Cats make wonderful pets, and can be a great addition to your family. If you are a cat owner, however, it is very important that you learn about the health of your feline friend and that you make sure you are doing everything in your power to keep your cat healthy. Cats need regular medical care, just like people do, and they can get sick just like people can. This means that you should learn how to take care of your cat and you should learn about the signs and symptoms of some common problems in order to be sure that you are giving your cat the very best care possible. To get you started on being a good cat owner, here are a few questions and answers about cat health.
1: Should I declaw my cat?
This is a question that new cat owners sometimes ask, especially as they see their cat tearing into the sides of furniture to have a good scratch. In general, this decision should not be taken lightly. Declaw is an amputation of the last segment of the toe, so there is some significant degree of discomfort associated with this procedure.
Most veterinarians will advise trying scratching posts and engaging in play with the kitty as much as possible to try to avoid scratching behavior and in turn avoid the procedure. In many cases, cats will not develop the itch to scratch furniture or other valuable surfaces when given an alternative, especially when presented at a young age.
If all fails and it comes down to declaw or the kitty must go, then be certain to find a veterinarian who is proactive and vigilant about peri-operative and post-operative pain management. Ideally if you can find a veterinarian who declaws by cutting laser, post-op recovery tend to be less traumatic and healing times are faster using such a device.
2. Should I allow my cat to be an indoor / outdoor cat?
While every family has to make this decision on their own, there are a number of risks associated with allowing your cat to be an outdoor cat. Diseases including FIV can be contracted through contact with infected animals and your cat may become the prey of coyotes or other animals that wish it harm. Keeping your cat in your home can be a far better choice to ensure your cat's safety.
3. Does my cat need vaccines?
Cats should be vaccinated against common and dangerous medical conditions including rabies, feline leukemia, herpes virus, calicivirus, and panleukomenia [herpes, calici, and panleukopenia typically coming bundled in one vaccine]. A commercial FIV [feline immunodeficiency virus] is commercially available, but it has overwhelmingly been reverted by the veterinary community as ineffective. Vaccine protocols and vaccines should only be tailor and administered by a licensed veterinarian.
4. Why is my cat coughing up hairballs?
Your cat licks himself or herself as part of his / her grooming routine. In some cases, this can lead to your cat coughing up hairballs or to your cat vomiting up hairballs. You can help to resolve this problem in some cases by having your cat regularly brushed (especially if your cat's fur is becoming matted or knotted) and by feeding your cat food that is designed to help with hairballs.
5. Why is my cat spraying oriente?
Cats spray urine in order to mark their territory. While this behavior is normal- especially in multi-cat households, it is not to be encouraged. Try to minimize or eliminate the stress in your cat's environment and be sure to clean up all marking sprays thoroughly to avoid future spraying. Do not use ammonia-based products when cleaning up urine, as the ammonia can have a smell similar to urine and cause your cat to mark again.
Speaking to a Vet
These are just a few of the common cat health questions that cat owners may have. The best way to get your questions answered is to speak with a licensed veterinarian, either online or in person, for information about caring for your cat properly and meeting your cat's health needs.