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6 Most Common Cat Health Problems

4. Tapeworms

One of the most common feline health problems inside your cat, tapeworms live in kitty's small intestine and sometimes grow as long as 2 feet.

Symptoms of a tapeworm infection can be subtle but may include vomiting and weight loss. The easiest way to tell if your cat has tapeworms is to look at its feces and around its anus. If you see small white worms or what look like grains of rice or sesame seeds, your cat likely has tapeworms.

Treatment options include injection, oral, or topical medication. But because cats almost always get tapeworms as a result of swallowing a flea, be sure to handle any flea problems your cat has before tackling tapeworms.

Read more about tapeworms in cats.

5. Diarrhea

Many things can cause diarrhea in cats, including hairballs, spoiled food, allergies, infection, liver disease, cancer, and more.

Symptoms of diarrhea are loose, watery, or liquid stool. Depending on its cause, diarrhea can last for a day, a week, or months.

If your cat has diarrhea, offer kitty plenty of fresh, clean water to prevent dehydration. Then remove kitty's food for no more than 12 to 24 hours. Take your cat to the vet if he or she still has diarrhea after a day or immediately if you notice vomiting, dark, or bloody stools, fever, lethargy, or loss of appetite or if your cat is straining to defecate.

6. Eye Problems

Eye problems in cats can be caused by a number of things, including conjunctivitis, cataracts, glaucoma, trauma, viruses, inflammation, and retinal disease.

A few symptoms that may mean your cat has eye problems include watery eyes, tear-stained fur, cloudiness, red or white eyelid linings, gunk in the corners of the eye, squinting, pawing at the eye, or a visible third eyelid.

Unless you know what's causing your cat's eye problems, there isn't much you can do other than wipe away any gunk with a damp cotton ball. After that, call your vet.

Read more about cat eye problems and discharge.

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WebMD Veterinary Reference

Reviewed by Elizabeth A. Martinez, DVM on August 13, 2012

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