February is Cat Health Month,
a simple reminder that cats can’t take care of themselves (regardless of how independent they may seem.) While felines may go to the vet less often than their canine counterparts, it doesn’t make cat health any less important or mean they’re less susceptible to issues. It’s no secret that cats can be a little hard to read and, naturally, they won’t be able to tell they’re not feeling well, but they will absolutely show you. Here are 6 common cat health issues and signs it’s time for kitty’s check up.
Let’s face it, lots of cats vomit here and there. Whether it’s due to something they ate, or passing a hairball, vomit doesn’t always warrant rushing to the vet. But, if your cat seems to be vomiting excessively, drooling, or continuously heaving with no release, make an appointment. This could be a sign of diabetes or an infection. Also make sure your cat has plenty of access to water, as throwing up can leave them dehydrated.
2. Urinary Tract Disease.
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is found in about 3% of cats. It is typically due to stress combined with being overweight. If you notice your cat straining to urinate or whimpering while urinating, blood in their urine, excessive licking of their privates, or lack of appetite or withdrawal, definitely call your vet.
Diarrhea can happen for many reasons and may simply pass on its own but requires monitoring. Remove your cat’s food for no more than 24 hours and provide plenty of water so allow them to rehydrate. If after a day their stool doesn’t harden or you notice dark or bloody stools or vomiting, it’s time for kitty to sit on the examination table.
These pesky parasites live inside your cat’s small intestine and can really affect your cat’s energy and ability to gain weight. The most common signs of tapeworm are vomiting and weight loss but, because those can be symptoms of many things, the telltale sign is in their feces. If you see small white pieces of what looks like rice or sesame seeds in their waste, bedding, or even around their anus – call your veterinarian and get it treated as soon as possible.
Yep, cats get ‘em too. If you see tiny black dots on your pet’s fur along with excessive itching, licking, skin irritation or hair loss, it’s possible your cat has fleas and needs to be treated. Not only is it uncomfortable, but if untreated, fleas can cause your cat to become anemic.
It’s not uncommon for cats to suffer from conjunctivitis, glaucoma, cataracts, inflammation or retinal disease – which can only be cleared up with the help of your vet. Signs of eye disease include excessive tearing or tear-stained fur, cloudiness, red or white eye lining, crusties, or your cat seems to be pawing at their eye, it’s non-negotiable: an appointment must be made.
What are some things your cat does to let you know it’s time to go to the vet? We’d love to hear more on Facebook.