Most pet owners are aware of the common ailments that affect their cats. However while these health concerns might frequently occur in the domestic feline world, it is surprising how often how some basic diseases and health issues are overlooked. For example, many pet owners find their enormously overweight cats to be adorable, wanting to keep them exactly the same size. Find out which seemingly harmless diseases are often overlooked by pet owners.
- Hyperthyroidism: Cats that seem to have limitless energy appear healthy and active, while they might be suffering from a thyroid condition. Hyperthyroidism results in an overproduction of the thyroid hormone, which can lead to blindness, high blood pressure, stomach pain and even heart failure. If your aging cat seems to be growing more animated and high-energy, you should take him to a vet as soon as possible. The opposite of this problem is hypothyroidism, which occurs when an animal is not producing enough thyroid hormone. This disease seldom draws any attention since the symptoms merely look like a cat is aging and slowing down, by low-energy, weight gain, or itchy and dry fur. In either case, going to the vet will help provide solutions to these disorders.
- Arthritis: Joint swelling and soreness tends to be associated with dogs more than with cats, but even these agile creatures can grow stiff and sore with age. If your feline seems to be jumping less frequently, or is wincing at the touch when she would have been calmer typically, she is probably in pain. (There are also holistic ways of improving arthritis and learning how to exercise pets with arthritis.)
- Urinary Tract Disease: When a cat is incontinent (aka, missing the litter box and aiming for your kitchen floor) it is often viewed as spiteful or rebellious. But the reality is, many cats cannot control themselves, due to a urinary tract problems, infections, or stones. When your well-trained cats starts to go outside the box, it is time to see if this is due to a physical ailment.
- Obesity: A cat is considered obese if a cat weighs 20% over his ideal body weight, and a tragic 40% of cats in America are estimated to be overweight. Fat cats are considered cute by many pet owners, but the results of obesity in pets can be devastating. It can lead to arthritis, diabetes mellitus, heart strain, skin disorders, and a shorter life. Since the majority of American adults are overweight, it can be difficult for a veterinarian to discuss this specific condition in regard to the cat, so take a good look at your cat and see if you might be missing something. (Here is a great trick you can use to find out if your cat is overweight.)
- Respiratory Issues and Allergies: A wheezy cat may go unnoticed by a busy pet-owner, but respiratory issues like asthma and allergies do assail cats from time to time. Asthma in cats usually is triggered by allergens causing shortness of breath or labored breathing. If dust or allergens are the culprit, it might be time to throw out old rugs, fluff or vacuum the upholstery, scrub the floors and generally purge the house of anything which could be agitating the cat. Symptoms of respiratory complications, are loud breathing, wheezing, and snoring. If breathing issues go unchecked, they could cause lung damage, so stay on the look-out for these signals.
- Gum Disease and Tooth Decay: Few pet owners consistently devote time to brushing their pet’s teeth, but this is one of the most important grooming habits to practice. Failure to maintain a cat’s oral hygiene could lead to health issues, infections and diseases which could be fatal. Since the mouth is the passageway to the body, whatever bacteria or decay occurs there directly affects a cat’s major organs. Signs of gum disease or tooth decay are slow eating, wincing, or evidence of pain, food dropping while chewing, and pungent breath, drooling, or pawing at the mouth.
Don’t turn a blind eye to your cat’s unusual behaviors or physical signs of unwellness. Most diseases are curable, if only the owner would pay attention and help get the pet any medical assistance they need!