This article continues the explanation of some of the most common cat diseases and their symptoms, treatments and preventions. If you have not seen our previous article on this subject, you can see it here: Cat Diseases (I).
A highly contagious viral disease which is responsible, together with calicivirus, for most respiratory diseases in cats. The main ways of infection are nasal secretions, saliva and urine.
Fever, sneezing, mucosity, watering eyes, conjunctivitis, and ulcers on mouth, tongue and palate.
Cat with conjunctivitis
- Keeping the animal hydrated.
- Cleaning the nostrils with physiological saline in order to prevent clogging.
- If the cat has ulcers in the mouth, provide a special soft textured diet.
Cat with mouth ulcers
- Medical treatment includes anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics to control possible secondary bacterial infections.
- Eye creams and eye drops for eye infections.
- General care and medical treatment are essential for recovery.
Vaccinate from week eight and repeat after a year.
Feline Pneumonitis or Feline Chlamydiosis
Disease of the soft tissues surrounding the eyeball and lining the inside of eyelids; caused by a bacterium called chlamydia, transmitted by contact with ocular, nasal or oral secretions from an infected animal. In severe cases it develops significant eye injuries.
Cat with feline pneumonitis
Conjunctivitis and mild respiratory problems (sneezing, coughing, runny nose).
Pharmacological therapy has a good prognosis in most cases. Eye creams are also used to relieve ocular symptoms. Nevertheless, this disease weakens the immune system, which predisposes the cat for new relapses.
The vaccine protects the cat from the disease but not wholly; therefore, disinfecting the places frequently inhabited by the animal with chlorine or ammonia is recommended.
Skin infection caused by fungi; commonly known as “ringworm”.
Weak immune system, malnutrition, poor hygiene.
- Scratching and licking the affected area.
- Circular injuries with hair loss, redness and peeling skin, particularly on the head, ears and legs.
Cat with dermatophytosis, or “ringworm”.
Sometimes infection affects the nails. It´s a contagious disease for humans, although it has no dangers.
Ointments and creams are used so that other parts of the body don´t get affected. Oral treatments are very aggressive and should only be prescribed by a vet specialist.
Clean the affected area with products such as povidone-iodine or gentian violet.
Disease caused by microscopic mites with two main variants for cats:
a) Notoedric Mange
Highly contagious in cats. It occurs mainly in the edge of the ear continuing towards the area of the face and neck.
- Hair loss, skin thickening, crusts, flaking skin.
Cat with Notoedric Mange
- Loss of appetite, weakness, persistent movement of the head.
- Eye injuries due to scratching.
Pharmacological prescription and application of creams in injuries.
Avoid contact with infected animals and whenever a symptom shows up, go to the vet.
b) Otodetic Mange
Consists of mites that live, feed and reproduce within the cat’s ear canals.
Cat with mite in the ear
Image: Uwe Gille.
- Infection and inflammation of the inner ear canals.
- Production of wax in black or dark brown color.
- Itching (hurting himself when he scratches).
To attack these mites, ointments or liquids are applied into the animal´s ears. Treatment must be observed all the way to permanently remove mite´s eggs and preventing reproduction.
Keep the cat’s ears clean, using specially designed products for the hygiene of the area.
A viral and fatal disease transmitted primarily through a bite of an infected animal.
- When reaching the brain, the virus causes an inflammation of the encephalon.
- Early in the disease the cat is hiding in dark places, getting scared to any stimulus.
- As the disease progresses he displays behaviors such as nervousness, convulsions, disorientation or excessive salivation or aggressiveness.
Most infected cats die within a few days. There´s no treatment for this disease. Any human handling a sick cat can get rabies, so if that´s your case, you should see your doctor urgently for immediate treatment.
Vaccination provides excellent protection: it should be started at 3 months old, followed by annual revaccination.