How can you help protect your cat from cancer?
We all want to help our pets live a healthy and happy life.
A good diet, plenty of exercise and regular check-ups with your vet can all help to prevent illness and disease. But sadly, just like humans, cats and dogs can develop serious diseases such as cancer.
A new blog post from Cats Protection says that although cancer is not very common in cats, it can be particularly aggressive -- so prevention and early treatment are important for improving their chance of recovery.
If you notice any change in your cat's health or behaviour, or if you find any lumps in their skin while stroking or grooming them, take them to the vet as soon as possible.
Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce your cat's risk of getting cancer:
1. Limit sun exposure
Cats with white or pale ears and noses are particularly susceptible to skin cancer as their skin doesn't have a pigment called melanin, which provides protection against UV. To keep your cat safe, keep them indoors during the hottest part of the day and speak to your vet about a suitable sunscreen.
2. Make sure they're vaccinated
Regular vaccination against the viral infection Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) will also help. That's because FeLV can attack cells within your cat's bone marrow, leading to the development of leukaemia (a cancer of the circulating white blood cells) and a cancer called lymphoma (a solid mass of cancerous white blood cells).
3. Get them neutered
In female cats, neutering will significantly decrease their chances of developing breast tumours, and for male cats it reduces the likelihood of them picking up viruses such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) which can increase the risk of cancer by weakening their body's immune response to cancer cells.
4. Keep them healthy
Feed your cat a high quality complete cat food and avoid overfeeding. Make sure they get plenty of exercise by going outside or by having regular play sessions each day.
While it's impossible to entirely predict or prevent cancer, following these steps will help to safeguard your cat's health in the long term.