From dealing with fleas to caring for deaf and blind cats, the Veterinary Guides series answers all the important questions regarding the wellbeing of your feline companion.
Written by our expert team of vets, this set of guides provides the information that will help put your mind at ease.
The full range of leaflets is available to download below.
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The heart is a muscle that pumps blood around the body, providing it with oxygen and nutrients. The normal pumping and shutting of valves in the heart causes the ‘lub-dub’ heart sounds that a vet listens for with a stethoscope.
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)
FLUTD describes a collection of common conditions that affect the bladder and/or urethra. It includes the condition more commonly known as cystitis and does not usually involve the kidneys.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
FIV is a virus in cats that is similar to the human virus, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). However, FIV does not infect humans and HIV does not infect cats.
Deaf cats compensate for their lack of hearing by using their other senses more, so much so that it may be hard to tell whether or not they are deaf. There are varying degrees of deafness and different causes which may or may not be treatable.
Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV)
FeLV is a virus that causes a fatal disease in cats by affecting the immune system. It can cause vulnerability to other infections, anaemia or tumours. It does not infect humans.
Spraying and scratching
Spraying urine and scratching are normal behaviours and can be performed by any cat. However, the occurrence of these behaviours indoors can be very unpleasant for you.
Ringworm is the common name given to an infection of the surface of the skin, hair or nails with a type of fungus called a dermatophyte; it is not caused by a worm.
Feline gingivitis and stomatitis
Gingivitis and stomatitis are very common in cats, as are other problems of the teeth, mouth and gums.
Depending on the cause, blindness can be partial or complete and can be reversible or permanent. If your cat is blind he will adapt very well to the loss of sight and can live a perfectly happy, healthy life.
Feline Coronavirus (FCoV) and (FIP)
FCoV is a common and contagious virus, passed in the faeces of cats. It is more commonly found in multi-cat households and does not affect other animals or people.
Shy and timid cats
While most cats settle into new homes quickly, some cats remain fearful despite a gentle welcome and time to get used to their new surroundings.
Respiratory disease and feline asthma
Disease affecting the upper respiratory tract in cats is commonly known as ‘cat flu’ and can be due to a number of infectious agents. Asthma, however, is a disease that affects the lower respiratory tract or small airways within the lungs.
When to let go
The average life expectancy of a cat is around 14 years. However, many cats live well beyond this. As a pet owner it is important that you are able to assess your cat’s quality of life in order to prevent possible suffering as your cat gets older or if he becomes ill.
Diabetes mellitus affects the control of blood sugar levels and usually occurs in middle-aged and older cats, particularly those that are overweight. There may be some genetic predisposition to the condition.
The term ‘arthritis’ means inflammation of the joint; many animals suffer from it and cats are no exception.
In cats, high blood pressure (known as hypertension) usually occurs as a result of another underlying disease, such as kidney disease, heart disease or hyperthyroidism. It can also occur as the primary problem.
The thyroid is made up of two glands located on either side of the windpipe at the base of your cat’s neck. These glands produce thyroxine, a hormone which helps to regulate his metabolic rate.
Kidney or renal failure
The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste products out of the blood to form urine. Disease of the kidneys is one of the most common problems affecting middle-aged and older cats.
Feline Parovirus (FPV)
Feline parvovirus is a virus that can cause severe disease in cats – particularly kittens. It can be fatal. As well as feline parvovirus (FPV), the disease is also known as feline infectious enteritis (FIE) and feline panleucopenia.
Fleas and other parasites
A parasite is an organism that lives and feeds on another to the detriment of the host. Both outdoor and indoor cats are at risk from infection.