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5 Serious Diseases Affecting Cats

Aside from dogs, cats are also considered as one of the most popular pets that you can find in many homes. I have several friends who own a cat or two. One good thing about these animals is that they are naturally clean, quiet and also loyal. And whoever owns a cat knows that this favorite house pet also needs adequate attention especially when it comes to their general health condition.

As I studied more about biology, I have learned that there are so many things in common between humans and animals. Among them are the various diseases affecting humans that can also affect animals, cats in particular. And a number of these diseases are considered to be serious and life-threatening to cats. I have listed five of the most common diseases to serve as a reference for those who own a cat or are planning to own one:

  1. Renal Failure

Renal failure is considered to be one of the leading causes of fatalities among older cats. Renal failure is caused by kidney diseases which may also develop due to age and genetic or environmental factors. Feline renal failure may be acute (sudden kidney failure) or chronic (progressive kidney deterioration). Symptoms of kidney disease that may lead to renal failure include vomiting, nausea, excessive urination, frequent drinking, grinding sound in the jaw, and loss of appetite which normally leads to weight loss. You may also notice that your cat smells like ammonia or is getting lethargic. The sooner that your cat gets treatment, the better is its chances to live longer despite the fact that feline diseases have no cure.

  1. Rabies

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, cats have more cases of rabies than any other domestic animal in the US. And feline rabies is considered to be a serious and dangerous disease because it can be passed on not only to other cats but also to humans through their bites. Symptoms of rabies in cats include drooling, yowling, fever, conjunctivitis, poor coordination, strange behavior, depression and weight loss. This disease has no cure and ultimately, it can lead to a cat’s death. Fortunately, it can be prevented through vaccination and by keeping your cat indoors to avoid contact with wild animals which are common carriers of rabies.

  1. Cardiomyopathy

This type of disease is the most common form of heart disease that can affect cats. It is also one of the leading causes of why a significant number of cats die suddenly. And to make this condition worse, there are only a few noticeable symptoms of this disease, making it hard for owners to detect. The best way to detect this condition is to have your cat checked by your veterinarian at least once every year.

  1. Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the serious conditions in cats, but it can be detected from its symptoms which include frequent urination, abnormally big appetite, increased thirst and frequent drinking, and weight loss. Once diagnosed, your veterinarian would usually recommend a special diet plan for your cat to manage the condition.

  1. Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis in cats is a condition that may be caused by a number of factors including parasites, drug reaction, infection and trauma. However, 90 percent of the reported cases have no definite cause. Among the different breeds of cats, Siamese cats have a genetic predisposition to this problem. Common symptoms include lethargy, poor appetite, dehydration and lower than normal body temperature. Diagnosing this problem can be difficult even among veterinarians, but a series of tests which include ultrasound and blood test can help support the diagnosis. It is important that this condition would receive immediate treatment as it can lead to kidney or respiratory failure and ultimately death.

There are many other serious diseases that can affect cats that I have not included in the list such as roundworms in cats or infections in cats because many owners are already knowledgeable about these problems. If you are really serious about keeping your cat in good health, I would recommend searching also for diseases that are inherent to the breed of cat you have. The more knowledgeable you are to the diseases that can affect your pet, the better you can keep your cat in healthy condition.