Before you decide to take on any kind of pet you need to understand that different breeds of cat are susceptible to different health issues. Even if it seems like you have a healthy cat in the beginning it is possible that they will be diagnosed with some sort of disease or health related issue as they get older.
There are also certain that you need to do a little bit of research on in order to be aware benefits and side effects. Also there are precautions that you can take as a cat owner in order to protect your cats health and well being.
• Make sure that all harmful plants are removed from the area in which your cat lives. Some plants can be poisonous when a cat chews on them.
• Cats can suffer from diabetes. Some might find it strange that humans and cats can share the same illnesses, but it is quite common for a cat to be diagnosed with diabetes. If you suspect this from your cat you should definitely call your veterinarian for further measures.
• You might not be aware that certain medications such as working medications can be hazardous to your cat if not done correctly or with the right medication.
• If there is anything that sparks your concern such as if you cat acts listless, has yucky stuff coming from their eyes or nose, or if they look like they aren't eating, even though you know they are, you should trust your instincts and contact your veterinarian with your concerns.
• If you notice that there starts to be a buildup in your cats ears then they might have ear mites. If this is the case your veterinarian will be able to instruct you on the best way to treat this and prescribe medication.
• Do not let your cat play with yarn or string, this rule is mentioned in the toy section of this book for good reason. All can be fun and games until your cat swallows it and then it becomes a serious matter. If such an instance occurs your need to contact your veterinarian, but it might help to know that white petroleum jelly might help to coat the stomach so that the string or yarn can get out of your cats tummy with little harm.
If you aren't sure what to expect with your cat here are a few bits of information that will help prepare you as your cat grows from a kitten to a full grown cat. Within the first month you kitten will begin getting its baby teeth.
At two months old a kitten can be fully weaned from their mother who is why it is important not to purchase a kitten until they are six to eight weeks old.
Between six and twelve weeks you will need to take your kitten into the veterinarian for their vaccinations, other shots, and regular checkups to make sure the kitten is doing well. At three months you can look forward to taking your kitten to the veterinarian for their rabies shot in certain states.
After that, anywhere between three and seven months your kitten will begin to get their permanent teeth. The next step will depend largely on whether or not you have a male or female kitten. For females the time to spay is anywhere between six and eight months.
For Males you are looking to neuter them between eight to twelve months. If you are not in one of those states that require rabies shot at three months then between four and twelve months you will need to get your kitten in for their rabies shot.
Between six months and two years old, you cat will need various booster shots to keep them current with regulations and for health reason. Once your kitten hits the twelve month mark, they stop being a kitten and become a grown cat.
Whether you are someone who believes in vaccinations or not, they are extremely important to the health and well being of your cat. Just as with humans, there are certain viruses that can attack a cat's system if they are not properly protected.
Even if your cat never goes outside, they still interact with whoever comes into your home and whatever germs that they are carrying.
It is really easier to take your cat to the veterinarian for their vaccinations instead of dealing with all of the bills that come from a sick cat. Ask your doctor about any vaccinations that your cat may need and have them explain them to you if you have any concerns.
Another major decision when having a cat is the question of whether or not you are going to have your cat spayed or neutered. For those who plan on breeding their cats, this is not a major concern, but for those who don’t have any plans on breeding should strongly consider these options in order to avoid a lot of complications down the road.
Not only are you protecting your cat from contributing to a litter of kittens that weren't exactly in the cards, but you might avoid a lot of behaviors that occur when a male or female is fertile.
When a male or female cat is not spayed or neutered they may demonstrate such behaviors as urination, spraying their spent, and having to deal with a females heat cycles.
Spaying refers to a female cat in which the cat's reproductive organs are removed in order to eliminate any chance of having kittens. By spaying your female cat you will have a more relaxed, active, and happy cat.
Neutering refers to the removal of a male cat's reproductive organs. Again, they will not be able to reproduce but you will find that are not as aggressive as when they are unneutered.
