We love our cats! We treat them like family. When our cat is sick we worry for them just as we would for a close family member. When one dies we grieve for them like we would for a close human being. So to keep them fit and healthy here are some pointers to follow:
Most people think that milk is good for cats because cats love it. This is not true. Milk is bad for cats. The digestive system of cats and particularly kittens is upset by cow’s milk. Vets recommend that you don’t feed cow’s milk to your cat because it will cause diarrhea. If your cat is particularly fond of milk, a small amount watered down is no harm.
Be cautious when choosing house plants for your home. The berries on mistletoe are poisonous to cats. Other dangerous plants to cats include Poinsettia, English ivy, Crocus, and others.
Woolen clothes can make some cats sick.
Your cat’s tail is both a balancing tool and a mood barometer. Keep an eye on it.
A big cause of cat fatalities is the wrong kind of collar.
Get your cat vaccinated against all the common diseases.
Get your cat neutered or spayed preferably at the age of 6-7 months.
Have a thorough annual check up of your cat done by an experienced vet. This should include examination of the cat’s body, from nose to tail; weighing and taking its temperature; listening to the cats heart and lungs; checking for abnormal discharges from any bodily orifices, including eyes and nose; checking its teeth, gums and ears; inspecting for parasites and abscesses; feeling the cats internal organs. Stool test should also be conducted to test the presence of parasites.
Excessive licking and grooming can have several causes: stress, food allergies, and more. The first step is to take the cat to a vet to determine whether it’s a health or behavior problem. If the licking is due to stress, try to remove the source, or simply manage the stress.
Increased thirst is an indicator of diabetes, kidney or liver problems, especially with an older cat. It is better to consult a veterinarian and go for a thorough checkup.
Hairballs are a problem mostly in longhaired cats. Hairballs are caused by too much hair in the cat’s stomach from their own grooming. Brush your cat hair daily, especially during the warm months of the year to prevent hair balls. If the problem persists take your cat to a vet.
Ear mites are highly infectious little pests that feed on the lining of the ear canals. Its symptoms include scratching behind the ear and inside the ear; a dark brown wax inside the ear; and other signs that are not visible without the special equipment a vet uses. Take the cat to a vet immediately if you suspect that she has an ear mite problem.
Older cat health problems can be mental as well as physical: Cat behavior often changes with age and, in some instances, it’s quite possible for an old cat to exhibit signs of senility.
Arthritis affects cats just as it does humans, and can compromise a cat’s quality of life. In addition to the pain that comes from joint inflammation, the cat’s mobility is affected. Cats with arthritis can’t jump up onto beds and other raised surfaces as easily as they used to.
Older cats sometimes produce excessive thyroid hormones. Left unchecked, the excess hormones can lead to cat weight loss and damage to internal organs, particularly the heart. Sudden weight changes and behavioral changes such as restlessness or aggression may indicate a cat with excessive thyroid hormones.
Sudden fluctuations in weight (either increases or decreases) may indicate a variety of health problems in older cats. Hyperthyroidism, kidney problems or other internal organ problems may cause sudden weight loss. On the other side of the coin, obesity can strain and overwork an older cat’s heart, organs and muscles system. Monitor your cat’s weight, and report sudden changes to your vet.
Cat hair loss and some decline in coat quality occurs with all older cats to some degree. As the cat ages, the fur becomes more sparse, and often the cat requires more help grooming. Check your cat occasionally: Hair loss that leaves bald patches may indicate parasites, hormone problems or infections.
Senile cats often display certain behavior patterns. Meowing for no reason is quite common, and can be nerve wracking (It’s 3:00 am, and you’ve got a cat yowling in the hallway because she thinks she’s lost). Wandering and restlessness are also common. Cat aggression may increase as your cat experiences some loss of mental sharpness associated with aging.