Cats are funny creatures. One minute they want to be petted and stroked, the next they are taking a swipe at your hand and acting like you are public enemy number one. Some people love the conundrum of pet cats and other people hate them.
Love them or hate them they are a still a common pet and have a whole host of potential health issues that will require veterinary care and might have their owners considering the pros and cons of pet health insurance. When cat owners first bring their brand new kitten to the vet they should have the kitten vaccinated for distemper.
Cat owners who have a cat that is entering into the golden years of its life should know that kidney failure is the most common problem senior cats have to deal with. Hairballs are often the very first thing cat owners think about when they stop to consider possible threats to their cat’s health. Hairballs are clumps of hair that can be found in the cat’s digestive system. Cat owners can purchase food additives that will help eliminate hairball. In extreme cases the cat will have to undergo surgery to have a hairball removed.
Just like their owners cats can develop urinary tract infections. Cats who have a urinary tract infection generally cry when they are using their litter box. If a cat is suddenly “missing” the litter box and having accidents around the house it could be a sign of a urinary tract infection. Treating the urinary tract infection generally depends on the type of infection. After doing tests to determine the origin of the infection vets will normally put the cat on a round of antibiotics. If the infection has spread to the kidneys or caused a blockage immediate veterinary action is needed.
Cats kept indoors do not usually develop upper respiratory problems. Cats that have a respiratory illness often cough, sneeze, have runny noses, discharge from the eyes, and are listless. Some cats will run a fever. Just like humans cats that have an upper respiratory illness are contagious and should be kept separate from other cats. Cats with upper respiratory problems should be encouraged to drink lots of fluids. If your cat develops a fever take him to the veterinarian for a round of antibiotics. High fevers, if left untreated, can lead to brain damage and death.
Some cats are prone to getting abscesses. Abscesses are wounds, sometimes small, that heal over, trapping infection under the skin. As the pus gathers a bump will appear on the cat’s skin. Cats with abscesses could be taken to the veterinarian’s office to have the abscess lanced (cut open), drained, and an antibiotic cream applied. Depending on the abscess veterinarians might attach a tube to the animal to let the pus drain. When the abscess has been drained, cleaned, and dressed the veterinarian will probably prescribe a round of antibiotics. Some cats that have abscesses will run a fever.
Lots of pet cats develop diabetes. Many pet health insurance plans will help offset the cost of vet bills.