Making Cat Health Job One Means Staying Informed

Bright eyes are a sign of good cat healthBright eyes are a sign of good health.

Cat health is a broad, but vital topic. As a cat owner, that means that keeping your cat healthy involves a lot of difficult choices.

Looking out for your cat's health means keeping on top of everything from the basics, such as choosing the right premium cat food, to the more complex issues such as vaccination schedules, cat behavior problems, and on and on.

Begin here with these pages...

Then use my recommendations on cat books, magazines, and other resources to answer your questions, and give you alternatives.

Go right to:

View the index of Feline Health Articles and Information, which contains a listing of all of the cat health related articles on this site, including this one on more than 70 cat illness warning signs and symptoms.

Medicine, as we know, is not an exact science, it is an ongoing process. The practice of pet medicine is no different.

One problem though... your cat can't tell you or your vet what, if anything is wrong with her.

This makes it critical that you be informed, as well as observant. You need to keep an eye on your cat and pay attention to anything that might seem abnormal. Anything out of the ordinary could indicate a possible cat health issue.

Pay close attention to your cat's routines. Get familiar with your cat's habits, such as eating, drinking, sleeping, and litter box use. Your cat's behavior, as well, needs to be closely watched. For some tips, see this cat symptoms page, or click here for a complete ebook on the subject.

You should report any sudden major change in cat behavior or habits to your vet as soon as possible. For example, a cat that is usually social that becomes aloof, or a normally active cat that begins sleeping more than usual may have a health problem.

A sudden change in grooming habits may indicate either a behavior problem, or a health issue that needs attention.

Sudden changes in eating and drinking or litter box usage patterns could also be an indication that there is a problem. Any change in behavior that has no apparent cause should be suspect, as it can mean a cat health alert.

Any clues you see should be noted, as any of these changes could be a common ailment, such as a virus, or a more rare condition such as mesothelioma in cats. Even a less serious virus, however, could become critical if left unchecked.

Remember, your first and best source for information on cat medical problems and advice is always your veterinarian. Use the resources here to supplement regular cat care provided by your vet.

I'd like to point out that there are several major areas of responsibility that you, as a cat owner, need to take care of in order to ensure proper cat health...

Cat Living Environment

Cat's are extremely adaptable animals, and can get used to living in just about any conditions... and that's a problem.

An indoor cat needs a clean, cat safe home, with adequate room to play, sleep, eat, and use the litter box. Proper litter box and food and water placement, and proper sleeping areas are all essential for your cat. Making your home cat safe includes removing items that may harm your cat, such as poisonous plants.

Cat Nutrition

Adequate nutrition, including premium cat food, and clean water are essential (find the best cat food).

You should make sure that your cat always has a supply of fresh clean water available. Cats are prone to constipation, often due to an accumulation of hair in the gut. Dehydration, even in mild form, can increase the development and severity of constipation in cats.

There are also vitamin enriched treats and anti-hair ball foods that you can add to your cat's diet (more about hairballs in cats). Natural constipation remedies are preferred by some.

Some cat owners are also feeding their cats additional nutritional supplements. Some have claimed that adding vitamin C to your cat's diet is beneficial. Some experts, however, have said that this is typically not necessary as diet and other supplements can provide this vitamin.

In addition, there are some supplement makers that claim to have products that boost the immune system of your cat. Some of these are based on a protein that is found in colostrum, called transfer factors.

Some veterinarians are using these products to improve the health of their feline patients. One such product is 4life Transfer Factor Feline Complete.

Another immune boosting product for pets is Companion for Life, which is based on immune-26, a hyperimmune egg formula.

Cat Care

General cat care involves providing a safe and cat friendly environment for your cat to live in. Providing proper sleeping areas, cat toys to play with, and adequate temperature and ventilation are also required.

General cat care includes everything from regular visits to the vet for examination and shots, to daily grooming. It also includes giving your cat the proper attention and stimulation she needs.

We hear about people with cat behavior problems all the time. Some cats scratch up the furniture or the carpet, others chew on wires, and still others are compulsive diggers.

Many of these behavior problems can be avoided or corrected by simply paying attention to your cat's needs. In order for your kitty to be well adjusted, it is important that you provide the right mix of attention, affection, and stimulation.

On the other hand, if a behavior problem becomes extreme, you may need to involve your veterinarian or even pet psychologists. Your cat's behavior problem may just be due to illness. Your vet can rule out a physical cause, and the pet psychologist can work with you and your cat on behavior modification.

If your cat becomes pregnant, you'll want to adjust your care during the gestation period and after the birth of the kittens to accommodate her.

If you suspect your cat has a disease, you should plan a visit to your veterinarian as soon as possible. For some information on common cat diseases, you can check the guide for cat illness symptoms .

How do you deal with the high cost of house cat care? Would a tax credit have a positive impact on the welfare of pet cats in the US?

Cat Breeds

Specific cat breeds often have health care issues that go beyond the regular garden variety. You must be alert to these differences and act accordingly.

Remember, when a new cat breed is developed, the animals are bred to retain certain traits.

It is an unfortunate fact that certain negative traits will also be reinforced as well. This can create breed-specific cat health problems that you may need to address.

