- Cat health
infectious diseaseis caused by the presence of organisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites (either animalian or protozoan). Most of these diseases can spread from cat to cat via airborne pathogens or through direct or indirect contact. Certain infectious diseases are a concern from a public healthstandpoint because they are zoonoses (transmittable to humans).
Viral respiratory diseases in cats can be serious, especially in catteries and
kennels. Causing one-half of the respiratory diseases in cats.cite web|author=Carter, G.R.; Flores, E.F.; Wise, D.J.|year=2006|title=Herpesviridae|work=A Concise Review of Veterinary Virology| url=http://www.ivis.org/advances/Carter/Part2Chap11/chapter.asp?LA=1|accessdate=2006-06-08] Timely vaccination can reduce the risk and severity of an infection. Feline viral rhinotracheitis is the most important of these diseases and is found worldwide. The other important cause of feline respiratory disease is the feline calicivirus.
Feline viral rhinotracheitis(FVR) is an upper respiratory infection of cats caused by feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV-1), of the family " Herpesviridae". It is also known as feline influenza. FVR is very contagious and can cause severe disease, including death from pneumoniain young kittens. All members of the " Felidae" family are susceptible to FVR,
Feline panleukopenia(FPV) more commonly known as feline distemper is caused by the feline parvovirus, a close relative of canine parvovirus. It is not related to canine distemper. Panleukopenia is primarily spread through contact with an infected cat's bodily fluids, feces, or fleas.
Feline leukemia virus(FeLV) is a retrovirustransmitted between infected cats when the transfer of saliva or nasal secretions is involved, for example when sharing a feeding dish. If not defeated by the animal’s immune system, the virus can be lethal. The disease is a virus, not a cancer. The name stems from the fact that the first disease associated with the virus was a form of leukemia. By the time it was discovered that the virus was not the same as leukemia, the misnomer had already found its way into the vocabulary of pet owners.
Feline immunodeficiency virus(FIV), commonly known as Feline AIDS is a lentivirusthat affects domesticated housecats worldwide. FeLV and FIV are in the same biological family, and are sometimes mistaken for one another. However, the viruses differ in many ways. Although many of the diseases caused by FeLV and FIV are similar, the specific ways in which they are caused also differs.
Feline infectious peritonitis(FIP)' is a fatal, incurable disease caused by Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus (FIPV), which is a mutation of Feline Enteric Coronavirus(FECV/FeCoV). The mutated virus has the ability to invade and grow in certain white blood cells, namely macrophages. The immune system's response causes an intense inflammatory reaction in the containing tissues. This disease is generally fatal [ [http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/brochures/fip.html Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) ] ] . However its incidence rate is roughly 1 in 5000 for households with one or two cats. [ [http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pets_fip ASPCA: Pet Care: Cat Care: Feline Infectious Peritonitis ] ]
Rabiesin cats is a fatal disease transmitted by the bite of an infected mammal, such as a dog, raccoon, bat, or another cat. Animals with rabies suffer deterioration of the brain and tend to behave bizarrely and often aggressively, increasing the chances that they will bite another animal or a person and transmit the disease. Rabies is rare in many developed countries with more than 99% of all human deaths from rabies occurring in Africa, Asiaand South Americawhich report thirty thousand deaths annually.cite web | title = Rabies vaccine | work = WHO - Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals | url = http://www.who.int/vaccines/en/rabies.shtml | accessdate = 2006-04-20] In the United States, cats make up 4.6% of reported cases of rabies infected animals. [ [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17696853 Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2006.] ]
H5N1. See: Global spread of H5N1#Felidae (cats)
Treatment for Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Infections
In 2006, the
United States Department of Agricultureissued a conditional license for a new treatment aid termed Lymphocyte T-Cell Immune Modulator[United States Department of Agriculture. Veterinary Biological Products; Licensees and Permittees, December 2006. [http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/cvb/RegsGuidance/CurrentProdCodeBook.pdf] ] . Lymphocyte T-Cell Immune Modulator is manufactured by T-Cyte Therapeutics, Inc. and exclusively sold by IMULAN BioTherapeutics, LLC.
Lymphocyte T-Cell Immune Modulator is intended as an aid in the treatment of cats infected with feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and/or
feline immunodeficiency virus(FIV), and the associated symptoms of lymphocytopenia, opportunistic infection, anemia, granulocytopenia, or thrombocytopenia. The absence of any observed adverse events in several animal species, suggests that the product has a very low toxicity profile.
