Most Common Health Conditions in Adult Cats

Itchy cat

Adult cats tend to be very healthy, but the adult years are not necessarily worry-free. As with people, any number of problems can crop up and require veterinary attention. According to a large pet insurance company, the most common reasons insured cats visited a veterinarian were for lower urinary tract disease, chronic renal failure, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, skin allergies, dental disease and eye infections.

Internal Conditions

Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), also called feline urological syndrome (FUS), is a common and potentially fatal disease in which sediment or stones form in the urinary tract. Female cats can usually pass sediment, but male cats are not always able to, which can lead to urinary blockage. Urinary blockage is a medical emergency that can be fatal if not treated. If your cat has painful urination, urinates small amounts around the house or tries to urinate unsuccessfully, he needs immediate veterinary attention. The formation of stones or sediment is influenced by several factors, including diet, and by the amount of time urine is held in the bladder before the cat urinates. Most good-quality commercial cat foods have appropriate levels of magnesium to maintain a urine pH level that discourages stone and sediment formation. But cats with FLUTD sometimes need prescription diets to help manage the problem long term. Provide plenty of water to increase the cat's frequency of drinking (and therefore urinating), and make sure your cat has easy access to a clean litterbox at all times.

Hairballs are a common cause of vomiting. An occasional hairball is no cause for alarm, but if your cat is vomiting up a hairball more often than every two weeks or so, you should see a veterinarian. He may suggest taking steps to help prevent hairballs, such as adding certain lubricants or a small amount of fiber in his diet. Your veterinarian can also supply you with special products designed to combat hairballs.

Kidney disease, while more common in older cats, is also seen in adult cats. Signs can include excessive thirst and urination, weight loss, appetite loss, vomiting and lack of self-grooming. Your veterinarian can diagnose the condition with urine and blood tests and can prescribe treatment that may include a special diet, medication, appetite stimulants and subcutaneous fluid injections.

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