Breeders work to rid the breed of bad traits when possible, but this is not a quick process. In addition, some breeders will cross breed with other breeds. This is not a bad thing, and certain crosses are allowable. Sometimes, however, this introduces a bad trait from one breed into another. Be careful of this and make sure you check the lineage of any cat you plan to adopt.

More on Cat Health Information and Feline Diseases

General Cat Health Information

Information Pages on Feline Health

A listing of the primary cat health articles on this site.

Low Cost Spay Neuter Programs

Low cost spay neuter programs prevent feline pregnancy, reduce overpopulation and result in fewer cat health problems and behavior issues in the domestic cat population.

Your Cat's Health

Tips on protecting your cat's health.

Senior Cat Wellness Problems

A look at some of the major health problems that develop in older cats.

FDA Pet Health and Safety Widget

Get tips, updates, and information about pet health and safety from the Center for Veterinary Medicine.

Constipation and Diarrhea

Feline Constipation

Feline constipation is a relatively common problem, with a number of causes. Laxatives may help, but more severe cases may require surgery.

Your Constipated Cat

What to expect when your cat is suffering from constipation.

Feline Diarrhea

Feline diarrhea can be a symptom of a more serious health problem, or it could be just something your cat got into.

Diarrhea in Cats

Treatment for diarrhea in cats.

The Feline Immune System and Infectious Diseases

The Feline Immune System

Your cat's health depends upon a properly functioning immune system. There are some conditions and diseases that may cause it to malfunction.

Feline FIV

Feline immunodeficiency virus, or Feline FIV, is a retrovirus, which may lead to full blown AIDS.

Household Items

Do essential oils kill cats?

Cat Parasites

Cat Parasites

Parasites are a common threat to cat health. Here's a look at the parasites that might use your cat for a host.

Ear Mites in Cats

Another pesky parasite to annoy your pet, ear mites can take a while to eradicate. Avoid contact with infected pets, and get all your pets examined and treated at once.

Cat Toxoplasmosis

All about toxoplasmosis.

Treatment of Cat Worms

The treatment of cat worms starts with a visit to your veterinarian and the proper diagnosis.

Worms in Cats

Worms can be a mild to severe health problem for cats, with some showing no signs of illness. In kittens and weakened adult cats, worms can do severe damage.

Cat Medicine

Cat Medicine

Dealing with cat medicine, including vaccines, antibiotics, and other treatments is a part of every cat owner's life.

Cat Vaccinations

What to expect when confronted with vaccination decisions.

Cat Vaccination Risks and Resources

The risks of vaccination, over-vaccination, and resources you can use to research feline immunization and vaccine related issues.

Feline Skin Conditions

Cat Ring Worm

Ringworm can sometimes go away on its own, but your cat may need treatment. If you've been in contact with an infected cat, you might too!

Cat Ring Worm Symptom List

The symptoms of ringworm are fairly easy to spot, but you should know what to look for.

Feline Acne

Cats get acne just like people do, but the causes are not exactly known. Symptoms may include swelling of the chin and around the lips, and lesions on the chin and lower lip.

Feline Acne Treatment

Treatment for feline acne includes the use of antiseptics and a topical formula containing benzoyl peroxide. Do not, however, use products formulated for humans as the products for cats are less concentrated. As with any cat health issue, consult your veterinarian for the proper treatment of feline acne.

Pet / Cat Health Insurance and Medication

Does it Pay Off to Buy Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance is an idea that has been catching on over the last few years as pet owners get hit with expensive and unexpected veterinary bills. In many cases, it can be a good idea.

Cat Insurance Plans and Companies

Considering buying a policy? Here's a description of some of the top cat health insurance plans.

More Cat Insurance Companies

Here are some more cat health insurance companies, including some that over cover in the UK, and an alternative to buying a traditional policy.

Buy Pet Medication Online

Buying pet medication online can save you money.

Creative Ways To Cover Veterinary Costs

Creative options for paying those vet bills.

More Ways To Cover The Cost Of Veterinary Services

Ways to increase your cash flow over the longer term and reduce your vet bill burden.

Diseases You Can Get From Your Cat

Cat Scratch Fever

Cat scratch fever can be difficult to diagnose, and it can be contracted from a cat showing no symptoms.

Cat Scratch Fever Symptoms

The classic cat scratch fever symptoms may begin with skin lesions, and painful swollen lymph nodes. Your cat, however, will show no signs of illness.

Toxoplasmosis and Pregnancy

You don't have to get rid of your cat, just have someone else clean the litter box for a while.

Working with Your Veterinarian

7 Questions to Ask Your Vet

Many people don't communicate well with their vets. Here is a way to start an exchange of information.

More Questions to Ask Your Vet

Here's a way to continue the conversation with your vet.

Other Medical Conditions and Feline Health Problems

Cushings Disease in Cats

A rare endocrine disorder that is often accompanied by feline diabetes.

Feline hyperesthesia syndrome

Tail chasing, hissing, personality changes, and frantic licking characterize this odd disease.

Other Cat Health Related Topics

Resources on feline health

The effects of catnip and catnip oil on your cat

Cat milk is an alternative to cows milk that won't cause diarrhea in your furry friend

Learn more about cat health from these other websites:

Cornell Feline Health Center Client Information Brochures

Veterinary Information for Cats and Cat Owners

Veterinary Secrets for Pet Owners

Eureka Magazine, the Science Magazine - Life, Earth and Health Sciences

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