Topic Thread:      Pets & Companion Animals   »   Pet Care & Pet Health   »   Ten Spider Enterprises, LLC   »   Cat Diseases & Cat Health Problems

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Cat Diseases & Cat Health Problems

Pets are our companions and our friends. They give a great deal to us and ask little in return — just the love of a caring master who will shelter and protect them, as we do our children. It can be doubly tragic when a pet such as a cat falls ill, not only because they are in distress, but because they cannot verbally communicate to us what is wrong or where it hurts.

Cat owners can prevent or mitigate the effects of feline diseases and cat health problems by insuring that their cats are provided with proper living conditions, nutrition and exercise. Learning how to interpret your cat’s behaviors may alert you to a problem, since behavior changes such as increased timidity or anxiety, lethargy, uncharacteristic aggressiveness, excessive licking or chewing of body parts such as legs, torso and tail, or loss of appetite often occur when a cat becomes ill. Note, however, that such behaviors by themselves do not necessarily signal the presence of cat illness or disease.

Talking to other cat owners, especially those having cats of the same breed as your own (though cat owners tend as a whole to show less breed preference than do dog owners), is a good way to learn about your cat’s health and potential health problems and risks as well as what to expect if your feline does get sick. A comprehensive reference book for your breed of cat or for cats in general is a handy item to have around the house. Knowing your cat and how it behaves is by far the best way to determine whether your cat is feeling frisky or is under the weather.

If you are unsure whether your cat has a health problem, seek the advice of your veterinarian. If you know your cat is suffering illness, a visit to the vet should be scheduled as soon as possible, since some feline diseases and medical conditions can become life threatening very quickly.

The best way to combat cat diseases is to be proactive, making sure your cat is properly vaccinated and gets his or her required booster shots. Feline vaccination is now available for most but not all common cat diseases, some of which are potentially fatal. An unvaccinated indoor cat may be at risk, even if it does not come into direct contact with an infected cat, from secondary contact and because some feline diseases are airborne. Also, indoor cats often temporarily escape; a brief encounter while outdoors, or walking through an area where an infected animal has been, may be all that is necessary to infect your precious family member. Get those shots!

Most canine diseases are not transmissible to cats. Most feline diseases are not transmissible to dogs. Most animal diseases are not transmissible to humans. Most does not mean all; some very serious diseases (which are also very rare in domesticated animals) are transmissible. Always use common sense and proper hygiene. Parasitic diseases and fungal infections are most easily transmitted between species. Always take proper precautions, such as washing your hands after cleaning the litter pan, to avoid infection. Remember, too, that some human diseases can be acquired by felines; trans-species infection can work in both directions.

Authored by Kenneth L. Anderson.  Original article published 27 December 2003, updated 16 February 2006.

Follow links to the right to learn more about cat diseases, feline diseases and cat health problems. Ten Spider Pets is dedicated to providing information and resources that can help you protect your cat’s well-being and health to maximize his or her longevity and quality of life. Check out other topics in our Pet Care & Pet Health section to learn more about how to care for cats and other pets and animals. If you desire to become a cat owner, investigate Pet Adoption & Rescue. If you already own a cat, you may be especially interested in Pet Health Care Products and Pet Products & Supplies. At the left margin, Related Links address topics of interest pertaining to pets and companion animals. View the Pet Care & Pet Health SiteMap for a complete list of pet care and pet health topics.

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