Cat owners or people who consider getting a cat should be familiar with the health issues they may experience. If you are informed about the common feline health problems you will be able to help your pet and will make sure your cat will be part of the family for a long time.
Cats can get affected by some deadly viruses but fortunately all of them can be avoided through vaccination. Vaccination your pet is really important because this will ensure good health and less medical problems for your cat. The American Association of Feline Practitioners claims that all cat should be vaccinated against the disease discussed below.
Feline panleukopenia – also called feline distemper and cause by the feline parvovirus. This disease is highly infectious and the virus may stay active for months and even years after it has been introduces. Usually cats get infected thought contact with the virus on litter boxes, food and water bowls or feces. Panleukopenia poses a great danger for kittens and causes fever, vomiting, diarrhea and even death. Vaccination against panleukopenia should be done at 8 weeks of age and booster vaccinations should be done every 4 weeks until the cat is 16 weeks old. Then, the vaccine should be given each year or every 3 years.
Feline Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus – these are the most common reasons for upper respiratory diseases and are extremely contagious. These viruses aren’t life-threatening for adult cats but kittens may dies because of them. Vaccination should be started at the age of 6-8 weeks and should continue every 3-4 weeks until the age of 16 months. Booster vaccination is performed in one year. After this period the vaccination is given once in three years and is usually combined with the panleukopenia vaccine.
Rabies – this disease causes death and can’t be treated. It is transmitted with the bites of affected animals. The disease always has a fatal outcome so vaccination is recommended. It is given at 16 weeks of age and a booster vaccination is done at the age of 1 year and then every three years.
Feline Leukemia Virus – this is a retrovirus that attacks the immune system. It is very contagious and is transmitted though saliva and nasal discharge. An infected mother cat transmits the virus to her kittens. The disease leads to weight loss, anemia, cancer and various infections. A blood test should be performed before vaccination to make sure the cat doesn’t carry the disease. The vaccinations against the feline leukemia virus may have various side effects, including sarcoma or formation of cancerous mass. For this reasons, many vets prefer to not vaccinate indoor cats that don’t carry the disease. Generally, kittens are vaccinated at the age of 12-16 weeks. Booster vaccinations are performed in four weeks and then every year.
In order to keep your cat healthy, you need to keep a strong relationship with the vet who will consult you about vaccinations and health issues.
Cat spaying and neutering has many advantages for the health of your cat. If the cat is spayed before its first heat cycle, this will reduce the risk of breast cancer with approximately 95%. This will also eliminate the risk of ovarian or uterine cancer. In male cats, neutering eliminates the risk of testicular cancer. Neutering also solves some behavior problems, such as spraying, and fighting with other cats.
Cat owners should make sure their cat is free of parasites because they are dangerous both for the pet and the owner. You should take measure to eliminate internal and external parasites.
Regular fecal screening performed by your vet will help detect and treat common internal parasites, including roundworms, tapeworms, coccidia, and Giardia. Some of these parasites can be transmitted to humans, and especially children. Fecal screening will help you detect such problems and eliminate them before they develop into serious conditions.
The most common external parasites and fleas and ticks, and you should make sure your pet is not infested with them. There are various effective products that will help you eliminated fleasand ticks. Your vet can help you choose the most appropriate product. Fleas and ticks are not just annoying for your cat; they can cause pain and may transmit serious diseases, including tapeworms and lyme disease.
Your vet is essential part of your cat’s health because he can determine any disease and help for their successful treatment. Older cats need annual health exams, annual blood and urine tests, as well as dental exams and care.
However, it is extremely important for cat owners to get familiar with the most common feline health problems in order to be able to help their pet for his successful treatment and health maintenance.