When your cat becomes unwell, it is up to you to take special care of them. A domestic cat is less likely to become ill than one that spends a lot of time outside of the home or that interacts with other cats.
On the other hand, their natural survival instincts can be of great use to them in the street, but at home these can go against them, because they will try not to show weakness (or illness) and it will therefore be more difficult to detect anything out of the ordinary that may be affecting them. For this reason, it is important for you to know the most common diseases and their symptoms.
VIRUSES AND DISEASES
The most common and dangerous viruses in cats, which spread through contact with others, are: infectious peritonitis, leukaemia and feline acquired immunodeficiency. Also common are colds and cat flu and other non-virulent diseases such as bronchial pneumonia, otitis, stomatisis, pharyngitis, cataracts, diabetes, kidney and heart diseases.
The diseases that a cat could transmit to a human are toxoplasmosis and rabies: the first is transmitted through contact with the cat’s faeces, whilst the second is severe for both parties and is transmitted via a bite – contact between the saliva of the ill animal and the blood of the person who has been bitten. Both are exceptional in domestic cats.
Another common problem are parasites; small organisms that settle inside or outside the cat and live off them. Internal parasites (flat or round worms) normally take up residence in the intestines and feed off the remains of food and the mucosa of the digestive system. The most common external parasites are ticks, fleas, scabies mites and mosquitoes.
Obesity is usually caused by an ingestion of calories that is disproportionate to the energy expenditure of your cat, but it can also be caused by problems in the thyroid glands, in the hypothalamus or through stress.
THE SIGNS THAT THEY SEND US
You should be attentive to any changes in your cat’s behaviour, because acting in time is often crucial to resolve any health problems. These are the most common symptoms that would indicate that your cat is not well:
CHANGES IN BEHAVIOUR
LOSS OF APPETITE
DIARRHOEA OR CONSTIPATION
SNEEZING / NASAL SECRETIONS
EXCESSIVE SCRATCHING OR LICKING
PROBLEMS IN BIRTH
LOSS OF BALANCE
STIFFNESS / PARALYSIS
A domestic cat is less likely to become ill than one that spends a lot of time outside of the home or that interacts with other cats.