Your Cat's Health

Black and white kitten

Most cats require little regular care, but a yearly visit to the veterinarian is a good idea. Being aware of the most common cat health problems can help you spot potential trouble before it gets serious.

It is advisable for cat owners to bring their cats for a yearly checkup with the veterinarian to ensure that their cats are in good health. It is also beneficial for them to have a general knowledge of feline health problems.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) are two immune system viruses that can infect your cat. FIV weakens the cat’s immune system and is transmitted through saliva. Symptoms of FIV may not surface for years till the final phase of the infection. For the time being, there is no known vaccine for this virus. FIV is not necessarily fatal but it weakens the cat's ability to fight with infections and other illnesses.

FeLV on the other hand, is one of the most common deadly viruses for cats. The good news is, FeLV is preventable with a vaccine and the number of death cases has decreased. Nonetheless, it is still best to keep your cat indoors to prevent it from catching any of these viruses.

Worms are another health problem for cats. Tapeworms and ringworms are common parasites that infect cats. To keep your cat free from worms, do a weekly check on your cat for any fleas and ticks as fleas can transmit tapeworms. Generally, worms can be treated with medication from the veterinarian.

One of the most common health problems for cats is hairballs. As it is a cat's nature to keep grooming themselves by licking on their hair, sometimes the hair becomes a hairball and gets stuck in the digestive tract. There is cat food on the market that actually helps with preventing hairballs. You should groom your cat regularly to get rid of any loose hair on the body.

Cats are also frequently affected with urinary tract infections. Unneutered male cats are particularly susceptible to this infection. Symptoms can include a strong urine smell or your cat suddenly failing to use the litter box. If your cat has a urinary tract infection, you should bring it to your veterinarian for treatment.

Keep your cats indoors to keep them from getting into catfights, being attacked by other animals, or picking up infections. Most of the time, this is where viruses, infections and ticks are spread. If you bring your cats outdoors, be attentive to them and be sure they do not get into any hazardous situations.

Finally, take your cat in for regular checkup with the veterinarian, and make sure he gets all the necessary vaccinations.