Gaia - to illustrate this page nicely - photo by fofurasfelinas
Cat illness prevention is possible with certain diseases. What about some of the most common and expensive (in respect of veterinarian bills) diseases - can they be prevented?
One classic, common and potentially expensive to cure illness is caused by foreign bodies trapped in the intestine. Cats like to play and chew on things and that is good as it provides exercise provided the objects with which our cat is playing are the right ones, things he/she can't swallow like thread. Bits of thread can be very damaging if swallowed and may need an expensive trip to the veterinarian and at this time of economic woe that is not a good scenario, nor is it good for the cat as it is life threatening.
I guess the moral is to keep items that can be ingested by our cat out of reach. That is quite a big call as there are so many possibles but a quick look-see might at least get rid of the worst offenders. Bengal cats have a particular propensity, it seems, to use their mouths on objects (see Bengal Cat Behavior). Objects that can pass through the stomach can be arrested at the intestine. What then of objects that can be ingested but stop at the stomach? These are a wider range of objects. Keep anything that might be eaten out of reach.
My cat once suffered from cystitis, an infection of the urinary tract. Blockages of the urinary tract are not uncommon and some cats have a greater propensity to this condition. A simple proactive measure, and one that I took up, is to ensure that our cat drinks well. I add water to microwaved fish, for example. Making sure that there is plenty of fresh water available is obvious, and, also, not depending, uniquely, on dry cat food is wise. Some veterinarians recommend wet (canned) food over dry food. One well known American vet and author is Elizabeth M Hodgkins DVM (see grain free cat food or cat food recipe as examples). See also Feline Kidney Disease and FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease).
Bladder Stones another urinary tract disease is also commonly encountered. Please read the full post, Feline Kidney Stones, for full details as to how to minimize the occurrence of this disease. In short a good quality wet food diet low in magnesium and acid is the best for cats with a propensity to contract this disease. In this instance cat illness prevention is possible.
Another Urinary Tract Disease is renal failure. This can happen with a cat poisoned by car antifreeze. The recent large scale incidences, in the United States, of cat and pet poisoning caused by melamine in cat food and pet food generally caused renal failure and death. Another poison that damages the kidney is the house plant Easter Lily: See House Plant Poisonous to a Cat. See Cat Poison. Cat illness prevention is possible in this case too as dangerous products can be stored safely. The garage is out of bounds, always. Wandering cats can be attracted to car antifreeze. People should be aware of this. Some nasty people deliberately poison with antifreeze; please watch out for this.
Hyperthyroidism is a relatively common disease. There is nothing that can be done to prevent it but if caught early complications can be minimized. Signs are weight loss combined with a good appetite.
With current knowledge there is nothing that is currently known that can be done to prevent: Mast Cell Tumors, Fibrosarcoma (Skin Cancer), Intestinal Cancer. However, Skin cancer can be rarely be caused by vaccinations (see Cat Vaccination Recommendations). Also see Cat Coats White -- white cats are more prone to skin cancer, extra care should be taken in the sun.
Cat illness prevention is possible with respect to a number of common and expensive to cure diseases.
Cat Illness Prevention to Cat Heath Problems