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Cats are susceptible to a lot of the diseases that affect humans. Cancer is no exception, although they do not get it as commonly as humans and dogs. However, if they do, it is much more aggressive because of their smaller size. It goes without saying that not all incidences of cancer can be prevented completely. There are genetic components that make some cats more susceptible than others. However, there are certain steps that a cat owner can take to prevent cancer. Let us look at some of the effective preventative measures:
- Neutering/spaying – It is recommended that you spay or neuter cats which are not used for breeding. For one, it helps keeping the cat population under control. If you spay your female cat at a young age, it will significantly decrease the chances of her developing breast tumors or mammary cancers. It is best to spay her before the first heat cycle. Doing that will completely eradicate the possibility of her contracting breast cancer.
- High quality diet – Make sure that your cat gets a nutritious and well-balanced diet. It will improve his health and strengthen his immune system. Fatty acids like DHA and EPA are helpful in preventing cancer as well as feeding cats that have cancer.
- Avoid overfeeding – While a balanced and complete diet is essential, you should avoid feeding excess food to your cat. According to endocrinologists, fat is a very important part of the endocrine system and it secretes hormones and other substances that have a number of disagreeable effects on the human body, including an uptake in the body’s inflammatory response. If your cat is obese, it makes him prone to many types of cancer.
- Avoid secondhand smoke – If you smoke around your cat frequently, it can affect his lungs. It has been implicated as a contributing factor towards lung cancer. The risks smoking poses to your pet and the other members of your family might even provide you with the encouragement you need to stop smoking altogether.
- Use chemicals carefully – Use lawn and household chemicals with caution. Your cat should not go out unsupervised and even if he does, he should be in a catio or a leash. Or else, he will be exposed to the lawn chemicals, especially if they are used in the area frequented by him regularly. Don’t use pesticides and other cancer causing agents in your home and on your lawn. Consult with the vet to choose a good parasite prevention program for your feline friend, and ensure that the medications have a track record for efficacy and safety.
- Virus testing – Viruses like the feline immunodeficiency virus and the feline leukemia virus are also potential cancer-causing pathogens. Test your cat for these regularly. It is easy and takes just a few drops of blood.