There are a number of illnesses that can afflict our feline friends. You can dramatically reduce the chances of your kitty contracting many of these cat diseases and some can be prevented altogether. Others are simply the result of your cat’s longevity as wear and tear takes its toll, but can be addressed with early detection through regular veterinary examinations.
Healthy Cat Habits from the Start
Your kitten relies on you to make the healthiest choices for him or her. By following your veterinarian’s recommended vaccination protocol, several highly contagious diseases can be easily averted:
- Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis is a contagious, debilitating upper respiratory illness caused by the feline herpes virus.
- Feline Calicivirus is a disease of varying levels of severity, evidenced primarily by upper respiratory symptoms as sneezing, conjunctivitis and ulcerations in the mouth.
- Feline Panleukopenia is a potentially fatal gastrointestinal illness caused by a parvovirus similar to that of the canine parvovirus.
Feed your cat meals at set times and in controlled quantities rather than leaving a full food bowl down at all times helps to prevent obesity. Just like their human counterparts, overweight felines are at increased risk for these debilitating conditions:
Gingivitis is one of the most common health problems to affect both cats and dogs. Practice a home dental hygiene routine for your cat. Brushing your cat’s teeth for one minute, even just three times a week, will help to reduce the formation of tartar in between veterinary dental scaling procedures.
By opting to sequester your kitty indoors, you will prevent trips to the emergency hospital for such traumas as being hit by a car, ingesting poisonous substances or incurring battle wounds in a tussle for domain. You will also prevent several common diseases that are common in outdoor cats:
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus a viral disease that is transmitted between cats through saliva, primarily exchanged through bite wounds.
- Feline Leukemia Virus
Feline Leukemia Virus is another viral disease of cats that compromises the immune system.
Leptospirosis is a fatal liver and kidney infection contracted through contact with urine from infected wild animals.
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
One of the most common afflictions of cat health is Urinary Tract Disease, which can result in painful bladder stones and repeated infections. Urinary obstruction in male cats are a life-threatening emergency that commands immediate medical attention therefore daily monitoring of your cat’s litter box activity is vitally important and do not forget to bring any changes to your veterinarian’s attention. Some cats require prescription diets that have been formulated to curb the development of crystals in the urine.
As a cats age, their bodies suffer wear and tear just as we do. Regular blood chemistry panels and thyroid profiles can offer early detection of the most common geriatric feline disorders:
These are degenerative diseases that cannot be cured. However, kidney disease that is discovered early can be slowed in its progression with diet and fluid therapy. Hyperthyroidism can be controlled with medication.
Discuss your cat’s lifestyle with your veterinarian. By being proactive and following your veterinarian recommended guidelines you will reduce the risks of many of the common cat diseases and promote a longer, healthier and more enjoyable life for your kitty companion.