Cat owners are all too familiar with that distinctive sound that cats making when trying to expel a hairball, often in the middle of the night. However, did you know that coughing up hairballs is crucial to your cat? The inability to do so can result in a deadly intestinal blockage.
Anatomy of a Hairball
Cats generally face the same gastrointestinal problems that humans or other animals do. If your cat has frequent diarrhea or episodes of vomiting, or other gastrointestinal (GI) issues, make an appointment with your feline veterinarian immediately. Here are a few common GI problems many cats face.
Fleas and ticks are very common in animals with fur. They hop onto your cat and make their way to the skin of the animal, where they proceed to feed on your pet’s blood. They also find your cat’s warm, soft fur to be the perfect breeding ground.
Fleas can be obtained when cats go outdoors or come
Pancreatitis is rare in cats, but can be very serious. It comes in two forms: chronic and acute, with chronic being more common for cats. The disorder happens when something triggers the pancreas to start destroying its own tissue.
Function of the Pancreas
This V-shaped organ is small—a cat’s pancreas
Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a retrovirus that, like feline immunodeficiency virus (another retrovirus), produces an enzyme known as reverse transcriptase, which allows the retrovirus to inject duplicates of its own genetic matter into the cells it has corrupted.
Though closely related, because a
Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a terminal disease that affects cat. Caused by feline infection peritonitis virus (FIPV), it is a mutation of feline enteric coronavirus (FECV) and is more likely to occur in environments where large groups of cats are together, such as animal shelters.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a type of virus that weakens a cat’s immune system and makes it difficult for the cat to fight other infections. This virus affects only felines.
Spread of FIV
Between 1.5 and 3 percent of healthy cats in the United States are infected with FIV. Cats that roam
Diabetes mellitus is a common disease in which a cat’s body does not make enough insulin or has difficulty using it. This hormone is produced in the pancreas. Its job is to help move glucose from the bloodstream into the body’s cells to provide them with a source of energy.
Many cats with diabetes
A diagnosis of anemia means your cat does not have enough red blood cells and/or hemoglobin to carry sufficient oxygen to all of his or her tissues. Each red blood cell lives only 70 to 80 days, so your cat’s body must constantly replenish these. Anemia itself is not a disease; it indicates that some
Cats normally have excellent vision—their eyes are about six times more sensitive to light than a human’s eyes. However, injuries and a variety of diseases can impair a cat’s vision and even cause blindness.
You can help your cat keep its eyes healthy by making sure it has regular check-ups and
It is never easy to say goodbye to a cat that has been part of your life for many years. This is even truer when your veterinarian suggests that you consider euthanasia. However, euthanasia may be the most humane way to care for a beloved best friend that is suffering.
Is It Time to Say Good-bye?
Fungi are spore-generating, parasitic organisms. They are able to survive by taking in food from the hosts on which they grow. Cats can develop fungal infections when fungi spores are ingested, inhaled or enter a cut or wound. Common sources of most fungal infections are soil and bird droppings, making
Many cat owners already know that insecticides and antifreeze are not things their cats should consume. However, many everyday, innocuous-seeming substances are also poisonous to cats. From a beautiful bouquet of lilies to human medications casually left around the house, you never know what you cat
It’s an unfortunate fact that most cats don’t relish a trip to the vet. For this reason, sometimes they need to be sedated—both for their own and the veterinarian’s safety—during even relatively simple procedures. Anything from dental care to a major surgery may require anesthesia. Some especially
The term “cancer” describes a whole class of diseases. If your cat gets a cancer diagnosis, it means that undesirable cells are growing uncontrollably, invading nearby tissue and possibly spreading through your cat’s body. Some types are more serious than others. As with people, early detection
Thinking of getting a sugar glider? These tiny marsupials are energetic and friendly, making them popular choices as pets. Though they weigh less than a half-pound, they're more closely related to kangaroos than they are flying squirrels. If you think a sugar glider would make an ideal pet for your family,
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Most cats will never have a serious problem with their hearing during their lives. However, several ear issues can affect cats. Many of these can cause discomfort or pain, but some may even lead to a partial loss of hearing or deafness.
Ear issues in cats can have a variety of causes, including infections, ...
If you’re thinking of getting a pet fish, you should know that your veterinarian has a lot of good advice about pet ownership. Fish can be very rewarding as pets, and you just may be surprised about how much fish actually interact with their owners. Here’s more valuable information about choosing ...
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is fairly common in cats. Although it can occur on its own, it is usually a sign of other serious health problems. High blood pressure can also cause problems with other parts of the body, including the eyes, kidneys and heart.
Cats are more likely to develop high ...
Hyperthyroidism is a condition that causes a cat’s thyroid gland to produce too much thyroid hormone. This disease most often shows up in middle-aged and older cats.
The thyroid gland is located in the neck. Thyroid hormones affect most organs in the body, so hyperthyroidism can lead to other problems ...
The kidneys have two important roles in a cat’s body. First, they filter wastes and toxins from the blood, which then exit the body in the urine. The kidneys also help regulate the volume of fluids in the body and important hormones and other chemicals.
Cats can develop several kinds of kidney issues, ...
The liver is a very important organ. It is involved in digestion and removing harmful toxins from the blood. Cats can develop several conditions that affect how well their liver works.
One of the most common causes of liver disease in cats is cholangiohepatitis. In this condition, ...