Cat ObesityDID YOU KNOW...
Obesity is the most common nutritional disorder affecting cats. Fat cats are more likely to develop many serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and breathing problems. For healthy and happy cats, monitor your cats weight and feed them a healthy diet in portions that are appropriate for their activity level.


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Cat Health

Many of the most common ailments that affect cats can be prevented or managed with proper care and treatment.

Cat Health Basics

Whether you have an indoor cat or outdoor cat, there are many things you can do to protect their health. Even though cats are fairly independent and self-sufficient, they still depend on you to look after them and take care of their health. Many of the most common ailments that affect cats can either be prevented or managed with the proper care and treatment.

Tips for Keeping Your Cat Healthy

A few preventive steps can go a long way in keeping your cat healthy. While it is possible for illness and disease to develop even with the best of care, your efforts will help prevent many of the common health problems seen in cats.

  • Schedule Veterinarian Exams - At these visits, your veterinarian will monitor the health of your cat, administer vaccinations, and screen for any health problems. Regular visits make it more likely that illness or disease will be caught in the early stages and that treatment will be more successful.
  • Keep Your Cat at a Healthy Weight - Feed your cats a healthy diet in the appropriate amount for their activity level. Too many cats are allowed to get fat, which causes many other serious health problems. If this is an issue with your cat, your veterinarian can help you monitor your cats weight and plan a healthy diet.
  • Vaccinate Your Cat - Vaccinations protect your cat against many contagious diseases.
  • Use Flea and Tick Control - Fleas and ticks cause skin problems, transmit diseases, and other serious health problems for your cat. Using a flea and tick preventive will help protect your cat from flea infestations and tick bites and related health consequences. Only use one of the newer and safer flea control products as prescribed by your veterinarian, as many over-the-counter store bought flea and tick products contain insecticides which are actually harmful to children and animals.
  • Only Use Cat Medications - Do not give dog medications to your cat. Dog products are toxic to cats and can kill them. Human medications (such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen) are also harmful to cats. Just one tablet of acetaminophen can kill a cat.

Ten Top Cat Diseases and Health Issues

Cats are susceptible to a wide variety of illnesses and diseases. Ten of the most common cat health problems are listed below.

  • Obesity
  • Hairballs
  • Skin Disorders
  • Ear Infections
  • Eye Inflammation
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Urinary Problems
  • Upper Respiratory Infections
  • Kidney Failure

Obesity - Obesity is the most common nutritional disorder affecting cats. As excess weight can lead to serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and breathing problems, it is important to monitor your cats weight and feed them appropriate portions of healthy foods.

Hairballs - A hairball every now and then is common, but more than a couple each month signals the need for intervention. If a hairball gets stuck in the intestines and causes a blockage, it is a very painful condition for your cat. Treatments include laxatives and hairball remedies, but you can help reduce the formation of hairballs by brushing your cat and using a shed control product.

Skin Disorders - Skin disorders have many causes, including allergies, mites, fleas, bacterial or fungal infections, or diabetes. Symptoms include irritated skin, hair loss, dull fur, excessive scratching or licking. The appropriate treatment will depend on the cause of the skin problem.

Ear Infections - Your cat may be trying to alert you to an ear infection with excessive ear rubbing or scratching, or excessive head shaking. You may also notice discharge or a bad smell from the ears. Treatment will vary as ear infections may be either fungal or bacterial, but may involve antibiotics, medicated ear drops, or ear cleaning with a medicated solution.

Eye Inflammation - Also known as conjunctivitis, eye inflammation is common in cats. There are many causes, including viral or bacterial infection, irritant stuck in eye, disease, tear duct abnormalities, or trauma. Eye inflammation is not always not preventable, but usually treatable.

Cancer - Cancer can affect the skin, bones, and internal organs. The most common type of cat cancer is leukemia, which is cancer of the white blood cells. Causes and prevention methods are basically unknown, but treatment options include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

Diabetes - Diabetes is a chronic disease caused by an insulin deficiency. It most commonly develops in older and overweight cats. Symptoms include excessive drinking, increased urination, and weight loss. If diabetes develops, treatment options include insulin shots, oral medications, dietary change, exercise, and weight loss.

Urinary Problems - Two common urinary problems seen in older cats are Feline Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), caused by bladder stones, and Feline Urinary Infection (FUI), usually due to a bacterial infection. If you notice a change or problem with urination, a trip to the veterinarian is necessary to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.

Upper Respiratory Infections - Upper respiratory infections in cats are similar to colds in humans. They affect the nose, sinuses, throat, and upper airway passages. The infections, which can be caused by a bacteria or virus, are common in cats and highly contagious.

Kidney Failure - When kidney failure occurs, toxins start building up in the body. Kidney failure may be caused by tainted pet food, poisons, an infection, or hereditary factors. Early symptoms include vomiting, as well as an increase in drinking and urination. Your cat needs to see a veterinarian immediately in cases of kidney failure.