The most important thing you can do as a cat owner is to get them regular checkups. While diabetes isn’t terribly common in felines, generally about 1 in 400 will be diagnosed with diabetes in their lifetime. Most can be treated with a diabetic cat food, with a lowered carbohydrate content (less than 9% of daily calorie intake).
It can be sometimes hard to tell when diabetes grips your cat, but most symptoms are similar to humans. A cat who seems to spend a lot of their time around their water dish and other water sources around the house should be cause to investigate. Extreme weight gain, or loss is another common symptom to watch out for.
Bitter-smelling breath that smells like nail polish remover and wobbly legs (especially the rear legs) are all signs that you need to get your cat in for an exam and possibly put them on insulin and/or a quality diabetic cat food immediately.
Your veterinarian may recommend insulin treatment via pill or insulin treatment. Diabetic cat food, with a “proper” feeding schedule will also be necessary. Many people let their animals feed as desired; with a full dish of food and water available at all times. While it can seem inhumane to put them on a schedule and limit the availability of food: It’s really how animals feed in nature.
A wild animal gets food from hunting and may go days without food, so while you may want to spoil your cat — it isn’t good for their digestive system and often is the reason diabetes starts in the first place. Humans get diabetes primarily from over-eating, with a small amount of us who get it from genetic predispositions and cats are no different. Regular trips to your veterinarian will help early diagnosis, to prevent increased risk to your cat’s health.
Find out more on diabetic cat food and pet health care.
One of the toughest things we face as animal owners is the fact that cats and dogs can’t tell us when something is wrong. The only thing we can do to stop serious health problems from affecting our animals is to watch out for the symptoms and get them diagnosed/treated right away. Cat wheezing can be a tell-tale symptom of feline asthma and is often easily treated by cleaning up their environment, while also possibly getting them on a cat inhaler to alleviate their symptoms.
Just like humans; cats can just as easily be irritated by dust, pollen and other allergens in the air. If they have asthma or other breathing troubles then an attack can happen very easily. Cat wheezing every once in a while can also be caused by hairballs, or other obstructions which can be dealt with by brushing your cat more often and getting a high-quality hairball reducing cat food.
Humidifiers are another way to reduce and prevent cat wheezing, which will make their quality of life better. Since only 1-2% of all cats develop asthma and other breathing problems, you may find that there isn’t a great deal of information out there to browse.
The fact is that breathing problems for animals and humans is on the rise due to increasingly polluted air, particularly in metropolitan areas and you have to watch your kitty closely to notice the signs.
If you find your cat wheezing on a frequent basis (every day or two), get them to a vet for an examination. For serious attacks your cat might be given a cortisone shot to open up restricted airways, then given an inhaler and perhaps a special diet to reduce their symptoms. As with any health problems, early detection will prevent damage to your cat’s heart, lungs and other organs.
Cat incontinence is a somewhat rare problem that mainly affects female cats who have been “fixed” when they get older. To make matters worse, if your feline friend has this condition, they have no control over the problem whatsoever, as opposed to a healthy cat that urinates anywhere they wish for other reasons. It is possible for males to get this condition if they have issues with their bladder as well, but regardless your cat must be checked if this condition presents itself.
Some main causes of cat incontinence are:
Weak bladder — this is the problem that grips older females who have been spayed (fixed). The bladder sphincter becomes weak and they urinate involuntarily.
Diabetes — your cat will tend to drink more water, since the disease will make them more thirsty and can make it hard for them to get to their litter box quickly.
Urinary tract infection — like diabetes, your cat will feel the need to urinate more often as their bodies are trying to flush the infection out.
Laziness — this is normally a product of environment and training. If you have a large house, with the litter box a long way away from where your cat plops themselves for the day — or they have behavioral problems and don’t feel the urgency to get to their box (cat incontinence is involuntary, but laziness can be mistaken for incontinence). When you suspect this problem it’s important to catch your cat to determine if it’s health related or laziness.
If your cat does indeed have feline incontinence, there are a wealth of treatments available to correct the problem — most of which target hormonal problems, or issues associated with the neurotransmitters in your cat’s brain that send a signal to the bladder to tell it when to start/stop.
Once diagnosed; you can find many of these treatments and medications from online retailers at a significant discount over veterinarian prices.
Most of us would probably agree that there are thousands of things we would rather be spending our time doing than cleaning cat urine. Don’t forget that cleaning the stuff up will be much more pleasant than smelling it for years to come: Ask any cat owner that has had a cat relieve themselves on a carpet, article of furniture, hardwood flooring, etc. Once the smell seeps in, it can really seem impossible at times to get rid of it.
Tried & True Method
First and foremost for when you start cleaning cat urine: Soak up as much of it as you can with paper towels, wet/dry vacuum, etc. Don’t let it soak in to the area any longer than is possible.
Next, generously sprinkle baking soda all over the affected area, then spray or pour some diluted vinegar on it (pure vinegar can be used, but not diluting it may discolor fabrics).
Use an old scrub brush or rag and thoroughly wipe the area.
Now sprinkle some more baking soda on and follow up with some hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of dish soap (or laundry detergent).
Scrub again and don’t forget the “elbow grease.” Follow up with a vacuuming.
Any areas that don’t have fabric can be bleached. Bleach is actually the most effective home remedy for cleaning cat urine, but it will destroy clothes and carpets.
If all else fails, or you don’t want to spend time using the method above: Look for commercial products with enzymes in them specifically designed to break down the smell of cat urine. Don’t feel like you’re alone in thinking that cat urine is one of the most offensive and hard to destroy smells that will grip your home: It is and can be quite embarrassing having a friend or neighbor point out the smell while you’re having dinner or drinks.
Find out more on cleaning cat urine.
It’s important that you as an owner, are aware of most of the cat illness symptoms that can indicate your furry friend is in need of some help. Most cats will display a number of symptoms when they become ill and a little watchful observation by you will go a long way to maintaining their health. Some feline sicknesses can be dealt with at home, while others may require you to get to your veterinarian for a closer examination.
See below for 4 symptoms you should be aware of:
Depression: This is a tough problem to tackle, as our ability to communicate is at a significant disadvantage. Feline depression may be brought on by an untreated physical illness, or can be caused by loneliness, change in surroundings (I.e., moving to a new house, new owners), bullying by other pets, or mental illnesses that can be hard to diagnose.
Discharges from the eyes and ears: A discharge similar to mucous is normal from the eyes in small amounts, but if you see a lot of discharge from the eyes and/or the ears, it could be a sign of infection.
Frequent/Infrequent trips to the litter box: A healthy cat will urinate once every 2 – 3 hours and should move their bowels 2 or 3 times per day. If they are at the litter box every hour, or urinating all over the house, these are cat illness symptoms that cannot be ignored as they could be developing feline diabetes (especially if your cat seems to drink a lot of water) or have a urinary tract infection. Constipation can be serious, or they may need a higher quality food with more fiber content.
Hair-loss: This is one of the less common cat illness symptoms, but is usually caused by malnutrition or a variety of skin conditions such as dermatitis, fleas and bathing with the wrong shampoo (cats have oils on their skin that are essential to the health of their coat). Hair-loss and skin issues are cat illness symptoms that normally require intervention, so be on the lookout.