As a cat owner, your first responsibility is to keep your pet healthy. However, even with balanced nutrition and a good amount of love and attention, cats can still get sick. Learn about the most common ailments that affect cats so you can try to prevent them or cure them quickly with the proper medical care when you first spot the symptoms.
Although cats and dogs can live with fleas, flea infestations should be controlled for several reasons. The most common flea, the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) may carry the Dipylidium caninum tapeworm larvae. If cats eat fleas during grooming, they may become infested with these tapeworms.
Fleas also could transmit other infectious agents. If kittens are exposed to fleas, they may become anemic. Cats can also develop an allergy to flea bites, resulting in excessive scratching or possibly skin disease. Finally, humans are also susceptive to itchy flea bites, usually on the ankles.
You may suspect your cat has fleas if he seems particularly itchy or you see bites on human members of the household. To check if your cat has fleas, groom him over a sheet of white paper. Look for a few fleas caught in the comb’s teeth or flea dirt on the paper. Flea dirt is actually excrement of undigested cat blood, and appears black and comma shaped. If you place it on damp cotton wool, the flea dirt dissolves into bloody streaks.
To control fleas, all mature fleas must be killed and reinfestation prevented. Many commercial products are available both to kill adult fleas and remove fleas from the environment. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.
When cats cannot digest hair and food debris, they regurgitate hairballs. Hairballs are formed either at the back of the throat or in the small intestines. Hairballs not only sound disgusting while your cat is producing them, but they also make an unsightly mess on your carpets and floors.
The simplest method of hairball prevention is grooming your cat to remove excess hair. The next step involves many products already on the market to prevent hairball build-up such as oils, treats, and diets. If your cat vomits frequently and the problem isn’t resolved with regular brushings, you should consult with the veterinarian to be certain that a more serious problem is not the cause.
Overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, is a condition where the thyroid gland