Part of having a cat involves keeping an eye on their general health and well being. This is why it's important to have a good veterinarian that you can go to when you have any questions or concerns. You need to be able to ask questions and receive helpful answers; after all you need to keep in mind that your cat's health is at stake.
After many question and answer sessions with your veterinarian as you become accustomed to your cat, you will begin to be able to decipher when something is wrong with your cat. It won't hurt if your make it a regular habit to check out your cat for any indicators that they may have a health problem.
Below are the main characteristics you need to look for.
• Eyes: a healthy cat has bright and clear eyes. If you notice any irritation such as discoloration or discharge, you might want to ask your veterinarian.
• Ears: a healthy cat has clean ears that don't stink or have anything icky coming out of them. If you notice that there is any discharge or discoloration your cat might have ear mites. Refer to your veterinarian for questions or how to clean their ears.
• Mouth: a healthy cat has pink and healthy looking gums. Indicators that there might be a problem are stinky breath, swollen gums, or sores.
• Body and Fur: a healthy cat has a thick and lustrous coat. If your cat's coat is not shiny and thick, there might be a health problem that you should check into such as lumps, ticks, dandruff, and fleas.
• Nose: a healthy cat should have a clean nose.
If there is any cause for concern you should speak to your veterinarian immediately. Even if you keep your cat clean, well fed, and vaccinated there is a good chance that your cat is going to be sick at one time or another in their life. This is similar to people, no matter how hard you try, eventually you get sick.
As with people, there are things that you need to look for in your cat to recognize if they are sick or not.
Below is a list of symptoms that might trigger some concern.
• Unexplained weight loss
• It's hard for your cat to breathe
• Your cat is constantly throwing up
• Really bad diarrhea
• The cat doesn't want to eat or drink
• Abnormal inactivity
• Lumps on the body
• Blood in urine or not urinating at all
• Abnormal behaviors
• Sneezing and hacking
• Abnormal aggressiveness
• They aren't using the litter box
If any of these behaviors catch your attention you should take your cat to the veterinarian.
No matter how clean you keep your cat there is always the chance that some little parasite is going to call your cat's body its home.
If you are keeping a good eye on the health and well being of your cat, you might be able to determine when one of these pesky parasites are moving in.
Listed below are some of these parasites that you need to keep a look out for and how to treat them if they invade your cat's body.
• Ticks or Lice: Ticks and lice can be a very annoying problem for you and your cat. In order to determine if you cat is suffering from ticks and lice; you need to check your cat's body. You can decipher a tick because you will either see the parasite or will feel it like a bump on your cat's skin.
You can actually remove these yourself if you know what you are doing. You just have to pull the tick out with tweezers, but don't break the body while doing so.
After the tick is removed you should clean the area with an antiseptic. Lice are much easier to remove; you might notice your cat scratching a lot and find that these pests are the cause, just use a spray or powder to send these parasites packing.
• Fleas: Fleas are a common problem with cats. Again, you can find these parasites with a quick examination of your cat's body, this can even be done while grooming your cat.
Fleas are not something that you can get rid of on your own; you will need your veterinarian's assistance for this.
You may also need to look over your cat's environment to see if there is a particular reason they contracted the flea infestation.
Make sure that after you have treated your cat that you do a thorough cleaning of your cats thins, wash beds, vacuum, and use other flea killing products to help clear these pests out of your home and away from your cat.
• Ear Mites: Ear mites have been mentioned earlier in this book because they are quite common in cats and can lead to many other health problems.
This is why it is recommended to clean your cat's ears on a monthly basis. If your cat's ears begin to look a bit questionable and are not pink and clean, but waxy and icky smelling, your cat might have ear mites.
You should take this concern to your veterinarian and have your cat treated right away.
• Mange: Mange can be transmitted by a variety of different mites, but you should be wary because this is something that humans can be affected by as well.
If you cat begins to lose fur in patches, bleeds, or has issues around the ears, nose, and ears, you cat might have mange.
You need to get your cat to your veterinarian right away if this is a concern for your feline friend.