Cats: five common diseases
There are five diseases that most commonly affect the cat: it is important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms for an immediate and rapid cure.
The cat is an apparently strong and quiet quadruped: its incredible independence is only part of a popular rumour. The domestication has made him lose a good part of his wild spirit and the ability to get food and prey, because Fufi is a pet in all respects. To think that he is always well and able to get by is wrong, which is why it is important that he is constantly visited by the vet. The moustached friend is adorable and seraphic, or at the same time reluctant to attention, but it is certainly an animal that depends on the owner, which may require treatment or be at risk of disease. The most common and widespread are five, of which it is good to catch symptoms and signs immediately.
Mouth and respiratory tract
Infections in the mouth can be a very common problem for the cat, not only tartar on the teeth but also lacerations, mouth ulcers, wounds and serious infectious diseases. The most common signs are obvious suffering during feeding or a net rejection of food. The respiratory tract can also be attacked by infections and bacteria, transmitted through contact with the saliva and secretions of an infected cat. The recipient becomes a healthy carrier of the disease, revealing symptoms that can lead to a severe lowering of the immune system. In this case too, the cat has ulcers in the mouth, nasal discharge, tears, pus and fever.
FeLV and FIV
FeLV, or feline leukemia, is highly contagious and can change from cat to cat just by sharing a bowl. The disease affects the bone marrow with an excessive production of white blood cells, so neoplasms: there is no complete cure but only the possibility to keep it under control or limit the damage. IVF, or feline immunodeficiency, attacks the immune system and is part of the same family as HIV. Typical of cats living outdoors, it spreads through both venereal and, mainly, through scratches and bites. It is not immediately lethal but it can turn into FAIDS, the feline version of AIDS, weakening the cat’s immune defences which would find it difficult to fight even the most banal infections.
The bites and scratches between contending cats are very common, in particular between male and territorial felines. The lack of care of the wounds may favour infections, therefore diseases of various kinds, such as localized abscesses or the diffusion of infections in the blood up to sepsis. The cat shows swollen, lacerated parts of the body, with fever, lethargy, limp, therefore the excessive necessity to clean the incriminated area with the tongue.
Persistent and annoying pests can become a pressing problem if they are not contained in the right way, for example through prevention with precise pesticides. In the presence of fleas, the cat may lick and scratch itself in a pressing way, to eliminate the parasite intent on tearing the skin and sucking the liquid that comes out of it, with the possibility of developing dermatitis and scabs. Sometimes, if ingested during grooming, they may contain a vermiform parasite that feeds on the food the kitten takes in, promoting its slimming and a condition of disease.
A sterilised cat can gain weight more quickly, particularly if overfed or incorrectly fed. The accumulated fat can lead to obesity, with problems in the joints but also internal organs such as the heart and liver.