Common Illnesses in Cats

Grey cat has one of the common illnessesHaving a sick cat can be so depressing for both you and your feline. Sadly, you cannot protect your cat from all diseases he or she may run into. But knowing what common illnesses to look for will keep you and your cat feeling happy and healthy.

Common illnesses you may run into

There are some illnesses that are bound to affect your feline friend in his or her lifetime. Being aware of these may not prevent diagnosis, but can certainly put your cat in a position for the best prognosis in the long run.

Respiratory infections

These are most common in young kittens. The disease is characterized by runny eyes, sneezing, lack of appetite, runny nose and lethargy. Upper respiratory infections are highly contagious and can affect grown cats as well. Many cats are able to recover from this illness within a week or two. You might be able to manage the illness by encouraging your cut to drink and eat, wiping off discharge from its nose and mouth using a warm damp cloth and allowing it to rest. If the symptoms don’t improve in two weeks, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Ear mites

Although more common in dogs, ear mites can affect your cat, too. They cause a blackish/brown discharge to come out of the cat’s ears. The ears also tend to itch and the cat’s neck and head could get inflamed from all that scratching. Over the counter medication can help treat this disease but you should have your veterinarian rule out the possibility it is a bacteria or yeast infection.

Feline gingivitis

This is a disease that causes inflammation in your cat’s gums. It is the first stage of the feline dental illness periodontis. Plaque is what causes gingivitis in cats. Plaque is a mixture of food particles and a film of bacteria that appears to be sticky. When plaque accumulates in the gum it causes the disease. When it mixes with other elements such as minerals and saliva, plaque can turn into tartar which is yellowish, crusty and irritating to a cat’s gums. If the tartar is not treated, it could accumulate under the cat’s gum to the point that its teeth will be separated from the gum. Reddened gums and awful breath are other symptoms of gingivitis. The bacterium causing the disease could also spread to many other organs such as the kidneys and blood causing severe damage.

If you suspect your cat has gingivitis, have their teeth cleaned by a professional. Thereafter ensure that your cat’s teeth are brushed every day using a specific feline toothpaste. In some cases, your vet may decide to prescribe antibiotics.

Urinary tract disease (UTI)

A UTI occurs in the cat’s bladder and urethra. The urethra is a tube that carries urine in your cat’s system. If your cat has a UTI you might spot blood in the urine. Urination can also get very painful and you might notice your cat meowing in pain each time he does his business in his litter box.

There are no specific causes for UTI in cats but experts believe it could be caused by dehydration, cystitis, high mineral and high ash content in cat food, and bacterial infection. Your doctor will most likely conduct a number of urinalyses tests to ascertain if your cat really has UTI before administering treatment.

All the above illnesses in cats are treatable and your cat does not have to suffer from any of them. However, should it happen, now you know what to expect. Share this article to help raise awareness, one kitty at a time!

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