Introduction.  A lot of the medical information on this web site is interchangeable between dogs and cats. 
But some diseases and problems are more or less unique to cats. 
And of course, cats themselves are unique and fascinating creatures.
This page is devoted to my feline friends.

ACETAMINOPHEN (Tylenol)  is Poisonous to Cats

Cats have less of the enzyme required to detoxify acetaminophen. As a result, there are many dangerous metabolites, or break-down products of this medicine that bind to red blood cells and other tissue cells, resulting in the destruction of these cells. There may also be direct damage to cells. As little as one regular strength tablet (325 mg) can poison a cat to the degree that it can develop noticeable clinical signs of illness. Two extra-strength tablets are likely to kill a cat.
More information about this and other poisons on our poison pages.

Asthma:  Clients who think cats trigger asthma in children might be mistaken

I thought this was interesting: 

A study funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences found that high levels of cat allergen decrease the risk of asthma by altering the body's immune response to cats.

Researchers measured the levels of antibodies in children and found that although low-to-medium amounts of cat allergen trigger allergies, high amounts reduce immunoglobulin antibodies and the likelihood of asthma.

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There is a complete site map at the bottom of this page

The Cat Page

Things of general and medical interest including introductory leads about...
Cats and asthma in children    
Tylenol poisoning
Heart enlargement in cats
Heartworm disease in cats
Antifreeze poisoning
Thyroid cancer in cats
A short history of cats

Directory to our pages about different feline diseases
Website Directory

Home    The Human-Animal Bond     The History of Veterinary Medicine    About our No Kill Shelter     The FoxNest Veterinary Hospital     

"What To Expect When You Go To The Vet"
if your pet should have a problem with ...

Abscesses, wounds, and injuries

Arthritis, Lameness, Fractures, and Ligament Injuries
To include Femoral Head Removal, Hip Dysplasia, Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries, Panosteitis, Radiographic Demonstrations, Disc Disease, and Bone Surgery

Bladder, Urinary Tract, & Kidney Problems

Blood Diseases, Anemias etc
Strokes, Vascular Diseases, Anemias, DVT, DIC, Blood Parasites, Rat Poison, & Bleeding disorders

Cancer, Masses, Lumps and Bumps

Cardiology  Heart disease in Cats, Cardiac Hypertrophy, Valvular disease, Cardiac Insufficiency, Congestive Heart Failure, Heartworm Disease, and a little history about the milestones in treating heart disease

Cats: general information page and directory of diseases and problems specific to cats including vaccine recommendations, leukemia, feline viral infections, feline upper respiratory disease and cats that just aren't feeling well.

Dentistry and problems of the mouth and throat

Dermatology: Skin problems including allergies, rashes, bacterial infections, and itching. Hair Loss, Yeast Infections, Hormonal Problems


Ear Infections and Other Ear Problems

Eye Problems  and Ophthalmic Diseases

Exotics:  Pocket Pets, Rabbits, Hamsters etc

Fleas, Ticks, and other parasite problems

Heart disease; Cardiac diseases, vascular diseases, stroke, & heartworms

Hormone Diseases: Diabetes, Thyroid Disease, Cushing's Disease or Hypercortisolism, Addison's disease or Hypocortisolism, Pancreatitis, obesity as a disease

Infectious Diseases  Colds, Distemper, Parvo, Leptospirosis, Bruceellosis, Panleukopenia, Feline AIDS, Leukemia, Hepatitis, Kennel Cough, Ringworm, Rabies, FIP, Canine Herpes, Toxic Shock Syndrome, & More

Intestinal problems: diarrhea, constipation, torsion, indigestion, and gas. Also pancreatitis, vomiting, esophagitis, colitis, parvo and other types of dysentery

Kidney Disease

Liver Diseases     

Metabolic Diseases: Diabetes, Thyroid Disease, Cushing's Disease or Hypercortisolism, Addison's disease or Hypocortisolism, Pancreatitis, obesity as a disease

Neural Problems and Diseases: Epilepsy, Rabies, Distemper, FIP, Paralysis, Tetanus, Seizures, Disc Disease, Toxoplasmosis & others

Obesity; new information and about Pfizer's new FDA approved treatment


Parasite Problems; Fleas, Ticks, Heartworms, Intestinal Worms, Mosquitos, Lice, Mites, and other welfare recipients

