5 Silent Cat Killers To Watch In Your Pet

Cats tend to have a personality of their own, and so long as you feed them and provide them a safe environment, and maybe be there when they feel like cuddling or sitting on your lap, then you’ll get along fine. But, there are a few dangers lurking that you may not even be aware of.

These are the five silent cat killers to watch for in your pet feline:

  1. Chronic Kidney Disease CKD. Sometimes, this disease is referred to as chronic renal failure or chronic kidney injury. They are all the same thing. What it means is that 75% of both of the kidneys are not working. The good news is that with proper care, cats can live with CKD for many years. Manage CKD with a low-protein diet, frequent blood work, and increasing the water intake. Signs that your cat may have CKD include:
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urinating
  • Weight loss
  • Bad breath 
  • Lethargy
  • Larger clumps in the litter box 
  • Hiding
  1. Hyperthyroidism – This endocrine disease occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. Often, it happens in middle-aged to geriatric cats and has similar symptoms as CKD with excessive thirst, increased urination, vomiting, diarrhea, or weight loss. It can also cause a rapid heart rate, severe hypertension, and secondary organ injury. Thankfully, there is treatment with medication or surgery and a special diet.
  1. Diabetes mellitus DM – An overweight cat is more at risk for developing Type 1 or Type II DM. Insulin is a hormone that drives blood glucose levels. When the body creates more glucose, it can cause hyperglycemia. Treatment includes injections that you administer and a change in diet to a higher protein and lower carbohydrate diet, monitoring blood glucose levels, and frequent vet visits. Signs that your cat may have DM include:
  • Excessive thirst and urination
  • Overweight
  • Decreased or ravenous appetite
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal breath called acetone breath 
  • Walking abnormally, lower to the ground
  • Larger clumps in the litter box
  1. Cardiac disease – When a cat suffers from a heart murmur, it is difficult for a vet to hear it on a stethoscope. Some indication of heart disease include an abnormal heart rhythm, a racing heart, collapse, passing out, increased respiratory rate or difficulty breathing, blue-tinged gums, open-mouth breathing, sudden paralysis usually in the hind limbs, cold, painful hind limbs, sudden pain, lameness, or sudden death.
  1. Cancer – Nobody wants to hear the “C” word, but there is more hope for cancer treatment in animals as well as people than there used to be. Symptoms include weight loss, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, abdominal distension, bloating, lethargy or weakness, fever, or general malaise. Cats with cancer may hide from you as well.

Always make sure your cat is provided with the safest environment and that you give them proper nutrition and attention as needed. Keep your pet indoors, make sure they are the proper weight, schedule veterinarian appointments on a regular basis, and keep the litter box clean. If you notice any unusual behavior, seek veterinary help as soon as possible.