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No one likes to be sick, but perhaps even worse is when a beloved pet falls ill. After all, a sick person, even a child, can tell you how they feel or where it hurts. A sick pet, on the other hand, can only make little noises and sulk pitifully.

Before you can decide whether your cat is injured or ill, or how severe its ailment may be, you should know the signs of a healthy cat. A cat in good health is alert, active, playful, bright-eyed and responsive.

Some cat ailments are minor and more or less take care of themselves, while others can be quite serious and require a trip to the vet's office immediately.

Hair Balls: One of the things that even healthy cats can suffer from is hairballs. Cats are constantly cleaning their coats by licking them. Because of this, they are subject to ingesting the fur that sheds from their coats.

This fur can begin to accumulate in the stomach and can become stuck in their digestive systems and forming balls. Cats usually handle this problem themselves by coughing up the accumulated fur balls.

Overactive thyroid: A condition where the thyroid gland becomes enlarged and produces excess amount of thyroid hormone. The condition is often provoked by a benign tumor on one or both lobes of the thyroid gland. The good news is that thyroid tumors have only a 2-5% chance of malignancy.

Constipation and Diarrhea: Damage to the digestive system may result in diarrhea. It may be painful, be accompanied by vomiting, or contain blood or mucus. It can be associated with an increase or loss of appetite, normal behavior, or severe lethargy. Diet can often be the cause of constipation and diarrhea.

Fleas/Ticks/Mites: These can cause medical problems in pets including flea allergy dermatitis , tapeworms, hair loss due to scratching, and secondary skin irritations. A variety of treatments are available at pet and department stores. Make sure when treating for these pests that you also treat the cat's bedding and the surrounding area, or else further outbreaks can occur.

Worms: Cats with worms may find themselves in excruciating pain. It is a good idea to keep your dog and cat as worm-free as possible so that if disease or stresses do occur. A variety of internal parasites can plague your cat.

Illness: A number of illnesses can strike your cat, making him short of breath, sick to his stomach, or worse. A short list of these illnesses include pneumontis, enteritis, feline leukemia, bronchitis, and rabies. When cat illness symptoms appear, it can be very stressful for you and your cat.

Cuts/Scratches: Cats are known for their fighting which can lead to a variety of cuts and scratches. Most of the time, the cat can treat itself by licking minor cuts and scratches. When it cannot reach cuts or scratches with its tongue, you or your vet can treat them.

Cats need you to help them when they're sick and hurt. Always remember to take care of them, and they'll take care of you with love and affection.

If you are in doubt about how sick your cat is, take them to a vet. It will give you piece of mind, and well cat.

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