5 Health Problems Cat Owners Overlook

Dental disease: Letting a cat live with dental disease is nothing less than a form of animal cruelty, in my opinion. That’s because of the constant pain your cat is in: Think about what you go through when you break a single tooth, then imagine having a mouthful of rotted teeth and infected gums. Imagine the pain of trying to eat! A comprehensive dental examination is an essential part of diagnosing feline dental problems, which may not be as obvious as those in dogs, in part because cats are so good at hiding signs of pain. Once you know what the problems are, work out a plan for treatment — which may include extractions — to end your cat's suffering.

Achy-breaky joints: Arthritis may be incurable, but pain from those aching joints can be treated. We understand this when it comes to our own discomfort and pain. When we hurt, we see a doctor and ask for solutions and treatments. Your cat can't tell you where it hurts or ask you to make an appointment with the vet, but I guarantee you she's suffering all the same. The aches and pains of old age can be managed, but only if you talk to your veterinarian.

"Chronic" Doesn’t Mean "Untreatable"

Ongoing problems with your cat’s health sometimes start slowly and get worse over time. In other words, these issues can creep up on us, so we may not pay much attention to them, or we might overlook them entirely. That’s why I want you to step back right now and look at your cat. Be brutally honest: Are you ignoring chronic health issues that are making your cat miserable? Are you sure you aren’t?

If your cat hasn’t seen a veterinarian in a while, it’s time to schedule that comprehensive exam. And take heart: For every one of these often chronic conditions there are things that can be done to stop, treat or even reverse the damage. All you need to do is recognize the problem and work with your veterinarian for your cat’s better health.

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