Lymphocyte T-Cell Immune Modulator is a potent regulator of CD-4
lymphocyteproduction and function. [Beardsley, et al. "Induction of T-Cell Maturation by a Cloned Line of Thymic Epithelium (TEPI) Immunology 80: pp. 6005-6009, (Oct. 1983). ] It has been shown to increase lymphocyte numbers and Interleukin 2production in animals. [Beardsley, Terry R. Patent # 7,196,060; Method to enhance hematopoiesis. [http://www.google.com/patents?id=wE1_AAAAEBAJ&dq=7,196,060 Method to enhance hematopoiesis - Google Patents ] at www.google.com] Lymphocyte T-Cell Immune Modulator is a single chain polypeptide. It is a strongly cationic glycoprotein, and is purified with cation exchange resin. Purification of protein from bovine-derived stromal cellsupernatants produces a substantially homogeneous factor, free of extraneous materials. The bovine protein is homologous with other mammalian species and is a homogeneous 50 kDa glycoprotein with an isoelectric point of 6.5. The protein is prepared in a lyophilized 1 microgram dose. Reconstitution in sterile diluent produces a solution for subcutaneous injection. [Beardsley, Terry R. Patent # 5,616,554; Immune-enhancing agent for therapeutic use in immunocompromised hosts. [http://www.google.com/patents?id=TXMbAAAAEBAJ&dq=5,616,554 Immune-enhancing agent for ... - Google Patents ] at www.google.com]
Cytauxzoonosisis a mostly fatal tick-borne diseasein domestic cats. It is identified as the blood parasite "Cytauxzoon felis".
Ear mites are mites that live in the ears of animals.
Cat skin disorders are among the most common health problems in cats. Skin disorders in cats have many causes, and many of the common skin disorders that afflict people have a counterpart in cats. The condition of a cat's skin and coat can also be an important indicator of its general health. Skin disorders of cats vary from acute, self-limiting problems to chronic or long-lasting problems requiring life-time treatment.
Cheyletiellais a mild dermatitiscaused by mites of the genus"Cheyletiella". It is also known as walking dandruff due to skin scales being carried by the mites. "Cheyletiella" live on the skin surface of dogs, cats, rabbits, and humans.
Feline eosinophilic granuloma
Flea allergy dermatitis
Miliary dermatitis(feline eczema)
Tumors and Cancer
*Cerebellar hypoplasia is a disorder found in cats and dogs in which the
cerebellumis not completely mature at birth. Cerebellar hypoplasia causes jerky movements, tremorsand generally uncoordinated motion. The animal often falls down and has trouble walking. Tremors increase when the animal is excited and subside when at ease.
*A corneal ulcer is an inflammatory condition of the
corneainvolving loss of its outer layer. It is very common in dogs and is sometimes seen in cats.
*Epilepsy is characterized by recurrent unprovoked
seizures. Epilepsy in cats is rare likely because there is no hereditary component to epilepsy in cats.
Feline Hepatic Lipidosisalso known as Feline Fatty Liver Syndrome, is one of the most common forms of liver diseaseof cats. [ [http://www.healthypet.com/library_view.aspx?ID=42&sid=2 Welcome to Healthypet.com! ] ] The disease begins when the cat stops eating from a loss of appetite, forcing the liver to convert body fat into usable energy.
Feline lower urinary tract diseaseis a term that is used to cover many problems of the feline urinary tract, including stones and cystitis. The term feline urologic syndrome is an older term which is still sometimes used for this condition. It is a common disease in adult cats, though it can strike in young cats too. It may present as any of a variety of urinary tract problems, and can lead to a complete blockage of the urinary system, which if left untreated is fatal.
Feline odontoclastic resorptive lesion
Feline spongiform encephalopathy
Diet and nutrition
Veterinarians commonly recommend commercial
cat foods that are formulated to address the specific nutritional requirements of cats although an increasing number of owners are opting for home-prepared cooked or raw diets.
Although cats are
obligate carnivores, vegetarianand vegancat food are preferred by owners uncomfortable with feeding animal products to their pets. The US FDA Center for Veterinary Medicinehas come out against vegetarian cat and dog food for health reasons. [ [http://www.azcentral.com/ent/pop/articles/0518vegpets18-CR.html Vegetarian dogs and cats: Kibble doesn't cut it anymore ] ]
Cats can be selective eaters. Although it is extremely rare for a cat to deliberately starve itself to the point of injury, in obese cats, the sudden loss of weight can cause a fatal condition called
Feline Hepatic Lipidosis, a liver dysfunction which causes pathological loss of appetite and reinforces the starvation, which can lead to death within as little as 48 hours. Picais a condition in which animals chew or eat unusual things such as fabric, plastic or wool. In cats, this is mostly harmless as they do not digest most of it, but can be fatal or require surgical removal if a large amount of foreign material is ingested (for example, an entire sock). It tends to occur more often in Burmese, Oriental, Siamese and breeds with these in their ancestry.
