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Cats - Health

 

When adopting or purchasing a cat, there are a variety of medical expenses that you need to consider. Although they may seem expensive, there are many benefits to your cat’s health and overall well-being that far outweigh the expense. The medical costs associated with your cat will depend on the cat’s age when you adopt it, and any pre-existing health conditions it may have. Kittens require three vaccinations within their first year and cost between $50 and $70 each.

Declawing Your Cat

If you are planning to have your cat indoors, you may consider declawing it. The cost to declaw your cat varies from vet to vet, but many people find trimming their cat’s nails to be a cost-effective solution. Many animal rights activists believe that declawing a cat is inhumane, so it is important to thoroughly research the procedure to make sure you know the facts and can decide for yourself.

Cat Vaccines

In order to keep your cat healthy, it is very important to have them vaccinated against common health ailments. The first vaccine is the Panleukopenia (FVP) shot which is given between 6 and 8 weeks of age. This shot is especially important if your cat will be homed with other pets. If the cat is susceptible to developing this disease, it may require multiple shots of the vaccine until the age of 16 weeks. The vaccinations are done on a case-by-case basis, so discuss your cat’s specific needs with your vet. After the initial round of shots given to your kitten, a booster shot will be required between the ages of 1 and 2 years old. Cats also require the Feline Viral Respiratory Disease Complex shot. This vaccine can be given to kittens, to be followed by a booster after one year. It is recommended that you give your cat a booster every three years. This vaccine helps to prevent respiratory viruses which can greatly affect a cat’s breathing and nasal passages. Cats also require a rabies vaccine. There are currently three different types of rabies vaccines, so speak with your vet about which one makes the most sense to give your cat. Although many may think that cat vaccines are too expensive, they will may your cat live a longer and healthier life, and can prevent expensive medical bills in the future. Speak with your veterinarian about which vaccines your cat requires in order to prevent disease and illness.

Spaying/Neutering Your Cat

To get your cat neutered or spayed is the best option if you do not plan on breeding. Getting your cat spayed or neutered early is important to prevent spraying, unwanted litters, roaming, fighting, marking and heat cycles. Cats become sexually active at a very young age, so do not delay getting your cat spayed or neutered so that you can prevent these issues. Cats can be neutered or spayed as early as 8 weeks of age.  Spaying you female cat before her first heat cycle nearly eliminates the likelihood of breast and uterine cancer. Neutering your male cat can help to prevent testicular cancer and greatly reduces the risk of him developing perianal tumors. Many people claim that they simply cannot afford to get their cat spayed or neutered, but there are many low-cost services available at many veterinary clinics across the country. Having your cat spayed or neutered will also prevent the costs and stresses associated with possible medical issues and unwanted litters in the future.

Common Cat Health Problems

Cats are a low-maintenance pet with fairly good health, but there are a few common health problems that can affect cats. A common health problem that cats can face is Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), symptoms can include blood in urine, depression, straining to urinate, vomiting and dehydration. If your cat is experiencing any of these issues, go to the vet immediately. Early treatment will help to reduce the chance of permanent damage and get your cat back to health as soon as possible. Click on Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease to find out more information.

Fleas are a common external feline health problem, but can be treated easily. Flea symptoms include hair loss, frequent licking, constant scratching, and flea dots on their skin (tiny black dots). It is important to treat fleas as soon as you notice them because if left untreated they can live for over a year. There are many different options that can be used to treat fleas including powders, shampoos, topical and oral medications.

Tapeworms are another common problem that can be found inside your cat. Tapeworms live inside the cat’s small intestine and can grow as long as two feet. You need to keep a close eye on your cat to check if your cat has tapeworms because the symptoms are subtle and can be difficult to notice. Symptoms include vomiting and weight loss. If you suspect that your cat has tapeworms look at your cat‘s feces and anus for little white worms. Treatment for tapeworms includes either an injection or oral medication. Tapeworms are usually caused by the cat swallowing a flea so it is important to treat any flea issues as well.

Cats may develop issues with their eyes as they get older, including glaucoma, cataracts, inflammation, retinal disease and conjunctivitis. Symptoms of eye problems include watery looking eyes, tear-stained fur, red or white gunk around the eyes, or a visible third eyelid. It is important to take your cat to the vet as soon as you notice any of these symptoms to rule out any major eye diseases.

Other symptoms that may be an indication of disease include diarrhea and vomiting. These can be signs of many different health issues with your cat so it is important to keep track of these symptoms and get medical attention if the symptoms persist. There are many things you can do to keep your cat healthy, including the right diet, regular grooming, exercise, vaccinations and getting your cat spayed or neutered. Keeping your cat healthy is your responsibility, so it is important to monitor their health closely to prevent permanent damage. If any health concerns with your cat arise, make sure to go to the veterinarian as soon as possible to get these issues treated.

Keeping your cat happy and healthy is your responsibility. It is important to stay on top of any concerns you may have with your cat’s health in order to prevent the ailment from becoming serious. Most cats are fairly low maintenance and in good health, but if you do notice any changes be proactive so that your cat can lead a long and healthy life.