Cat’s Dietary Related Illnesses
~ Cats Nutrition ~
Cats are sensitive creatures and can be easily afflicted by poor diet and nutrition. While some illnesses are mild and quickly treated, some nutritional issues can cause long-term or even life-long health conditions.
Here are the 5 most common illnesses affected by nutrition.
In the short term, Diarrhoea can cause dehydration and weakness. There are two types: small bowel and large bowel. Small bowel diarrhoea presents with large amounts of diarrhoea a few times per day.
Large bowel diarrhoea is caused by colon abnormalities. The cat will strain to pass small amounts of watery stool frequently throughout the day. Large bowel diarrhoea can be treated by increasing the amount of fibre in the diet, whereas cats with small bowel diarrhoea should be restricted to a bland diet of low fat, easily digested ingredients.
Weight control in cats is vital as they gain weight easily. Over 50% of American cats are affected by obesity. A cat food that is high in calories and/or fats will cause an increase in weight. Cats can also be fussy creatures, crying for food when they do not need it. Over-feeding is a common cause of obesity for cats. The best way to feed your cat is small portions three or four times per day.
Obesity can cause other serious conditions such diabetes, arthritis and high blood pressure, all needing careful long-term management. Speak to your veterinarian for advise on putting your cat on a weight loss diet.
This is a condition that causes inflammation to the Pancreas, a small organ that regulates digestion. A healthy Pancreas releases digestive enzymes to break down food in the small intestine. Pancreatitis is caused when digestive enzymes are activated while they are still in the Pancreas, causing inflammation of the organ.
Pancreatitis can be worsened by high fat diet, so veterinarians recommend changing to a low fat diet fed in small portions throughout the day.
4. Heart Disease
Conditions of the heart are just as common in cats as they are in humans. One common cause of heart disease in cats is a diet high in sodium (salt). High levels of sodium in the blood cause water retention and increased blood pressure. The heart becomes enlarged as it works to overcome the increased blood pressure.
Check the ingredients on your cat’s food and swap to a low-sodium diet. You should also refrain from giving your cat leftovers or table scraps as human food tends to be high in sodium.
5. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
This is a group of diseases in cats that effects the bladder. FLUTD is characterised by difficulty urinating, frequent attempts to urinate, blood in the urine, pain or discomfort when urinating and a lack of appetite.
While not the only causes, FLUTD is more common in overweight cats and those fed a dry food diet.
Your veterinarian may suggest switching onto a wet food diet to increase your cat’s water intake, as this can help to manage their symptoms.
Cats deserve a well-balanced diet and there are plenty of options available for owners. Whether you choose a local company or a recognized commercial brand, make sure they use high-quality ingredients in a protein-rich recipe that is low in fats and sodium.
Written by Hannah Elizabeth