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American Shorthair Cat 16 Commonn Health Problems

The warm company, steady demeanor, and quiet voice of American Shorthairs endear them to their owners. When properly bred and cared for, these cats are often highly healthy and enjoy long lives.

But, there are a few typical health issues associated with this breed that you should be aware of.

The most prevalent health issues for cats in general and American Shorthairs in particular are listed below in "American Shorthair Cat 16 Commonn Health Problems" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org). Some of these health issues may be avoided, while others cannot.

Top 16 American Shorthair Cat Health Problems:

1. Allergies

  • Seriousness: Variable
  • Preventable: No
  • Treatable: Yes

Cats can have allergies just as people can. Cats can occasionally be sensitive to food as well as allergens in their surroundings. Allergies can cause painful skin issues, sneezing, and other symptoms for your kitty.

There is no way to avoid allergies, but they may be treated. Consult your veterinarian to determine the allergen and, if necessary, administer allergy treatment to your cat.

While allergies are often not life-threatening, they are undoubtedly irritating for your cat and should be addressed.

2. Arterial Thromboembolism (FATE)

  • Seriousness: Serious
  • Preventable: No
  • Treatable: Yes, if caught early enough

FATE is a common complication of cardiac disease that arises when blood clots form in the arteries. This often occurs in the aorta towards the rear legs, resulting in inadequate blood flow to the hind legs. As a result, cats have chilly legs, extreme discomfort, and paralysis.

Fate can tragically result in a cat’s abrupt demise; it can also manifest as significant respiratory issues or inability to utilize the rear legs. As soon as you suspect FATE, you must transport your cat to an emergency facility. If found early enough, cats can recover completely.

3. Calicivirus

  • Seriousness: Moderate
  • Preventable: Yes
  • Treatable: Yes

Similar to rabies, feline calicivirus is an infectious illness that causes respiratory and oral conditions in cats. It is common in animal shelters and breeding colonies.

The majority of cats may recover from this infection, but it can be fatal if left untreated, especially in young and elderly cats.

Although calicivirus can be lethal for cats, there are vaccinations available to protect them. Regularly vaccinated cats have a minimal chance of contracting this illness.

Consult your veterinarian to ensure that your cat has all of the necessary vaccinations to be healthy.

4. Deafness (Genetic)

  • Seriousness: Mild to moderate
  • Preventable: No
  • Treatable: No

Deafness has been a prevalent problem in certain cat breeds, particularly those with white coats and blue eyes. There have been reports of genetic deafness in American Shorthairs. There is no prevention or treatment for deafness.

Deafness is neither avoidable nor treated, but it should not prohibit your American Shorthair from having a happy and healthy life.

5. Dental Disease

  • Seriousness: Moderate
  • Preventable: Yes
  • Treatable: Yes

Teeth disease is another prevalent ailment across all cat breeds. Sadly, many cat owners are unaware that they must brush their cats’ teeth. Without regular brushing, tooth disease is likely to occur.

Without treatment, dental disease can be rather dangerous. It causes bad breath and tooth and gum damage.

It is possible to prevent and treat oral disease. Cleaning your cat’s teeth often will eliminate this issue to a significant extent.

If dental disease has already developed, see your veterinarian about treatment options.

6. Diabetes

  • Seriousness: Serious
  • Preventable: In some cases
  • Treatable: Yes

Diabetes often occurs in middle-aged to elderly cats. Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases in American Shorthairs, and it is associated with obesity.

Ensuring that your cat maintains a healthy weight and lifestyle will prevent most problems. If your cat gets diabetes, discuss treatment and a healthy lifestyle with your veterinarian.

7. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)

  • Seriousness: Serious
  • Preventable: No
  • Treatable: Yes

Everyone dislikes it when their cat defecates outside of the litter box. This is a frequent occurrence among kittens, but not among adult cats. If your adult cat has difficulty reaching the litter box, something is probably amiss.

Many cats can get FLUTD, which is frequently associated with stress. This condition need veterinarian treatment. Inability to urinate in male cats can be life-threatening. Once diagnosed, the illness is treatable with certain drugs, stress reduction, and even surgery.

8. Heart Disease (Genetic)

  • Seriousness: Serious
  • Preventable: Sometimes
  • Treatable: Yes

American Shorthairs are susceptible to inheritable conditions like as cardiomyopathy. This is the medical term for diseases of the heart muscle.

There are several forms of this condition, the vast majority of which are hereditary. This is one of the rare genetic disorders known to affect American Shorthairs.

If the condition is detected early, there are therapeutic options. Appropriate breeding can reduce the likelihood of inheriting heart disease.

Ensure that your cat’s meal contains a suitable amount of taurine to lower the risk of heart muscle disease.

9. Hyperthyroidism

  • Seriousness: Serious
  • Preventable: No
  • Treatable: Yes

The thyroid gland helps regulate the metabolic activities of a cat. In many American Shorthairs, especially those of middle age or older, benign tumors can form in this gland, causing the thyroid to generate excessive amounts of hormones.

