Cat health tips
Cats are a favorite choice of pet among animal lovers and the reasons for this are obvious. They are cuddly and playful, bringing joy to whoever owns them. They are also independent, so they require less attention than other animals. They don't have to be walked, a simple litter box will do and they thrive indoors as well as outdoors. They are fastidiously neat and take care of much of their own grooming and are fun to watch as they play with the toys that are given to them.
Despite their independence, cats still require health maintenance and should be taken to see a veterinarian on a regular basis. Many potential health issues can be avoided by keeping them up to date on their vaccinations. There are still health problems that need to be watched for, even if you take your cat for its annual physical and shots.
One of the things that even healthy cats can suffer from is hairballs. Cats are constantly cleaning their coats by licking them. Because of this, they are subject to ingesting the fur that sheds from their coats. This fur can begin to accumulate in the stomach and can become stuck in their digestive systems and forming balls. Cats usually handle this problem themselves by coughing up the accumulated fur balls.
Although it is uncommon, fur balls can block the intestinal tract of a cat and if this occurs, immediate medical attention will be necessary. Signs of this problem are poor appetite, dull looking fur and constipation. You should brush your cat several times during the week, to prevent large quantities of loose fur from being swallowed. There are also products to dissolve the fur in their stomachs, as well as food created to aid in the prevention of fur balls.
Another common issue that you cat may face is a urinary tract infection. This problem can affect both male and female cats, but male cats that have not been neutered are more likely to suffer from it. There are clear signs of a urinary tract infection, the biggest of which is that your cat will stop urinating or will urinate in areas other than the litter box. They may do this to let you know something is wrong. Another sign is if the urine takes on a strong smell. Medication prescribed by your cat's vet will usually cure the infection.
One of the most dangerous threats that a cat faces is feline leukemia. This disease can greatly shorten your cat's life and can be prevented by making sure your cat is vaccinated against it. It is easily spread between cats, so caution should be taken to keep your cat away from those who may be infected. On the same token, if your cat suffers from this disease, make sure that you protect other cats in your area by keeping it inside.