As our cats age, some illnesses become more and more of a lingering possibility. But this doesn’t mean cats at any age can develop health conditions. It is important for pet owners to know what illnesses are the most common in house cats and what warning signs you need to look out for. Sometimes it is something that will go away on its own or with minimal veterinary assistance or with medications. But sometimes it can be something that requires advanced testing, medications, and even surgeries. Here we discuss what are common conditions and how you can spot them early.
Cats can have issues with vomiting, and it can be very common amongst indoor and outdoor kitties. This reason for the vomiting can be for a couple of reasons such as:
- Eating something poisonous
- Eating some inedible (string, elastic, etc.)
The symptoms for this one are quite obvious… but these issues can also include lots of drooling and abdominal heaving. You have to be careful with vomiting as it can cause our cats to become dehydrated very quickly. If your animal is vomiting, call your vet right away and bring them in for an exam.
Your vet will probably want to collect samples of the vomit and might collect stool samples to do a feces test for cats. Feces tests for cats would be eligible for coverage by your cat wellness plan, but medication and other diagnostics would not. This is why when you get pet insurance you ask the pet insurance company for both a cat wellness plan and cat health insurance.
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases (FLUTD)
Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) has been estimated to affect around 3% of cats. FLUTD can be caused by all sorts of things including:
- Multi-cat household
- Sudden changes (routine, home, food, etc)
Sometimes a cat FLUTD can come seemingly out of nowhere and your cat might begin to act off. If you notice any of the following symptoms it’s important to bring your cat to the vet right away:
- Really thirsty
- Pain/strain when urinating
- Bloody urine
- Whine when peeing
- Licking their rears
- Depressed mood
- Lack of appetite
Consider it an emergency situation when your cat is not urinating. Or when they are not eating, have a lack of energy and seem off. All of these could be signs that their health is quickly declining.
Your vet will conduct urinalysis to narrow down the cause of your cat’s illness. These tests are covered by cat wellness plans and should be conducted annually. These tests check for issues in the kidneys, bladder and overall health. Pet insurance for cats is what will cover the emergency care, medications and further diagnostics if needed.
Fleas are pesky little buggers that affect millions of animals. Housecats are usually at less of a risk, but if you let your cat outdoors then they might contract fleas. If you have cats and dogs then your cat might contract fleas from your dog who is outside more often. This is why vaccinations for indoor cats are still very important. Common symptoms that your cat has fleas include:
- Flea dirt on the skin (look like black dots)
- Constant scratching
- Frequent licking
- Red / irritated skin
- Hair loss
- Skin infection
- Hot spots on their skin
If your cat is grooming themselves and ingests an infected flea including tapeworm eggs or any other parasite eggs this can also turn into tapeworm infection. The best thing to do is vaccinate your animals for fleas, and offer them monthly flea medication. This is especially important during flea season in the summer months.
Pet wellness plans cover 3 vaccinations per year. This is perfect for if you let your cat outside or let them near other animals. The flea vaccination alone is protecting them from fleas as well as the diseases that often come from fleas. Pet insurance for cats will also help you cover topical, powders, foams or oral medications that your vet might prescribe.
Whether your cats are indoor cats or outdoor cats you should probably think about getting pet health insurance for cats along with a cat wellness plan. Cat wellness plans cover preventative care such as vaccinations, fecal exam for cats, urinalysis, bloodwork, and flea and heartworm medication. Pet insurance for cats is for all emergency care and covers different diagnostics, surgeries, prescribed medications, etc.
If you’re unsure whether your cats have had all of their necessary vaccinations make sure to contact your veterinarian!