The overactive thyroid can cause weight loss, vomiting, increased thirst, and finally death in the cat.

The good news is that there are several successful treatment options available today, including diets, medicines, and surgical procedures.

10. Obesity

  • Seriousness: Serious
  • Preventable: Yes
  • Treatable: Yes

Obesity is one of the most frequent health issues in practically every type of cat, but notably American Shorthairs.

Obesity is caused by excessive meals and minimal activity. Obesity can lead to a variety of additional illnesses, such as diabetes, arthritis, and other serious disorders.

The good news is that both obesity prevention and treatment are possible. A nutritious diet for your American Shorthair will help battle obesity.

In addition, play with your cat everyday and offer them with opportunities to amuse themselves. If your cat ends up overweight, consult to your vet to design a nutrition plan for your cat.

11. Panleukopenia (FP)

  • Seriousness: Serious
  • Preventable: Yes
  • Treatable: Yes

In the past, Feline Parvo virus was the major cause of feline mortality, but it is now uncommon.

Yet, it is extremely infectious. If one cat has FP, there is a high likelihood that other cats in its vicinity may get FP as well.

There is presently an effective vaccination for FP. These immunizations are considered essential vaccinations for cats.

Without the immunization, many cats, especially kittens, may perish. Prevention is the greatest method for keeping your American Shorthair healthy.

12. Parasites

  • Seriousness: Moderate
  • Preventable: Yes
  • Treatable: Yes

American Shorthairs are susceptible to parasites in the same manner as other animals. It is necessary to prevent your American Shorthair against parasites like as fleas, ticks, mites, hookworms, heartworms, roundworms, and whipworms.

Parasites can become serious if left untreated, but they are simple to avoid and treat. Your veterinarian will suggest preventative medicine.

If parasites are detected, your veterinarian will be able to examine your cat and provide the necessary medication.

13. Polycystic Kidney Disease (Genetic)

  • Seriousness: Serious
  • Preventable: No
  • Treatable: No

Polycystic renal disease cannot be prevented. As a result of a faulty gene, it is an inherited condition. This condition is more prevalent in Persians, however American Shorthairs can also be affected. This illness will be less prevalent as a result of genetic testing and prudent breeding.

Sadly, there is no cure for polycystic kidney disease, but cats can delay its progression with drugs and certain diets. The most effective method of therapy is to catch it early so that your cat may begin medication immediately.

14. Rabies

  • Seriousness: Serious
  • Preventable: Yes
  • Treatable: Yes

Virtually everyone is familiar with rabies. Rabies is a fully avoidable infectious disease. With the correct vaccinations, you can protect your cat from rabies.

Sadly, neglecting to vaccinate your cat exposes both you and your pet to this terrible disease.

To prevent your cat from contracting rabies, ensure that he or she receives the necessary core immunizations. Your veterinarian will be well-versed in the vaccinations your cat needs to keep healthy.

15. Renal Failure

  • Seriousness: Yes
  • Preventable: No, but can be slowed
  • Treatable: No, but can be slowed

Renal failure is the inability of the kidneys to remove waste from the blood and body. Renal failure can be gradual and ultimately deadly in cats, especially elderly American Shorthairs, whenever this occurs.

In many instances, renal failure is an unavoidable consequence of advancing age. With particular diets and drugs, you can help control renal failure.

If you feel that your cat’s kidneys are not functioning correctly, consult your veterinarian immediately.

16. Rhinotracheitis

  • Seriousness: Moderate
  • Preventable: Yes
  • Treatable: Yes

Rhinotracheitis is a form of infectious respiratory illness. It is caused by a virus, however it may be prevented with immunizations.

Rhinotracheitis is not as dangerous as it formerly was since the vaccination is so effective.

Consult your veterinarian to determine if your cat requires treatment or the Rhinotracheitis vaccination.


How Can I Ensure My American Shorthair Is Healthy?

If you get an American Shorthair, you will likely do all possible to maintain their health. This breed is usually considered to be healthy, particularly if you consider the following two aspects:

Good Breeding

Choose a cat only if you are certain of its good breeding. Proper breeding will avoid the majority of hereditary disorders, leaving you to focus exclusively on problems under your control.

Speak to the breeder personally or get your cat examined by a veterinarian to learn whether it has any genetic disorders.

Healthy Lifestyle

Giving your cat with a healthy lifestyle is one of the most effective strategies to ensure their longevity. Ensure that your American Shorthair has access to ample water and a nutritious food.

Ensure that your cat receives exercise, preventive treatment, and dental care. These few simple measures can drastically reduce the likelihood that your cat may develop major problems.


American Shorthairs, like other cats, can acquire major health problems. These 16 health issues are merely some of the most prevalent.

Although these health issues mentioned in “American Shorthair Cat 16 Commonn Health Problems” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) may seem like a lot, the majority of them are common in cats, and many of them are avoidable. American Shorthairs are one of the healthiest dog breeds available.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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