Every cat owner knows the importance of taking their pet to the vet when needed if they are sick or injured, and responsible cat owners pay just as much gravitas to their cat’s preventative healthcare too.
Being conscientious about taking steps to avoid your cat becoming ill can help to ensure that they stay healthy for life, live for as long as possible in good health, feel their best, and also, don’t cost you a fortune in vets’ fees that could have been avoided entirely with some sensible pre-planning.
However, despite this fact, the three most common conditions that UK vets see cats for each year are preventable – and so the bulk of the work that vets do where cats are concerned actually involves dealing with problems that the cat’s owner could have avoided entirely.
If you’re wondering what the most common cat conditions vets treat in the UK are or what the three main preventable cat health problems are, this article has the answer.
Read on to find out the ten most common cat conditions vets treat in the UK, based on data drawn from the Royal Veterinary College’s VetCompass clinical research database.
The number one most commonly treated condition in cats in the UK is periodontal disease, and this makes up 13.9% of all conditions in cats treated across UK veterinary practices.
Periodontal disease results almost entirely from poor dental hygiene, and will be painful and limiting for your cat; as well as costing anything from hundreds of pounds to well over a thousand for your vet to resolve. It may also mean your cat will need to eat a special diet for life afterwards too, and left untreated, can go on to cause other health conditions.
Periodontal disease in cats can be almost entirely prevented by taking good care of their teeth!
Flea infestations in cats are the second most commonly seen condition in veterinary practices, representing 8% of all cat consults. Flea infestations are once more totally preventable, and tend to come about due to a failure to flea treat the cat and home at all, using ineffective or inappropriate products, or using products wrongly.
You might even think your cat was flea free and so, didn’t need treatment, but unless they’re protected, you’re probably wrong!
Talk to your vet about preventative flea treatment for your cat and avoid an infestation.
Obesity and related issues are the third most commonly seen cat condition in veterinary clinics. Obese cat appointments make up 6.7% of your vet’s cat-related workload, whether that be holding weight clinics, addressing health issues in overweight cats, or related problems.
Once more, this is entirely preventable, and simply making an appointment with your vet or a veterinary nurse weight clinic to discuss your cat’s weight before it becomes a problem can help to give you the insights and information you need to keep your cat trim and healthy for life.
In fourth place in the most common cat health conditions, we finally get onto the first condition that cannot be pre-empted or largely avoided; heart murmurs in cats. Heart murmurs account for 5% of conditions seen in cats in UK veterinary clinics.
Heart murmur cannot generally be predicted, but it can be hereditary and this is something you should consider and research before buying a pedigree cat.
They say that cats have nine lives, and many of them clearly need all of them given that traumatic injuries/accidents are the fifth most common conditions warranting a trip to the vets for cats.
4.6% of conditions in cats seen by UK vets relate to injuries or accidents.
In sixth place comes yet another preventable feline problem, being overgrown nails. Overgrown nails accounts for 3.7% of the feline conditions seen by UK vets! Providing your cat with appropriate scratching materials can go a long way towards keeping their nails short enough to avoid problems, as can encouraging them to play and stay active; and trimming the tips of their nails occasionally if this is warranted too.
Chronic kidney failure is another health condition that isn’t generally one that you can predict or prevent, although certain cat breeds like the Persian are more prone to kidney problems than others, and some have specific risk factors for kidney disease.
3.6% of conditions seen in cats in UK veterinary clinics relate to chronic kidney failure.
3.6% of cat appointments at UK veterinary clinics are the result of bite injuries from other cats. Cats are not social animals and battles over territories and shared spaces are reasonably common.
Multi-cat households, introducing new cats to the home, and moving to a new area – or a new cat moving into your area – can all result in cat fights and potentially, bite injuries.
Spaying and neutering can reduce your cat’s fighting tendencies somewhat if they are not already neutered.
In at number nine is abscesses, specifically though not those caused by being bitten by another cat. Abscesses due to issues other than cat bites make up 3.2% of UK veterinary appointments for cats.
Abscesses form where the skin has been broken and healed over bacteria that goes on to cause an infection, and cats heal very quickly, which is why abscess formation is fairly common.
And finally in 10th place, abscesses that are directly caused by a bite from another cat also accounts for 3.2% of all cat conditions seen by vets in the UK. Cat mouths are full of bacteria and so combined with the cat’s fast healing, abscesses are a common complication of cat bites in the UK.
Cat bite abscesses can crop up anywhere on the body, but are particularly common around the head and neck, and tail and rump as the latter tends to be where a bite lands when the cat in question flees from their opponent.