Most Common Conditions in Cats
The most common medical conditions on cats include the following:
1. Renal Disease - Kidney failure is a problem that affects all breeds and ages of cat, although older pets are more frequently diagnosed with the condition. Common signs include weight loss, increase in water intake and urination, and vomiting.
2. Vomiting - At one time or another your cat may have a bout of vomiting. Usually he'll have eaten something disagreeable, eaten too much or too fast, played too soon after eating or any number of non-serious conditions. Vomiting may be a sign of a very minor problem. If the vomiting continues after your pet eats, or if your pet acts lethargic or doesn't want to eat, medical attention is warranted.
3. Diabetes - Affecting both humans and cats, diabetes is a chronic condition in which a deficiency of the hormone insulin impairs the body's ability to metabolize sugar. Common signs include vomiting, weight loss, lethargy and increased thirst.
4. Diarrhea - This is another one of those conditions which comes up nearly every day in veterinary practice. Diarrhea results from excessive water content in the feces and is a significant sign of intestinal diseases in cats.
5. Upper Respiratory Infection - This is often a complex variety of diseases affecting the nose, throat, and sinus area. These infections are quite common and very contagious. They are especially prevalent in areas associated with overcrowding and poor sanitation. Cats at increased risk include those in catteries, from rescue shelters, and in outdoor feral cat populations.
6. Hyperthyroidism - If your adult cat suddenly begins to lose weight despite a voracious appetite, he may have a hormone problem. In particular, he may be suffering from an overabundance of the hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism is most common in cats over 9 years of age.
7. Urinary Tract Infection - Inflammation of the urinary bladder, sometimes called a urinary tract infection, is one of the top reasons for cats visiting the vet. The most common cause of lower urinary tract symptoms in cats is feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC), a condition which has no known cause. Common signs include frequent trips to the litter box, straining to urinate and urinating outside the box.
8. Pancreatitis - This condition results from sudden inflammation of the pancreas and is characterized by activation of pancreatic enzymes which can cause the pancreas to begin digesting itself. The pancreas lies in the upper abdomen and its inflammation commonly causes vomiting, nausea, weight loss, and lack of appetite.
9. Ear Infection - Otitis externa, commonly known as an ear infection, is characterized by inflammation of the soft tissue components of the external ear canal. It is characterized by red or swollen ears, excessive scratching or grooming in the area, and a foul smell or discharge.
10. Conjunctivitis - Finally, conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the tissue coating the eye and lining the eyelids. It results in inflammation, pain, discharge, and general discomfort.
If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above in your cat, please see your veterinarian. I hope this helps you to better understand some common conditions in cats as well as how to recognize them.
Hopefully your cat won't ever be affected by any of them. But, if something ever happens, it is best to be prepared. One way to be prepared is to have pet insurance.
Pet insurance companies, such as PetPartners, provide simple and easy to understand coverage that allows you to do the best for your cat.