Cat Parasites and Diseases

Orange and white cat licking her paw.

Hairballs

The accumulation of hair within the stomach is the most common cause of vomiting in cats. Because of their self-grooming habits and the roughened nature of their tongues, cats are prone to hairballs. Incidence of this problem increases during the spring and fall months because of increased shedding. When the hair is swallowed, it can …

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Cat resting in the grass.

Gastrointestinal Response to Disease and Treatment

Considering what they have to go through each day, the stomach and intestines make up a remarkable organ system. In the performance of their daily nutritional functions, they must be on constant guard to protect themselves from autodigestion by digestive acids and enzymes produced and must constantly battle foreign organisms and agents that are inadvertently …

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Cat with a sweater sitting outside the house.

Pneumonia

When inflammation strikes actual tissue within the lungs themselves, a condition of pneumonia is said to exist. Pneumonia doesn’t necessarily mean that an infection is present; on the contrary, there are a number of noninfectious causes of pneumonia that need to be considered whenever a cat is showing signs of lung disease. For instance, aspiration …

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Black cat resting next to the window.

Pleural Effusion

Pleural effusion is not really a disease entity in itself; rather, it is a sign of disease. It occurs more frequently in cats than it does in dogs. The pleural space is an air-filled space located in the thoracic cavity between the inner thoracic wall and the thoracic organs themselves. Pleural effusion is a buildup …

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Orange and white cat licking her paw.

Feline Asthma

Cats can suffer from asthma attacks very similar to those seen in people. They are usually triggered by an allergic reaction to pollens and other allergens that are breathed into the lungs. The reaction caused by the immune system’s response can be minor, or it can be quite severe, causing bronchitis and pneumonitis (inflammation of …

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Cat hiding in her scratching post.

Hemobartonellosis

Hemobartonellosis is a disease seen primarily in cats, although dogs that have been splenectomized or suffer from immunosuppression can be at risk as well. This disease, which causes a profound anemia, occurs most often in young, male cats around 4 to 6 years old. Insects are thought to be the mode of transmission between these …

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Cat sleeping in her bed.

Cytauxzoonosis

Cytauxzoonosis is found mainly across the southeastern portion of the United States in cats allowed to roam in heavily wooded areas. Ticks are thought to transmit this protozoal organism, which attacks the host’s red blood cells and causes anemia. As a result, clinical signs associated with cytauxzoonosis include those related to anemia, such as loss …

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Lyme Disease

Lyme disease has come to the forefront in public awareness because of its ability to cause human illness. The disease, caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, is spread to dogs and to humans primarily through the bite of an infected tick. The disease is fairly rare in cats. Many different species of ticks can be …

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Orange cat sitting on stairs.

Ehrlichiosis

Ehrlichiosis, also known as canine typhus, is caused by the bacterial organism Ehrlichia canis. One of many tickborne diseases, ehrlichiosis is primarily a disease of dogs, although cats can be affected in rare instances. The disease is spread from dog to dog by the bite of the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus. First reported in …

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