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Top 12 Most Common Feline Health Problems (Pt 3)

cat healthIf you have a cat, make sure you know the 12 most common health problems. Below continues our series on cat health. Read pt. 1 and pt. 2 for the first 8 most common cat health problems.

9. Kidney Disease

Kidney disease affects your cats ability to excrete waste into their urine. This leads to a build up of toxins in their bloodstream which eventually leads to death.  Kidney disease is fatal unless your cat undergoes dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Causes of Kidney Disease

  • High blood pressure
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Infections
  • Kidney Stones
  • Cancer
  • Hereditary
  • Age

Symptoms

  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Yellowing of their skin
  • Dehydration
  • Stiffness in their joints

Unfortunately the treatment options are very aggressive (kidney transplant and dialysis) and not often good options for most cat owners. There are treatments that will help prolong the life of your cat, like subcutaneous fluid injections, but that will not cure them.  If your cat has kidney disease you may want to look into euthanasia and/or aftercare options.

10. Dental Disease

When we think of bad breath in pets we usually think of dogs. However, cats can suffer from bad breath as well. Of course, that bad breath is usually more than just needing a good brush. It is often indicative of dental disease.

Symptoms of Dental Disease in Cats

  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty eating
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Ulcers on their tongue or gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Drooling
  • Pawing at their mouth

If you notice these symptoms you should bring your cat in for a checkup. Dental disease can lead to more serious infections that can be fatal.  Your vet will give your cat a checkup and if he believes that they have dental disease they will need to get a teeth cleaning to remove all the plaque and tartar, have any lose teeth removed and will likely be given antibiotics to prevent infection.  However, prevention is better than treatment. Brush your cats teeth regularly and get them annual dental cleanings, this will help prevent any dental health issues.

11. Bone Fractures

We all say that cats have 9 lives and that they cannot get hurt if they fall from great heights. Well, 9 lives they may have but there is nothing in there that says they wont have a broken bone in any of those lives. It is a lot more common than people believe for a cat to fracture their leg from a big fall. Sometimes falling from a small height is more dangerous than a great height. A small fall may not give them the proper time for their body to get in the proper position to land.

Symptoms of a Fracture

  • Limping
  • Not moving
  • Fever
  • Swelling
  • Wound at the fracture site

A fracture is pretty easy to treat if treated quickly. However, if a fracture is not treated quickly it can be hard to heal. An untreated fracture can lead to infection, can cause long term leg problems if it doesnt heal properly, can cause permanent lameness. If you notice your cat limping, bring them into the vet for a checkup.

12. Obesity

Everyone loves a nice, round, fat cat or at least I do. However, our plump puss may be in more danger than being used as a cuddle buddy. Obesity in cats is a big health issue and can shorten your cats life. If a cat is a healthy weight, you should be able to feel their backbone and ribs without pressing too hard, see their waist between their lower ribs and hips, see a tuck in the tummy between the lower ribs and hips when looking at them from the side.

A fat cat can also indicate more than over eating, it can be a sign of illness such as diabetes. It also increases their risk of arthritis, joint pain, diabetes and liver problems.

If you have a pleasantly plump cat, consider changing their diet, reducing their access to food, or increasing their exercise.