From dermatitis to serious heart diseases, there are certain health conditions that cats are particularly susceptible to, and knowing how to spot the symptoms and implement the best methods of treatment can help your cat to remain in good health and in some cases, preserve life.
It is worth noting that certain breeds of cats are more prone to particular health conditions due to hereditary predispositions, and this can give your an indicator as to what particular symptoms to be alert to. Looking out for health problems can often prove be a tricky process with cats, as they will often try to mask their pain; being able to effectively spot these cover ups and making sure that you take your cat for regular veterinary checkups can ensure prompt, efficient treatment.
Treating and preventing health conditions
Health conditions can be triggered by a number of factors, including congential conditions, physical injury or trauma, age, obesity, infections and an imbalance of nutrients. The best treatment for a health condition involves the right nutrition, plenty of exercise and in some cases, medication.
More often than not, even if the health problem is not dietary-related, your cats condition can be significantly improved through a balanced diet of vitamins, minerals and nutrition. Specially formulated pet food, available from companies such as Hill’s Pet Nutrition, can ensure a happy, healthy and active life for your cat.
Consulting your vet on a regular basis and taking your cat for regularly health checkups is the best way to ensure your pet’s health remains in optimum condition.
Arthritis is a common health condition that affects senior cats, although it can be found in cats of any age. The condition is caused by general wear and tear of the cartilage, leading to abnormal bone movement. The symptoms of arthritis include stiff, swollen joints, tentative movement, limping, mobility difficulties or even anti-social behavioural changes.
Unfortunately, the effects of arthritis are irreversible, meaning that early prevention is crucial to prevent the need for surgery. By providing your cat with a nutritionally balanced diet, you can help improve the overall health and wellbeing of your cat, as well as enhancing joint health and facilitating an active lifestyle.
As cats are unable to clean their own teeth, an excess buildup of tartar can lead to dental problems. Signs of bad oral hygiene include a plague or a film across the teeth, bad breath and red or swollen gums, known as gingivitis. Such symptoms can signal a more serious underlying periodontal disease, and if not checked, can cause a cat’s gums to completely decay.
In the majority of cases, dental disease is however, both preventable and treatable. Regular veterinary oral checkups and cleaning sessions can help improve your cats dental health, as can feeding your cat dry, crunchy pet food to help clean their teeth through chewing. For more serious dental problems, your dentist will be able to recommend special formulated cat food to help with oral hygiene.
Skin problems, or dermatitis, in cats can be caused by a number of factors, including allergic reactions, parasites, hormonal imbalances or bacterial infections. Symptoms of dermatitis include inflamed or irritated skin, hair loss, flaking and an excess of oil or dryness. The majority of skin conditions can usually be treated promptly and efficiently, whilst some require long-term care.
A diet that is high in protein, fatty acids (such as omega 3) and antioxidants is beneficial for skin regeneration and can reduce the effects of food allergies or intolerances, prevent dryness and ensure a healthy immune system that will enhance skin condition.
Cats can also develop diseases that are common in humans, such as heart disease, kidney disease and liver disease. Common causes of internal disease in cats include increasing age, obesity, breed, nutritional deficiencies, infections or cancer. Although may organ diseases are incurable, early detection and prevention can ensure a prolonged, healthier life for your cat.
Diseases in cats are often accompanied by the following common symptoms: visible signs of sickness including vomiting or diarrhoea, respiratory problems, change in appetite, bad breath, excessive weight gain or weight loss and a decreased level of energy.
Damage to a cat’s essential organs can often be life-threatening, and if you begin to notice or suspect symptoms of a developing disease in your cat, it is important that you consult your vet immediately to determine the most suitable method of treatment.