Common Health Issues Among Cats
Many first time pet owners are surprised to find that pets themselves have their own set of health problems that they may be presented with within their lifetime. This is also true with cats. Some of the health problems that your cat may face could be hereditary while others are simply common among cats in general and can be prevented altogether.
Some of the specific health problems that cats may have within their lifetime are worms, hairballs, and urinary tract infections. All of these health problems are common health issues among cats no matter what the breed.
Worms tend to be a quite common health problem among cats and can even be a problem which reoccurs several times over the cat's lifetime. Some of the most common worms which will infect cats are hookworms, roundworms and tapeworms. If you happen to have a cat that has a problem maintaining a healthy weight and always seems to be underweight, you may have a parasitic worm infestation. Another sign of a worm infestation is the appearance of white specks in your cat's stool. In general if they are treated these worm infestations are nothing but a nuisance. However if worms go untreated, they can kill your cat. If you suspect a worm infestation you should have your cat seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Hairballs seem to be the most prolific health issue for cats. Cats love to groom themselves on a regular basis which of course means using their tongue to lick their body. As a cat grooms himself, their tongue will pick up loose hair which is then swallowed. The swallowed hair will then gather into a ball over a period of time within the digestive tract instead of passing and out through the cat's poop. Most hairballs are regurgitated by the cat with no problems; however there are some instances where blockages may become a life-threatening problem.
In extremely rare instances, it is possible that a hairball my past into the cat's intestine which will create a life-threatening blockage if not treated. Some of the signs which indicate your cat may have a hairball blockage are constipation, and extremely dull coat, or if your cat simply isn't eating as he should. If your cat exhibits any of these symptoms, you need to have him seen by a veterinarian immediately. You can help your cat stay healthier and prevent hairball blockages by daily brushing your cat to remove loose hair. You can also find cat food which is specifically designed to help minimize the occurrence of hairballs.
The occurrence of urinary tract infections are also a very prolific health issue with cats. These urinary infections are more common with the male population and specifically those which have not been neutered. That is not to say that female cats will not suffer from a urinary tract infection, although they are less prone to this health issue. If you notice that your cat has suddenly decided to stop going to litter box, then most often times a urinary tract infection will be the reason. If you notice that your cat's urine begins to have a really strong odor you may want to have your cat cake for a urinary tract infection also. Urinary tract infections cannot be traded over-the-counter and must be treated by a veterinarian.
By taking your cat to his regular veterinarian check ups you can help keep your cat healthier and around for a long time to come.