You’re about to bring a new kitten home and you want him to grow into a happy and healthy family member. But how can you make sure he stays healthy? What common illnesses do you have to watch for in kittens? To maximize the chances of your kitten growing into a healthy adult cat, you must first be aware of what health problems kittens are more prone to have. Here are 5 health conditions to watch out for.
This is probably the most common health problem found in kittens. Even if fleas are visible to the naked eye, they are very hard to see. However, fleas leave black specks behind which are easier to see. These specks are called “flea dirt”, which you might have realized, is actually a prettier name for flea poop. These specks look just like grains of pepper. You will find these in your kitten’s fur. Some warning signs to know if your kitty also has fleas is that he will scratch and scratch a lot. It will drive him crazy. You may also notice some hair loss in his back end area.
Fortunately, fleas are easy to treat and there exists many products on the market to get rid of these. There аге оνег tһе соυntег tорісаӏ and ргеѕсгірtіоn mеԁісаtіоn tо tгеаt саtѕ wіth fӏеаѕ. If you want to go the more natural way, you can try natural homeopathic remedies for flea bites or a remedy to reduce itching from flea bites.
As strange as it may sound, ringworm has nothing to do with worms. It is a common fungal skin infection called “Dermatophytosis”, or commonly named “ringworm”. This disease is named after ringworm because of the unique ring-like pattern formed over the skin by red spots. One of the few factors that predispose a cat to ringworm is youth, so it is always a good idea to constantly check on your kitten’s skin to make sure he doesn’t show signs of this disease. Other symptoms of this infection include red scaly skin spots, itchiness, dandruff and patchy hair loss. If your cat gets ringworm, you have to be careful too because this disease can easily be spread to humans.
The treatment of ringworm depends on the severity of the disease. Your vet may decide to recommend a special shampoo or ointment to get rid of the fungal infection. If it is more severe, he may prescribe oral meds if needed. You can also naturally treat the ringworm with a homeopathic remedy that will eliminate the fungal infection and prevent the ringworm from spreading. Make sure to regularly bring your kitty to the vet for a check up to see if the disease is going away. To prevent the infection from coming back, treating your kitty’s environement to make it ringworm-free is also very important.
3. Upper Respiratory Infection
The common name for upper respiratory infection is “URI” or “cat flu”. It is a common disease which if left untreated, can be very dangerous for kittens. Especially if they are only a few weeks old. This infection is caused by an airborne virus or bacteria that is spread from cat to cat, when one sneezes or exhales. The main symptoms of URI are sneezing, runny nose, clear or yellow/green discharge from the eyes and loss of appetite. It is important to consult your vet as soon as possible when you become aware of this infection in your kitty. Upper respiratory infections can be hard to treat. It can take approximately a week for your kitten to recover from cat flu. However, the virus can stay dormant in your kitten’s body and resurface later in his life.
Your kitten can recover in about a week from this condition. There is no specific treatment, since there are no antiviral drugs on the market, but your vet may decide to prescribe antibiotics to treat any bacterial infections that have entered that could lead to pneumonia. Nursing care is important as well as encouraging your kitten to drink fluids. You can also treat cat flu naturally to relieve URI symptoms like sneezing, runny nose and coloured discharge coming out from the eyes and nose.
4. Intestinal worms
The most common intestinal worms are the roundworm, tapeworm, hookworm and whipworm. These worms can make your kitten very sick. Symptoms can include diarrhea and weight loss. Intestinal worms in kittens can be life-threatening since these worms will absorb all the important nutrients in the digestive tract and can also cause dehydration.
You can get your kitten dewormed at your vet on a regular basis, starting at 8 weeks old. Many deworming products can be found over-the-counter. But if you’re looking to purchase medication for your kitten, it is better to take him to the vet for him to analyze which type of worm it is and recommend the best medication for your cat. Of course, if you prefer alternative medicine, remedies for worms and parasites are also available in homeopathy to eliminate internal worms and soothe your kitty’s digestive tract.
5. Ear mites
If you notice your kitty is excessively scratching his ears, dizzy or excessively shaking his head, he may have ear mites. Ear mites are very small parasites that invade the ears. They are white and smaller than a grain of salt. They are very contagious and can spread to other members of the pet family. It is very important to treat this health problem because if it is left untreated, it can result in coordination problems, inflammation of the middle ear and eardrum rupture. The treatment for ear mites include cleaning your cat’s ears and applying topical medications or liquid ear drops. It takes about a week or two for your kitty to recover from his ear mite problem.
Give a great start in life to your adorable bundle of purr by helping him start on a healthy note! By watching common health problems like the ones listed above, you will help your kitty grow into a happy and loving adult cat.
What other health issues would you add to this list?