary disease.
How to Avoid FLUTD: Be sure your cat has adequate access to fresh water and that their litter box is emptied daily to encourage regular bathroom usage.
4. Gastrointestinal Issues
Tummy troubles are an obvious sign something’s amiss in cats. From vomiting to diarrhea to constipation, digestive disturbances can be a sign. From parasitic worms to food intolerances to ingestion of something toxic, there are many reasons a cat could be suffering from GI distress.
How to Avoid GI Issues: Keep toxic substances out of reach of your cat. Talk to your vet before making any sudden dietary changes.
Somewhere between 50-90% of cats over 4 years old suffer from some kind of dental disease. Some signs of periodontitis are obvious – tooth discoloration, bleeding gums – while others are more subtle. Chronic bad breath, drooling, or even lack of appetite can also drive concerned cat parents to the veterinarian only to learn their cats have gum disease.
How to Avoid Periodontitis: Brush your cat’s teeth every single day.
Hyperthyroidism is shockingly common in senior cats. It causes cats to lose weight even when eating normally and can eventually result in co-morbidities such as renal failure. The earlier hyperthyroidism is detected, the more effective treatment usually is.
How to Avoid Hyperthyroidism: Have your cat monitored regularly by a veterinarian for warning signs.
Does your cat need to see a vet?