Every devoted cat owner on Earth only wants their little one to live a long, happy, and healthy cat life! I know that’s what my human Jeff wants for me! In fact, they only want the best for us cats. Recognizing the most common cat health issues can help humans safeguard their little one!
What happens when you aren’t able to recognize the symptoms of cat health problems or don’t know how to prevent them? What if you think your cat is suffering, but can’t figure out what is wrong? Worry not! I’ve outlined a bunch of common health problems, how to identify them and how to protect us kitties from harm.
Common Cat Health Problems
Believe it or not, there aren’t many differences between a human’s physiology (the way their body functions) and an animal’s (cat’s) physiology! We have many of the same organs, organ systems, and they work in many of the same ways.
We’ll cover many of the more common cat health concerns in this article, and how to recognize and/or prevent them. In fact, knowing, recognizing, and preventing these disorders is always better, and often easier, than treating them. After a certain point, some of the disorders listed here are impossible to treat.
General Cat Health Symptoms
Chewing or frequent licking skin
Diarrhea or frequent vomiting
Swollen ears, face
List of Cat Diseases or Medical Problems
A few of the more common diseases and disorders are harmful to cat health. As a pet parent, understanding common disorders and recognizing symptoms of poor cat health quickly will increase the chances of healthy recovery for your sick cat!
Cancer is caused when a defect in the genetic code of a cell is copied along with that cell, creating 2, 4, etc. mutated, nonfunctioning cells. This can arise from a hereditary problem, poor genetics to begin with, or outside factors (i.e. radiation, chemicals).
Cancerous cells can be very serious to a cat’s health! Not only do they stop the cells from working properly, but they also take resources reserved for healthy cells and eventually cause those cells to function poorly or die.
Seizures are an early sign of a brain tumor/cancer in cats.
Diabetes in cats is caused by either a lack of insulin or poor pancreatic function and is becoming more and more common, thanks to cheaply manufactured pet food (too many carbohydrates).
By feeding your cat a high-quality diet, rich in animal protein but low in plant (corn, starch) based fillers, you’ll lower the chances of your cat becoming diabetic!
Us cats need an animal meat-based diet. Try to avoid too many plant-based ingredients.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is similar to HIV in humans in the way it affects a cat’s immune system, making us more susceptible to infection from other diseases.
Feline Leukemia Virus was discovered way back in the 1960s and can severely impact cat health by weakening the immune system. FeLV is a very commonly diagnosed cause of death, and won’t always show obvious symptoms right away. For this reason, any sick cat should be tested for this disorder.
Heartworm is caused when a parasitic worm, transmitted via mosquitoes, begins to multiply in our cardiovascular system (heart, surrounding vessels), clogging the vessels and chambers. In cats, the parasite works a bit differently, usually causing lung disease.
Treat us with monthly heartworm preventative care!
High-Rise Syndrome is a term veterinarians use for cats that have fallen from high perches, such as that window sill you left open. Though this isn’t an actual disease, it happens so often veterinarians have named it!
Rabies is easily the most dangerous and lethal disorder on this list, caused by one of the few most feared viruses on our planet! Rabies is a death sentence to all animals that contract it and is lethal to humans that don’t receive emergency treatment within time.
Rabies vaccination is one of the single most important you can give since us cats won’t survive an infection!
Veterinarians in the United States are legally mandated to euthanize any infected animals.
Upper Respiratory Infections are common for cats, impacting the nose, throat, and sinus area. A great number of viruses or bacteria can cause these issues, and your veterinarian will test for them.
Parasitic Worms of several different types can find a home inside your pretty kitty. Cats can accumulate a wide variety of intestinal parasites, and it can be sometimes hard to tell anything is wrong without further examination. Some worm parasites are hazardous to humans, other animals, and a mother’s kittens!
Tortoiseshell Cat Health Problems
Tortoiseshell cats are named after their coloring and will, in fact, face many of the same major issues impacting cat health that other cats worry about. Physiologically, there isn’t much difference at all!
Tortoiseshell markings are rare, the males are often sterile, and can be found in various cat breeds. You might consider sterility a cat health problem, others may look at it as saving money by not having to neuter your little man!
Munchkin Cat Health Problems
This munchkin cat fellow was supposedly bred for his shorter legs and longer body, but the exact ancestry isn’t fully known because shorter cats were nearly wiped out during WWII. A genetic mutation called achondroplasia causes dwarfism, but is otherwise relatively harmless to Munchkin cat health!
Cat Teeth Health
As they age, problems are common in any cat’s dental health, but there are simple steps you can take to protect your little one’s smile! Many pet stores will sell toothbrushes specifically designed for cats and dogs, on top of cat toothpaste.
Don’t use human toothpaste on your cat’s teeth!
Acclimating your cat to the toothbrush is easier if you begin at an early age.
Your veterinarian will gladly clean your cat’s teeth, if you ask him about setting up a professional cleaning!
Bad breath, which I obviously never have, can be an obvious sign of poor cat teeth health but can indicate other problems also. If your cat is suffering from tooth-related pain, he might not want to chew dry cat food. At the same time, ‘wet’ cat food might stick to your cat’s teeth, eventually causing bacteria to grow and solidify.