Food allergyis a non-seasonal disease with skin and/or gastrointestinal disorders. The main complaint is Pruritus, which is usually resistant to treatment by steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The exact prevalence of food allergy in cats remains unknown. There is no breed, sex or age predilection, although some breeds are commonly affected. Before the onset of clinical signs, the animals have been fed the offending food components for at least two years, although some animals are less than a year old. In 20 to 30% of the cases, cats have concurrent allergic diseases ( atopy/ flea-allergic dermatitis). A reliable diagnosis can only be made with dietary elimination-challenge trials. Provocation testingis necessary for the identification of the causative food component(s). Therapy consists of avoiding the offending food component(s). [cite journal | last = Verlinden| first = A.| coauthors = Hesta, M., Millet, S., Janssens, G.P.| year = 2006| month = 4-5| title = Food Allergy in Dogs and Cats: A Review| journal = Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition( Taylor & Francis)| volume = 46| issue = 3| pages = 259–273
doi = 10.1080/10408390591001117
url = http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=16527756&query_hl=12&itool=pubmed_docsum
accessdate = 2006-10-27]
Malnutritionhas been seen in cats fed homemade or vegetarian/vegan diets produced by owners with good intentions, and most published recipes have been only crudely balanced (by computer) using nutrient averages. Because the palatability, digestibility, and safety of these recipes have not been adequately or scientifically tested, it is difficult to characterize all of these homemade diets. Generally, most formulations contain excessive proteinand phosphorusand are deficient in calcium, vitamin E, and micromineralssuch as copper, zinc, and potassium. Also, the energy densityof these diets may be unbalanced relative to the other nutrients. Commonly used meat and carbohydrate ingredients contain more phosphorusthan calcium. Homemade feline diets that are not actually deficient in fator energyusually contain a vegetable oilthat cats do not find palatable; therefore, less food is eaten causing a calorie deficiency. Rarely are homemade diets balanced for micromineralsor vitamins. Owner neglect is also a frequent contributing factor in malnutrition. [cite web
url = http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/182902.htm
title = Nutritional Requirements and Related Diseases
accessdate = 2006-10-27
author = John E. Bauer,
D.V.M., Ph.D., Dipl. A.C.V.N.
date = 2005-1-1
The Merck Veterinary Manual, 9th edition.ISBN 0-911910-50-6
Merck & Co., Inc.
language = English]
Cats fed exclusively on raw,
freshwater fishcan develop a thiaminedeficiency. Those fed exclusively on liver may develop vitamin Atoxicity.
Cats require regular brushing of their teeth, like humans. But instead of using a regular toothpaste, get one from a local veterinarian. Regular toothpaste can be potentially toxic to cats. Flossing is also a good idea. It's best to accustom the cat to this procedure while it is still a kitten.
Non-therapeutic surgical procedures
paying and neutering
Dangers in urban environment
Some houseplants are harmful to cats. For example, the leaves of the Easter Lily can cause permanent and life-threatening kidney damage to cats, and
Philodendronare also poisonous to cats. The Cat Fanciers' Associationhas a full list of plants harmful to cats. [cite web | url = http://www.cfainc.org/articles/plants.html | title = Plants and Your Cat | publisher = The Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc. | accessdate = 2007-05-15] Paracetamolor acetaminophen (trade name Panadoland Tylenol) is extremely toxic to cats, and should not be given to them under any circumstances. Cats lack the necessary glucuronyl transferase enzymes to safely break paracetamol down and minute portions of a normal tablet for humans may prove fatal.cite journal | author=Allen AL | title=The diagnosis of acetaminophen toxicosis in a cat | journal=Can Vet J | year=2003 | pages=509–10 | volume=44 | issue=6 | pmid=12839249] Initial symptoms include vomiting, salivation and discolouration of the tongue and gums. After around two days, liver damage is evident, typically giving rise to jaundice. Unlike an overdose in humans, it is rarely liver damage that is the cause of death, instead methaemoglobinformation and the production of Heinz bodiesin red blood cells inhibit oxygen transport by the blood, causing asphyxiation. Effective treatment is occasionally possible for small doses, but must be extremely rapid.
igns that a cat requires veterinary attention
The following symptoms require urgent veterinary attention:Straining non-productively, breathing through the mouth, difficulty breathing, gums that are white or blue, fitting for longer than one minute, collapse. You should also take your cat to the vets urgently if it has been involved in a road traffic accident, fallen from a height, eaten anything poisonous or has been exposed to smoke. There are many other symptoms for which a cat requires veterinary attention.
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