6 Most Common Cat Health Problems
Cats are good at self-maintenance. But even your fastidious feline can't prevent some of these more common cat diseases and health issues.
Vomiting is a very common problem with cats. Causes range from eating something poisonous or inedible (like string), to infection, urinary tract disease, or diabetes.
Symptoms are usually obvious, and include drooling and abdominal heaving. Vomiting can quickly leave your cat dehydrated, so if kitty continues vomiting or acts ill, call your vet right away. And, because it's hard for a pet owner to tell the difference between vomiting and regurgitation, collect a sample of your cat's vomit and take it with you to the vet.
Read more about cats and vomiting here.
2. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases (FLUTD)
About 10% of cats brought to the vet have feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), which is actually a group of feline diseases with multiple causes.
Female and male cats can get FLUTD, and it often occurs in cats that are overweight or unfit or who eat dry food. Stress, a multi-cat household, and sudden changes can all raise a cat's risk of FLUTD, and treatment depends on the type of FLUTD your cat has. FLUTD symptoms include:
- Straining to urinate
- Bloody urine
- Urinating in unusual places
- Crying when urinating
- Licking around the urinary area (often because of pain)
- Lack of appetite
It's always an emergency if your cat can't urinate. Call your vet immediately if you suspect your cat has a urinary tract problem.
Read more about cat urinary tract problems.
Fleas are a very common external feline health problem. But it's one you can easily treat. Signs your cat has fleas include:
- Flea dirt on its skin (they look like tiny black dots)
- Constant scratching
- Frequent licking
- Red or irritated skin
- Hair loss
- Skin infections or hot spots
Fleas can live for more than a year, and your cat risks anemia if the problem becomes serious, so be sure to treat your cat's flea problem and prevent future infestations.
Talk to your vet about which flea control would be best for your cat. Treatments include oral medication, powders, foams, and topical medication.
Read more about treating and preventing fleas in cats.