Cats. They are our Persistent Love Bugs, our Ferocious Hunters, and our Thing That Goes Bump in the Night. Unfortunately, they are also baffling. The number one questions searched by cat owners all relate to common symptoms of illness in cats. Vomiting, trouble peeing, that pesky eye discharge, these are just a few of the symptoms we will look into. Here is a quick reference of what deserves attention and what is just a quirk:
Often, owners start to feel like their cat simply uses vomiting as punishment for a perceived slight. The reason behind this is that cats will throw up due to many daily triggers. If they eat too fast, jump around just after eating, or even eat too much, all of these will result in food coming right back up. Occasional vomiting can be considered somewhat normal, even if it is extremely unfortunate for your carpets.
This does not mean, however, to not mention this occasional problem to your vet during their yearly checkup. When vomiting is frequent throughout the day, vomiting only liquids or foam, being lethargic and not eating, all these mean a quick trip to the vet for further investigation.
It is extremely common for your cat to have one or two accidents in the house throughout their life. However, blood in their pee, difficulty peeing or frequently peeing in inappropriate places is not normal and requires a trip to the vet. Symptoms of health problems can also be the absence of pee in the litter box, your cat is meowing when urinating, or their urine is dark or is a very small amount.
Whether due to behavioral issues or a deeper health problem, testing at the vet is necessary before a game plan can be discussed. In the meantime, to help your pet stay healthy, encourage them to stay hydrated. Always keep water fresh in a clean bowl away from their food and litter box, and try to give them wet food several times a week.
Typically, only found with strays and outdoor-only pets, internal parasites can cause quite a few health problems. Hookworms, tapeworms, giardia, pinworms, and coccidia are picked up through exposure to their eggs through infected water, soil or fecal matter. They can cause bloated stomachs, vomiting, lack of appetite, diarrhea, or, the worst part; worms in stool. If your cat has internal parasites, finding worms in the litterbox can sometimes be the first clue beyond a bloated stomach. A quick trip to the vet for diagnosis and a short-term prescription will wrap this problem up very quickly.
This symptom, similar to vomiting, can be found in cats somewhat regularly. Unfortunately, it can also be due to a variety of reasons. The most common cause is due to a change in diets, such as eating dairy or an expired product. If your cat is suffering from a loose stomach, try taking away their food for up to one day (check with your veterinarian first), no longer. Encourage them to drink plenty of water during this time. If diarrhea persists for more than one day, it is time for a trip to the vet to prevent dehydration from occurring.
At the vet, your cat will be examined for further issues, such as internal parasites, kidney disease or digestive problems. They will also usually be given a prescription to help calm down their stomach. In the meantime, get out the carpet scrub.
We all know a cat with a little gunk in the corners of their eyes, but what does it mean when you always have to give their eyes a wipe? If the discharge is colored, lasting more than a day or unusually heavy, bring your cat to the vet. While it is possible the extra buildup is due to a temporary irritation, it is also, probable that a serious infection could be starting, such as a herpesvirus flair, protozoa infection, bacterial infection, or even an upper respiratory virus. Either way, some quick drops or prescription medication can set your cat right again.
Sometimes, our furry friends are confusing. They knock over glasses for no reason and they sleep in anything that looks like a box. Fortunately, their health doesn’t have to be a mystery. With a little bit of due diligence, you can know whether your cat has a passing problem or a more serious dilemma.
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