Cats, being small mammals are prone to some specific illnesses.
Ability of the owner to identify the symptoms early ensures timely help and restoration of the cat’s health. From worms to viruses, there are a number of diseases that cats suffer from.
Here are the 3 most common cat diseases that can make your cat look out-of-sorts from the normal.
Your cat need not be an outdoor one to suffer from worm infections. Even indoor ones can be afflicted by these pests. Roundworms and tapeworms are the most common worm infections among cats.
A cat can come in contact with round worms by ingestion of infected rodents, birds or insects and even contaminated soil. They are visible as string shaped structures in the feces or vomit of the cat. Other symptoms include diarrhea, lack of appetite and a distended stomach. If left unattended your kitten could even die from the infection.
Tapeworms cause intestinal disturbances and are caused due to ingestion of infected fleas by the cat. They sap nutrients from the intestine and hence cause weight loss and mild diarrhea. It can be confirmed by looking out for grainy larvae around the anus and in the feces of the cat. Flea control and oral deworming medication are the solutions to tackle tapeworm infections in cats.
2. Urinary Tract Disease (UTD)
About 10% of the cats who land at the vet’s office are diagnosed with lower urinary tract infections. It occurs in the urethra and the bladder and is characterized by painful urination accompanied by bloody urine. There could be many causes for UTD such as: bacterial infection, dehydration or even the high content of ash and mineral in the cat food.
The symptoms of UTD include straining, squatting and meowing with pain while urinating. A vet’s attention is required at the earliest who will diagnose and put the cat through a course of antibiotics and recommend a diet change. Proper nutrition and reduced stress will go a long way in preventing this infection in your pet cat.
3. Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URI) or Cat Flu
Bacterial and viral infections are the most common causes of upper respiratory tract disorders among cats. Feline herpes virus and calicivirus are the most common types. The viral infection can later lead to secondary bacterial infections prolonging the illness. Persian cats are more prone to this infection than the others.
The disease is characterized by a runny nose, nasal discharge, palpitations and fever. Immediate attention of the vet is required to reduce the symptoms. The vet may put the cat on antibiotics and a fluid diet for a week’s time. Isolating the cat and keeping it indoors is the quickest road to recovery. A weak immune system and overcrowding are the major reasons for URIs among cats.