Adopting a cat and welcoming them into your family is such a fun and exciting experience. From the moment you bring them home, your world is forever changed. Certainly, a lifestyle with a cat brings so many new experiences. Although, some of these encounters might include health issues your newly adopted cat. Naturally, becoming a new pet owner to a cat comes with unfamiliar territories like understanding cat stress, cat behavior, and cat dental health. When it comes to adoption, common cat health problems may be frequent, regardless of age, size, or breed. We sat down with Trupanion veterinarian, Dr. Caroline Wilde, to discuss common cat health problems among adopted cats and how you can help.
Five common cat health problems for adopted cats that every pet owner should know about
If you’ve recently become a new pet owner to an animal shelter or rescue cat, take into consideration these common cat health problems seen in adoption cats.
Diarrhea is a common cat health problem of cats of all ages. “If a newly adopted feline has a soft stool, it’s important to always take the pet to the veterinarian where they can check a stool sample, and make sure it’s not parasite-related,” states Wilde.
If you feel your furry friend is experiencing signs of discomfort and gastrointestinal upset, please seek veterinary care. Consider notating when your cat has stomach pain and signs of diarrhea, like during feeding time, to help your veterinarian find the cause of the pain.
Ringworm, an infectious skin disease, is a common cat health problem seen within animal shelters and rescue organizations. Although ringworm is a treatable disease, it’s incredibly infectious and should be taken seriously in any household.
Also, “It’s important to take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible, especially since ringworm is Zoonotic, meaning it can be transmitted to people and other pets in your home,” points out Wilde.
Likewise, if skin issues like scabs, bald spots, or scaling appear on your new cat, seek treatment with your veterinarian.
3. Respiratory infections/ eye issues
If a cat is showing signs of a respiratory infection, chances are they also have eye issues. Essentially, a number of issues could cause these infections.
For example, respiratory infections can be transmitted through bacteria, viruses, or trauma. Although this is a common cat health problem, the severity of the infection can be extreme in younger cats and kittens.
Further, “if they progress, they can become very sick, very fast. It’s important to take any eye issues very seriously. In addition, the veterinarian will want to check the eyes for trauma by staining them,” says Wilde.
For example, consider an e-collar or an alternative to avoid any additional injuries to your cat’s eyes.
Keeping your cat happy and healthy is a top priority for pet owners. Naturally, a factor of that is keeping your pet well-fed. Granted, not all cats have a large appetite, and the key is understanding why they don’t want to eat.
Why your cat may not be eating
Certainly, decoding critical cat behavior, or understanding the reason for your cat’s stress can help in the role as a new pet owner.
For instance, being in a new home may be stressful for your cat and they don’t have an appetite. Also, they could be experiencing food intolerance.
Further, “any issues regarding how much a cat is eating (too much or not enough), can be a cause for concern, and should be discussed with a veterinarian,” states Wilde.
Naturally, humans and cats alike are affected by stress. Certainly, a transition to a new home can take some time for the entire family.
Consider keeping a journal at mealtime, and checking in with your veterinarian with any concerns.
5. Litter box issues/habits
Certainly, it is no surprise that cats are finicky, about their pet space and what is in it. Also, keeping your cat’s habits in check and maintaining a clean litter area is good not only for the cat but for the home as well.
Wilde weighs in on the importance of proper litter box etiquette starting with your cat’s first day-
“It’s important when bringing a new cat into the home, to help facilitate their litter box right from the start, as improper elimination or urinating outside the litter box is sadly a very common reason for cats to be relinquished. Also, the rule of thumb is that the number of litter boxes in the house should be the number of cats plus one. For example, three litter boxes in a two-cat home.”
Naturally, by offering a variety of shapes and sizes of litterboxes throughout the home, can help give your feline friend plenty of opportunities to relieve themselves at their discretion.
Consider giving your cat options, so they feel they have the chance to use the litter box when they need to.
If you feel your pet is experiencing a bad habit or a litter box issue, reach out to your veterinarian. As such, a medical cause could be at the root of the behavioral issue.
Common cat health problems: can affect any age
Common cat health problems can affect any shelter cat or kitten. To bring to light, whether you have a domestic shorthair cat or a Persian kitten, rather these issues are seen despite age, breed, or gender. If you feel your furry friend is experiencing signs of any pain, discomfort, seek veterinary care.
The importance of the first vet visit for your cat
The first vet visit for your cat is incredibly important for the health of your pet. Likewise, they can test for all diseases, give a round of vaccination, boosters, provide wellness care and tips, and relay a treatment plan if any medical concerns are encountered.
Also, this gives you an opportunity to establish a routine of responsible pet ownership and ask any questions you might have about your new furry friend.
Naturally, the first veterinary visit is one of the most important vet visits to establish proper pet care for your pet.
Common cat health problems for adopted cats: awareness for the health of your feline friend
Common cat health problems are seen throughout animal welfare organizations. Regardless, it’s important to seek care if you feel your cat is showing any signs of sickness and to get on a treatment plan for your furry friend. By keeping your pet’s wellness in check and establishing good routines, your cat will be on the road to recovery in no time.
is a digital content writer and editor for Trupanion. She spends her workday writing for the Trupanion blog. She loves writing about pets, being inspired by pets, and luckily gets to hang out with her rescue dogs all day long. In her free time, she enjoys exploring and traveling with her family. Her work has been featured on the DOGTV blog, KitNipBox blog, Get Your Pet blog, Fansided, among many others.