What is a “normal” behavior of a cat? How will you know if you should take your cat to a vet? How the cats cope with stress in their environment and what are the symptoms of serious illness in cats? Here is a list of the top 9 frequently asked questions about cat’s health problems. We also found out the answers to learn more about the most common health conditions of domestic cats.
1. Is It Normal for a Cat to Mark Its Territory?
Cats are territorial creatures. Each time the cat rubs cheeks with you, it means that she marks you. This is her way of showing that things are hers. When it comes to marking the territory in the house, the biggest problem for the owner is when the cat starts spraying urine on curtains, furniture and other household appliances. This spraying is different from the elimination of urine because of physiological reasons. When a cat’s territory is sprayed, it is a sign that other cats should not come close.
Spraying often happens if more cats live in the same household or if the cat is under stress. If your cat sprayed, thoroughly clean the area in order to neutralize the odor. You should reduce the stress of your cat as much as possible.
2. Do Vaccines Cause Cat’s Health Problems?
The answer is no. Vaccines are actually very important for domestic cats. The type of vaccines your cat gets depends on several factors, whether the cat is going out, her age and general health.
The general rule is that all cats need to be vaccinated if they have a fever, FHV or rabies.
Cats that live outside require additional vaccine for diseases such as FIV and FLV that are the number one virus killers for cats. Each of them is given in a different period of their life and age.
Possible side effects from vaccines – when your cat is given the vaccine it is possible that she withdraws at her favorite hideaway for a day or two and this is normal. However, if within 48 hours your cat does not start behaving normally, talk to your veterinarian.
3. What If Your Cat Has a Runny Nose?
Cats are prone to have a runny nose because of many reasons, including allergies, mites, infections of the nose and colds. If the cat has a discharge from only one nostril, maybe there is something in the nasal canal that causes irritation. For example, grass, dust or pollen can be trapped in the cat’s nose. If this is the case, it will go away eventually. According to research, if only one nostril leaks and if it has blood, then that can indicate a tumor of the nose. If you notice these symptoms, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
4. What Causes Hair Loss?
Experienced owner of a cat knows that a certain loss of a hair is normal; the furniture is covered with hair from the cat’s fur as a proof. However, excessive loss of hair is not normal, especially if there is inflamed skin. Another cause of hair loss is hyperthyroidism, especially in older cats. After a thorough treatment, hair loss should stop. In some cases, hair loss may be associated with a change of environment. Stress can also be a cause for many cat’s health problems including hair loss.
The importance of the whiskers - like fur, whiskers can also occasionally fall out and grow again. But you must not ever cut them. Whiskers serve them for several important functions, including navigation through the environment.
5. What If Your Cat Vomits a Lot?
Your cat may vomit due to trauma. But do not worry - vomiting is one of the very common cat’s health problems. This curious being often consumes a variety of ‘snacks’ and naturally it vomits in order to get rid of what it swallowed. It can vomit to take out the hairball and in order for you to avoid this you should brush them regularly.
Vomiting can be caused by severe viral infections, bowel obstruction, kidney disease, digestive diseases and various cancers. In most cases, vomiting that lasts for several days should be treated with changes in the food. If the vomiting lasts more than two days and if it contains blood, you should visit a veterinarian as soon as possible.
6. Why a Cat May Refuse Food and Drink?
If your pet refuses food and drink that can be quite alarming because a cat cannot live without food and drink. Keep it in mind that cats are extremely picky creatures. If they change the food or eating routine they can deliberately refuse water and food for a short period of time. They can also reject food if you have a guest in your home. If this is the reason you do not need to worry.
However, there are many diseases that can cause rejection of food, including dental infections and bowel disease. If the refusal of food lasts more than 48 hours, contact your vet.
7. What Can Be the Cause of Weight Loss in Cats?
Today a lot of owners have fat cats, so these cats could be put on a weight loss program. But if the cat is losing weight, and she is not on a diet, you should be concerned. One of the most common reasons for weight loss is intestinal parasites. Fortunately, this is easily treated, usually with one or two doses of drugs. More serious cat’s health problems related with weight loss are cancer, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, and dental infections. Whatever the cause, your veterinarian should know about the problem as soon as possible.
8. Do You Need to Worry If Your Cat Has Diarrhea?
Despite the inconvenience, diarrhea plays a key role in all animals, including cats. This is a natural way of ejection of the entire intestinal tract residues which can be detrimental. It is normal that cats have occasionally diarrhea and it is mainly a short-term problem.
Diarrhea sometimes indicates a serious condition such as intestinal infections or in worst cases tumors. Immediately contact your veterinarian if diarrhea lasts more than two days, contains blood or is accompanied by fever or vomiting. You should also visit a veterinarian if the cat shows signs of dehydration, inflammation of the eyes, drowsiness, dry mouth and nose.
9. How Do You Know If Your Cat Is Overweight?
You should ask yourself the following questions:
- Does my cat have a thin layer of fat in the area of her ribs and tail?
- Looking at the above, does your cat have a narrow waist behind the ribs?
- From the side, is her tummy tucked up behind the ribs?
If you answered ‘NO’ to a one or more question, there is a chance that your cat is fat.
To maintain body weight of your cat, you should offer food that is appropriate to its stage of life and individual cat’s health problems. Overeating is a major cause of obesity, and it can shorten the life of your cat. Play with your cat at home.
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