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The Most Common Cat Health Issues

Turns out – cats don’t really have nine lives. There are quite a few health problems that can arise in your furry little friend. Scheduling regular check-ups and getting required shots will help keep them in tip top shape – but there’s still more you can do. Keep an eye out for early warning signs of these common cat health issues in order to help your cat with any condition he/she may face.

Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)

Some symptoms of this disease include not using the litter box, having trouble going to the bathroom, or blood in their urine. If you notice that your cat is straining to go to the bathroom, see your veterinarian immediately – this could be a sign of a urethral blockage.

Treatment: Pain medication, antibiotics, or dietary changes.


Fleas are parasites that feed on your pet’s blood and are a lot more common than you might think. Some signs that your cat has fleas include scratching, hair loss, and red or irritated skin.

Treatment: Oral medication, powders, foams, or topical medication.


Tapeworms live inside your cats small intestine and can sometimes grow as long as two feet. Symptoms may include vomiting and weight loss. One way to find out if your cat has tapeworm is to check the litter box – if you see something that looks like small grains of white rice, your cat may be infected.

Treatment: Oral, injection, or topical medication.


Obesity can kick in before your very eyes. Increased weight gain in your cat can lead to joint pain, diabetes, and liver problems. You should be able to feel the backbone and ribs without having to press too hard in cats that are at a healthy weight.

Treatment: Increase playtime, modify or cut down on snacks and treats.

Dental Disease

Although some cat breeds are more prone to dental problems, any cat can become affected. Bad breath, difficulty eating, and red or swollen gums are some signs that your cat has dental issues. Bad breath could also indicate digestive problems or gingivitis.

Treatment: Brush your cat’s teeth and provide chew toys to exercise their gums.

Notice any of these health issues on your kitty? Call Upper East Side Animal Hospital at 212-396-3020. Our staff has extensive experience with animals and will help keep your pet happy and healthy.

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