Have cats always been sickly? Are they just delicate creatures that succumb to every infectious assault in their environments?
If that were so, how then have they survived for millions of years in the wild before we came along and made them our pets? How did they ever live without rabies vaccinations, distemper shots, annual veterinary visits, and dry kibble pet food made from the lowest quality corn meal and other questionable ingredients?
They aren't on the protected species list, of course, but overall, the health of the average cat is nothing like the robust nature of the natural cat throughout the time they have been on the planet. We humans have not been good for their health. What we do for them now is in the interest of our own convenience, not their well being.
We keep them indoors, we feed them cereal in a bowl, we force them to breathe cigarette smoke, we inoculate them with a large array of chemicals in the name of "protecting" them or "curing" them, when in fact, these measures have served primarily to deplete their immune system strength over many generations.
Keeping them indoors has become a necessary step in protecting them from physical dangers in our modern world and should not be abandoned now. However, other factors that are still under our control should be observed.
For instance, correct nutrition would go a very long way toward helping our feline friends restore a normally balanced immune system so they can fight off diseases that are more common now. It's possible even rabies would not be an issue if everyone lived in natural, healthy environments. But we don't, and so neither do our cats. Thus, some vaccinations have become necessary for a minimum standard of care. And their use should be limited to a minimum standard as well.
As with humans, there are far too many drugs and other chemicals being used in the name of "health" care. Over-medicating them, as we have ourselves, has resulted in the inability to fight off an increasing number of infectious diseases as new strains of bacteria and other organisms have appeared.
To have a healthy cat, the best approach is a natural one. Watch animal documentaries on television to get an idea of what the "natural cat" eats and how he lives in a wild environment. Since cats have been programmed by Nature as hunters, then let them hunt, but on your terms, using toys. For meals, provide what they would be eating if they could hunt. And that would be, of course, raw meat.
Lucky for cats, they are adaptable and will survive on unnatural foods, like cereal (corn meal, rice bran, wheat bran) and the ambiguous ingredient, meat by-products. One can only imagine what those might be... feathers? Feet? Beaks? No one will say. But the bottom line is that such a regimen for cats only results in a whole new industry... the veterinary care biz, where cats are brought in for conditions that never were common until now, such as obesity, diabetes, thyroid disease, irritable bowel, skin problems, kidney failure, cancer. And the bottom line under that one is a shortened lifespan.
To keep your cat as healthy as possible in today's unnatural, modern world, use natural foods, such as a daily helping of raw meat, or at the very least, one of the new varieties of commercial foods made from natural ingredients. They cost more, but you will save in the long run with fewer veterinary visits. Also, limit the use of vaccines to a bare minimum. Research has shown them to be more damaging than helpful when overused, but this information is not being revealed to the average pet owner because, sadly, it's a significant source of income.
To read more about handling a variety of cat problems, visit Dr. Peters' site at http://www.theproblemcat.com