Even though every cat owner wants their pet to be healthy, there are bound to be health problems with your pet from time to time. Some pet owners overlook many of these issues, thinking they are either normal behavior or believing that they will go away on their self. But your pets need medical attention just like you do now and then, and some health problems should not be ignored if you want your cat to live a long and healthy life. Here are the seven things that cat owners will tend to overlook, but do need to be addressed:
Cats are going to have hairballs, and the fact that this health problem is so common is what makes it so commonly overlooked. Now, don`t get us wrong - many hairball issues are normal behavior for your cat, and you can ignore them. However, if your cat is continually retching or vomiting up hairballs, then that could be an indication of a bigger digestive problem. If your cat is also constipated or doesn`t eat much while coughing up hairballs, then it points that something is wrong, and the hairballs have gotten out of control.
It’s great to see senior cats enjoying life and having plenty of energy, but sometimes all that energy is a sign of hyperthyroidism. That can be a pretty serious issue, and it is relatively common for elderly cats. A warning that this could be the issue is if it is accompanied by extreme weight loss. That kind of weight loss isn`t healthy for senior cats, so pay attention to your cat`s behaviors and significant changes in weight. They could indicate a bigger health problem.
A cat with some extra weight around the midsection is often said to be a healthy eater or a cat with a good appetite. Of course, it`s nice that your cat loves to eat, but if your cat overeats and doesn`t get much physical activity, that can lead to dangerous weight levels. It can affect your cat`s heart condition and its emotional state. Not all cats need the same amount of food, and not all cats are going to be active through the day. Watch how much food you give your cat and ask your vet if it is a good idea to leave out food for your cat to eat continuously throughout the day. If you see your cat gaining a lot of weight and not being as active as it used to be, you should consider obesity as the issue.
Another common health problem that many people attribute to slightly atypical cat behavior is changes in litter box habits. If your cat is leaving behind uncharacteristically foul smelling urine or not using the litterbox like it used to, these can be indications that it is suffering from urinary tract disease. If the cat is missing the box when it urinates, that doesn’t mean it is mad at you necessarily. It could say that your cat is experiencing a health problem that needs to be addressed.
This is another problem you will have to identify if you notice any irregular behavior. If your cat isn`t eating hard food any longer, is continually complaining or is being a picky eater, that could mean it is suffering from some dental disease. Many cat owners will complain about their cat being irritable or just not liking the food they are giving it, but it could be more than that. Cats can be touchy and finicky, but cat owners have to be able to recognize if that is what’s happening or if the cat is suffering and needs some help. You can look for signs that there is a dental problem by peering in its mouth. Look for bleeding gums, swollen gums, teeth that look oddly shaped or other signs of changes in their mouth. When you take your cat for routine physical checkups, you should also have an oral examination done. Making it part of your cat`s regular health routine can help prevent painful dental disease.
If your cat`s joints are making popping sounds as it moves or your cat is moving more timidly, then those can be indications that your cat has arthritis. This is relatively common for older cats, and you should look for signs like decreased activity, slower response when you call your cat and any indication that your cat may be in pain, such as constant meowing. One of the best indicators to tell you that your cat is suffering from arthritis is a change in the way it walks and sits. Look to see if your cat sits hunched over or walks more slowly or as though it is in pain. These will be some of the most obvious ways you can tell if your cat is suffering from arthritis.
Cats can suffer from allergic reactions just like humans can. Your cat may experience some of the same symptoms you would too, like sneezing, coughing, runny nose, and watery eyes. Cats can have an allergic reaction to milk, fish, wheat, soy, and some meats. Look for signs of an allergic reaction in your cat`s skin, such as patchy fur, itchiness, and red spots. Medication, food and your cat`s environment can all cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems.
Your cat cannot complain to you about the health issues it is experiencing besides meowing constantly. It may try to get your attention in different ways, such as by not using its litter box correctly or refusing to eat its food. Look for signs of your cat acting odd and possibly suffering from something. Take your cat for regular checkups to ensure you catch problems early. It is always better to prevent health issues than to deal with them after they appear. If you think your cat could have a health problem, it is still safer to take it to the veterinarian to be checked. If you know what warning signs to look out for, you will be able to deal with health issues as they pop up. Your cat will surely live a longer and happier life, and will thank you for it!