12 of the Most Common Reasons Cats Go to the Vet

Taking your cat to the vet is never a fun process. It’s better when your cat isn’t sick and simply needs to go to the vet for a standard checkup or annual appointment, but some cats do end up sick. It’s not uncommon for some vets to see certain feline friends several times a year on a regular basis. There are many reasons cats have to go to the vet, and they’re not always pleasant. Read on to find out the most common reasons cats have to see their own doctor most often.

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Cats require shots. These shots are the ones that will prevent them from becoming sick or transmitting any sort of disease (rabies, anyone?). Most feline owners are good about getting their cats regularly scheduled shots. These vaccinations are important for keeping your cat as healthy as possible. It’s always best to have these shots because they’re preventative. Your cat will be less likely to get sick or be diagnosed with any ailments when you take these preventative measures, which are typically needed every so often.

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Since many cat owners prefer to keep their cats indoors, they also prefer to have them partially declawed. The reason for this is simple; cats like to scratch and the most common thing they scratch is expensive furniture. It’s probably the single most common reason pet owners bring their feline friends to the vet, and it’s the most understandable. However, there are many people who refuse to bring their cats into the vet for removal of their claws, referring to it as inhumane and wrong. To each his own, but those couches get expensive to continuously replace.

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There’s something to be said about pet owners who choose to have their cats spayed or neutered, and that’s, “Good Job,”. There are too many animals producing litters that people don’t want to care for, as well as increasing the cat population when there are already millions that don’t have homes. If you’re not willing to keep any litters and raise them as your own or give them away, it’s better to have your cats spayed and neutered as soon as possible. It’s a decision most responsible pet owners make, provided they have multiple cats in their home or their cat is an indoor/outdoor animal.

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Periodontal Disease

Much like people, cats have teeth. And when you have teeth in your mouth, you need to have your dentist check them out regularly. Yes, you did read that correctly. You need to take your kids and your cats to the dentist. You can actually just take your cat to the vet every year and have his or her teeth cleaned and checked out there, but it’s important that you also brush your cat’s teeth at home. This prevents periodontal disease, which is painful and requires a trip to the vet if it occurs. Simple brushing at home can help prevent this from occurring.

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Poison (Toxicity)

Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of cats are brought to the vet each year for poisoning. For the most part, it’s accidental. Cats get a hold of items such as mouse poison or other animal poisons and they ingest it, which can kill them. If you suspect your cat has ingested anything toxic, it’s imperative that you get that cat into the vet as soon as possible. The vet can work to save your cat’s life and remove the poison from his or her system adequately, which might not be something that’s in your realm of capabilities.

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Kidney Disease

It’s sad, but it does happen to older cats. Those who are up there in kitty age might get to a point when their kidneys begin to fail. You will notice that your cat suddenly has issues using the restroom, is dehydrated from lack of desire to eat or drink and becomes very lethargic. It’s a sad issue, but it’s a common one. While most cats will simply have to live out the rest of their lives or be put under, it is something that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Cats with kidney disease are beyond miserable and cannot function.

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Upper Respiratory Infection

Just like humans cats get colds, too. It’s no fun for cats to be sick, but it does happen. It’s also one of the most common reasons cats have to go to the vet. They might develop a runny nose, runny eyes and even a feline fever. It’s common, and it something you have to be on the lookout for. Your cat might become lethargic and unable to eat, which should be your first sign that something is wrong. Get your cat to the vet right away. He or she can help your cat feel better faster and take away your kitty’s misery.

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Urinary Tract Infection

It’s the same problem most pregnant women have, and cats get it, too. A urinary tract infection is supposed to be very painful, and it’s not something your cat should have to endure without medical intervention from the vet. If your cat is suddenly using the bathroom outside of his or her litter box (or inside your house despite your cat door) and/or you begin noticing blood in your cat’s feces, it’s time to call the vet. It’s a common ailment that vets see every single day, and while it’s uncomfortable and painful, it is treatable.

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It’s a very common health concern in cats. If your feline friend suddenly looks thin as if he or she is losing significant weight, it’s time to take him to the vet. This is more important if your cat is looking thinner than usual and eating more than usual, as that’s the most common sign of hyperthyroidism. Your cat’s vet can help treat this issue and make it possible for your cat to live a healthy life again, provided owners catch the symptoms and follow the instructions given by the vet following the cat’s diagnosis.

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Unfortunately, cats are not the exception when it comes to ringworm. It’s a common problem that causes many pet owners to take their feline friends to the vet on a regular basis. While it can be treated at home with over-the-counter meds, it’s not recommended since that only kills the current ringworm from the outside rather than the entire infection from the inside. It’s better to let your vet treat the entire problem and prevent it from returning than it is to treat a portion of the problem time and time again as the infection never actually dies.

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Urinary Tract Blockage

Cats with a poor diet might experience this, and it’s always more common in male cats than in female cats. The problem is that a poor diet can lead to stones that block the cat’s ability to use the bathroom. Some signs that his has occurred might include your cat’s inability to eat or drink, dehydration, strain when attempting to use the bathroom and howling when it’s time to use the bathroom. If you notice this in your cat, it’s time to call the vet and make an appointment. He or she can help remove the stones and make your cat comfortable again.

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Ingrown Nails

It’s a big problem for cat. Pet owners that do not take the time to adequately clip and file their cat’s nails might see that their cat’s nails become ingrown. They can grow into the padding of a cat’s foot, which is exceptionally painful and uncomfortable for your cat. You need to be cutting your cat’s nails regularly and/or taking him to the vet or groomer for the same reason. If you notice an ingrown nail in your cat’s foot, call the vet. Do not attempt to take care of this yourself, as you can hurt your cat even more than necessary.

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