Cat Articles

Pointed (Colourpoint) Cats – About, Breeds and Genetics

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Colourpoint cats

Recently there was an interesting discussion around a photo of a beautiful pointed kitten and what breed of cat he may be. People suggested he was a Siamese, Traditional Siamese (due to his rounder head), Birman, Ragdoll, Snowshoe or Tonkinese. A few put forward that he was a lovely seal point domestic shorthair (aka a mixed breed cat). The cat in the image above has a similar appearance, with a rounder face and a slightly fluffier coat than that of the modern-day Siamese.

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Cat Health

Blood in Cat Urine – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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Causes   Symptoms   Diagnosis   Treatment

Blood in cat urine

Hematuria is the presence of red blood cells in the urine and is a symptom of an underlying disorder and isn’t a disease in itself. As are many causes of hematuria in cats ranging from mild to severe and life-threatening, prompt veterinary attention is required.

Hematuria can be classified as microscopic or gross:

  • Microscopic hematuria – The urine appears normal but upon microscopic examination,  red blood cells are present.
  • Gross hematuria – The cat’s urine is visibly discoloured due to the high numbers of red blood cells. Continue reading
Cat Articles

Feeding Advice For Fussy Cats

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Feeding advice for fussy cats

Unlike dogs, cats have a reputation for being somewhat fussy when it comes to food, but I think the word is somewhat of a misnomer. Cats aren’t intentionally fussy, there’s always a reason why a cat becomes fussy over food. This article looks at common causes of food rejection in cats and what you can do to overcome this. Continue reading

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Manx Syndrome in Cats – Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

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What is Manx syndrome?   Symptoms   Diagnosis   Treatment

Manx syndrome

What is Manx syndrome?

Manx syndrome is a collection of disorders affecting the spine and sometimes the hind limbs of affected cats. It is believed to be a form of spina bifida, in which the spine fails to develop as it should.

The condition is congenital (present at birth) and occurs during development in the caudal (tail) region of the embryonic neural tube. The (caudal/tail vertebrae) are absent and in some cases, one or more of the sacral bones are deformed or reduced in number. Along with this, a shortening of the spinal cord (spinal cord dysgenesis) and/or absence of the cauda equina (the bundle of nerves located at the lower end of the spinal cord which transmit messages to the pelvic organs and hind legs), resulting in fecal and urinary dysfunction due to innervation in the anal and perineal area affecting the bladder and anus. Partial paralysis may also occur in the hind legs.  Continue reading

Cat Health

Cat Worms – Everything You Need To Know

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Cat worms

Parasitic worms are one of the most common types of parasite to infect cats. Even indoor cats can get worms, highlighting the importance of a strict worming regime.

Worms can take up residence in many parts of the body. The three most common worms are intestinal worms, which either feed on the stomach contents or on your cat’s blood which can cause malnutrition and/or anemia. Other organs can also be infected with worms including the heart, bladder and kidney. We look at the most common parasitic worms below. Continue reading

Cat Health

Hookworms in Cats-Transmission, Symptoms & Treatment

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What are hookworms?   Transmission   Symptoms   Are hookworms dangerous?   Diagnosis   Treatment

Hookworms in cats

What are hookworms?

Hookworms are small, thin nematodes that are approximately 10 to 20 mm in length and are a common intestinal parasitic worm of dogs, but can also infect cats.

They live in the small intestine of the cat, attaching themselves to the intestinal wall using teeth-like hooks where they feed on the blood and tissue. Blood loss can lead to anaemia, intestinal bleeding, intestinal inflammation, diarrhea and even death. Continue reading

Cat Health

Giardia in Cats-Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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What is giardia?   Transmission   Symptoms   Diagnosis   Treatment   Can I catch giardia from my cat?   Preventing reinfection

giardia in cats

What is giardia?

Also known as Beaver Fever, Giardia is a protozoan (single-celled organism) parasite which is found in the small intestine of many mammals and birds including humans and cats.  Giardia duodenalis (also known as G. lamblia) can infect a wide range of mammals and can be divided into several assemblages (subpopulations) with preferred hosts.

  • A1 – Humans and a wide range of mammals including cats and dogs
  • A2 – Humans
  • A3 – Hoofed wild animals
  • B – Wide range of mammals, including humans and cats
  • C – Dogs and other canids
  • D – Dogs and other canids
  • E – Hoofed animals
  • F – Cats
  • G – Rodents

One study in Australia found the prevalence of Giardia in healthy cats to be 2%, although those numbers may be up to 12% in crowded conditions such as shelters and catteries. Kittens and young adult cats are most commonly infected as well as cats living in crowded environments and cats who are immunocompromised such as those with feline immunodeficiency virus or feline leukemia virus. Continue reading

Cat Health

Tick Paralysis in Cats – Symptoms and Treatment

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What is tick paralysis?  Appearance of ticks   How do they get onto cats?   Symptoms of poisoning   Treatment   Removing a tick   Lyme disease

Paralysis tick

What is tick paralysis?

Tick paralysis is a common and life-threatening emergency which caused by a tick bite. There are hundreds of species of ticks worldwide, with as many as 40 of whom are capable of producing paralysis.  Most cases of tick paralysis occur in Australia and the United States.

In Australia, Ixodes holocyclus (commonly referred to as paralysis ticks) are the species capable of producing paralysis. These ticks live on the east coast from North Queensland to Northern Victoria. They can be found year-round, however are most prevalent in early spring and summer.  Their natural hosts are the long-nosed bandicoot and the short-nosed bandicoot. But they can also parasitise other native animals including the possum, wallaby, and echidna, all of whom have a natural immunity to the tick’s toxin. However, paralysis ticks will infest domestic pets, livestock, and humans. The preferred habitat of ticks is areas of bush and scrub but can be picked up in other areas such as gardens, parklands, and paddocks. Continue reading

Cat Care

Caring For A Senior Cat

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Signs of aging in cats   Medical conditions senior cats are prone to   Feeding a senior cat   Other special needs   Monitoring your cat   Saying goodbye

Caring for a senior cat

With improved veterinary medicine and nutrition and so many more cats being confined to either indoors or indoors with an outside enclosure, cats are living longer than ever. With age comes special requirements to ensure your cat maintains and quality and comfortable standard of living. It is not unusual for a cat to reach 20 years of age, although the average lifespan is around 15 years. Continue reading

Cat Health

Flea Allergy Dermatitis in Cats – Symptoms and Treatment

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What is flea allergy dermatitis?   Causes   Symptoms   Diagnosis   Treatment   Prevention

Flea allergy dermatitis in cats
Image Nottingham Vet School, Flickr

What is flea allergy dermatitis?

Flea allergy dermatitis (also known as flea bite hypersensitivity) is a common itchy skin disease that is caused by a hypersensitivity to the proteins in the saliva of the flea which is injected into your cat’s skin when the flea feeds.

There is no breed or sex predisposition to flea allergy dermatitis although it is less common for cats under 1 year old to have flea allergy dermatitis.

Flea allergy dermatitis is one of the major causes of miliary dermatitis in cats and is the most common allergy seen in cats as well as being the most common skin disease to affect cats.

Fleas can be active year-round in warmer climates, or in the summer months in cooler areas. Numbers tend to peak towards the end of summer and into early autumn.

What causes flea allergy dermatitis?

There are 15 known allergens in flea saliva, each one is capable of causing an allergic reaction in the cat and just one bite from a flea is enough to trigger an allergic reaction in your cat.  Flea allergy dermatitis is one of the major causes of miliary dermatitis in cats and is the most common allergy seen in cats as well as being the most common skin disease to affect cats.

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