Common Health Problems in Cats: An Overview

Just like us, there are a number of common health problems in cats which can either be hereditary, due to common issues in certain breeds or develop as they age. Cat owners like to be aware of what signs to look for so they can tend to issues before they develop into something more substantial. As cats cannot tell us if they are unwell, much like young children, we need to be on the lookout for changes, particularly in their behavior and habits.

Naturally, there are often obvious signs such as cat vomiting, cat sores on skin and cat seizure symptoms but often it is small signs such as your cat not eating or your kitten behavior shifts.

Here, we will have a quick look at some common health conditions in cats and their diagnosis and management.

Common Eye Problems

One of the common health problems in cats is eye problems. Eye conditions can be wide and varying, either infectious (caused by any bacteria, virus or other pathogens) or non-infectious (due to any mechanical, chemical agent).

cat eye problem

Key Signs and Symptoms

Being a responsible cat owner, you should make sure you look out for any abnormality in your cat’s eye. Take immediate action and consult your vet. Common signs of eye disease in cats have been listed below:

Excessive blinkingWatery dischargePurulent dischargePawing at eyesSquinting and rednessCloudiness and change in pupil size

If you see any of these symptoms in your beloved furry friend, then go for a thorough ophthalmological examination of your cat and get her treated.

Common Ophthalmological Conditions of Cats

Here is the list of very common eye problems in cats:

PINK EYE (CONJUNCTIVITIS)Eye lining becomes pink, swollen, eye discharge (watery or thick), one or both eyes can be affected, cats become photo sensitive.Talk to your vet. The vet may prescribe antibiotics and other medications depending upon the severity of the condition.
FELINE FLUMostly viral in nature (feline calicivirus/herpes virus. sticky, purulent discharge can be seen in one or both cat eyes.Your vet can suggest you antivirals along with supportive therapy to deal with this situation.
CORNEAL PROBLEMSCornea becomes red, inflamed, clouded, and injured. Excessive tearing, blinking and discomfort are seen is cats with corneal problems.                                        Take veterinary consultancy. Deep ulcers may require surgical interventions. Other ophthalmological preparations can also be suggested to lessen the severity of the condition.
DRY EYESDue to deficiency of tear production (blocked tear duct or gland issues). Cat eyes become inflamed, red. This can lead to blindness, if you do treat it timely.Talk to your vet. He can suggest you tear stimulants and other ophthalmological medications.
EPIPHORAExcessive tear production. You will observe water discharge from one or both eyes. May be due to conjunctivitis, allergens and other inflammatory changes.Your vet can suggest you antibiotics and surgical intervention to repair the tear duct and remove blockages (only in severe cases). Take care of the overall cleanliness of your cat’s eyes.

Common Urinary Tract Problems in Cats

There are many common health problems in cats which affect the urinary system. To assist the cat owners in better understanding the urinary tract conditions, some key signs and symptoms have been listed below:

Frequent urination
Straining/difficulty while urinating (dysuria)Urinating little amount of urine (oligouria)Hematuria (visible blood in cat’s urine)Crying while urinating and frequent licking of genital areaExcessive white crystal/stones in cat’s urine

If you observe any of these symptoms, talk to your veterinarian and take his help to reach the actual cause of the kidney problem. Remember, urinary tract infections can be divided into two types;- Upper urinary tract infections (UUTI’s) and Lower urinary tract infections (LUTI’s).

UROLITHIASISStone formation that prevents normal urine flow in cats. Also causes injuries in the urinary tract that easily becomes complicated by bacterial infection. Cats feel difficulty while urinating, or even bloods comes out with little urine because of internal injury.Your vet can suggest some medications and preventive measures such as a change in the diet and increase fluid intake. Surgery can be performed in emergency cases to save the life of the cat.
URINARY TRACT INFECTIONSVarious bacteria, viruses, fungi cause infections in urinary tract of cats. Frequency of these infections is very low due to acidic urine of cats. But dietary changes can predispose this condition in cats. Cats feel difficulty while urinating and also become unease.Talk to your vet. He can suggest you acidifiers and other best diets and antibiotics which prevent and treat these urinary tract infections in the cats.
URETHRAL OBSTRUCTIONDue to urethral plug/stone etc. cats feel difficulty and pain while urinating and show discomfort.Your vet can suggest you fluid therapy and other urinary medications to deal with this condition. Surgery is also performed to save the life of cats in severe cases.
Other diseases are due to hormonal imbalances, birth defects, dietary changes etcFigure out the exact cause of upper or lower urinary tract disease and know the nature either acute or chronic.Stay in contact with veterinarian and get thorough urinary examination (urinalysis ) and give proper attention to diet and fluid intake in cats.

Tooth Problems in Cats

Important key signs and symptoms of tooth infections in cats have been listed below:

Red and inflamed gumsHalitosis (bad breath)Sensitivity and pain while being touchedLess grooming or don’t groom themselves at allExposed tooth rootsTooth lossFrequent pawing at mouthDrooling/ excessive salivation

List of Common Dental Issues in Cats

There are a number of common health problems in cats teeth. They rely so heavily on their teeth so it is important for cat owners to stay on top of any dental issues. Here are a number of common dental issues in cats:

GINGIVITIS (inflamed gums)

Report any of the above-mentioned symptoms to your vet and take his guidance. Your vet can suggest a better treatment plan according to the actual cause and gravity of the situation.

What are Sinuses Infections in Cats?

There are many agents which cause sinuses infections in cats mostly viruses are notorious for this.

Sinuses become inflamed due to viral, bacterial, fungal or other parasitic infections. Cats show symptoms of sneezing, nasal discharge, inflamed eyes etc. Feline calicivirus rhinosinusitis is very much common that causes the inflammation of both linings of the nose and sinuses.  Other microorganisms such as Penicillium are also involved in causing sinuses infections.

Talk to your vet and take his suggestions. He can suggest you nasal sprays and other medications to soothe the condition.

Summary of Common Health Problems in Cats

There are many health issues our feline friends can be susceptible to. This article has provided details of some of the common health problems in cats which are seen most across all breeds.

The primary advice for pet owners is to pay attention to any changes in your pet’s behavior or habits as these are likely to be a sign of an issue you should tend to or seek the advice of a vet on.