Poisons  Snakes, Insects, household chemicals, plants, and foods that might poison your pet

Respiratory Diseases

Senior Pet Page: Geriatric Medicine

Skeletal-Muscular Problems Arthritis, Fractures, ACL, Ligament Injuries, Disc Disease, Pannus, and many other problems of the bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments

Skin Problems: allergies, rashes, bacterial infections, and itching. Hair Loss, Yeast Infections, Hormonal Problems

Surgery: Spays, Castrations, Testicle Recipes, Soft Tissue Surgery, Hard Tissue Surgery (Bones), C- Sections, Declawing, Tumor Removal and Cancer Surgery

Wounds, punctures, injuries, and abscesses

Urinary Tract Diseases and Problems

Other Topics on This Site

The Human-Animal Bond

History of Veterinary Medicine; lots of interesting stuff    

Zoonotics: Diseases, worms, and parasites people get from pets.

Lab Tests and what they tell us

Medications/Pharmacy Page

Nutrition & Diets
Includes information about Prescription diets used to treat disease, and a discussion about the pet food industry

Reproduction, breeding, & rearing information
Includes information about feline and canine heat or estrus, breeding, C-Sections, pyometra or Infected Uterus, dystocia, no milk, mastitis, & brucellosis
Also newborn care, undescended testicles, and alternative to spaying and castration

Vaccine and other preventive health recommendations

WildLife Page:  Taking care of baby bunnies, squirrels, and birds.  A very funny story about beavers, and other misc information

Our Dog Page:  a directory of problems of concern in dogs including parvovirus, distemper, canine herpes, and other diseases

Veterinary Pet Insurance

Total U.S. owned cat population  71 million

Of the 71 million, 87% are already neutered or spayed by their caring owners

Total unowned/feral cat population  est. 25-40 million

Number of cats and dogs entering shelters annually:  8.3 million 

More than half of cats entering shelters are relinquished by their owners for reasons such as: 
-landlord won't allow pet
-too many animals in home
-cost of pet maintenance
-owner's personal problems

Approximately half of the cats entering shelters are unadoptable because they are too old, sick, have serious behavior problems, or are unweaned litters of unowned/feral cats.

Less than 1% of cats entering shelters are purebred

Feline Normal Values:

Normal Temperature range - 100.0 to 102.5
Average weight range - 6 to 14 lbs
Heart rate - up to 250 beats per minute 
Pulse rate - 110 to 130
Respiration - 20 to 30
Gestation - 62 days give or take a few days
Estrous Cycle - as often as every 15 to 21 days
Estrus - 2-4 days
Average life span - 10 to 18 years
Cat History...
Cats first came to Europe and the Middle East about 1000 B.C., most likely from Greek and Phoenician traders. The ancient Greeks and Romans also highly valued cats for their ability to control undesirable rodents. The cat was considered the guardian spirit of a household, and the symbol of liberty in Rome.

Domestic cats then spread throughout Asia, where they were used to protect the silkworm cocoons from rodents, which was vital to the silk industry. The people of the Orient greatly admired the mystery and beauty of the cat, and many writers and artists in Japan and China celebrated these animals in their art.

Click here for a short history of cats and a very interesting article about cat extermination in Australia
Heartworm Disease in Cats

Cases of heartworm disease in cats have been reported across the United States and many other countries. Heartworm disease is most common in areas where dogs are also at risk.

The symptoms are often more subtle than in dogs but include
coughing , vomiting, breathing difficulties, weight loss, and lethargy ... signs that are often mistaken for other conditions such as asthma, pneumonia and digestive problems.

In fact, most common clinical signs of heartworm disease in cats resembles bronchial asthma.

For more about heartworm disease in cats, please go to our section about heart disease:

Antifreeze Poisoning

Signs of antifreeze poisoning depend upon the time after ingestion. In the first few hours after ingestion the pet may be depressed and staggering and may have seizures. They may drink lots of water, urinate large amounts and vomit. The pet may appear to feel better but in a day or two get much worse as the kidneys fail. Signs of kidney failure include depression and vomiting. The amount of urine they pass will often decrease to a very small amount.
For more information about antifreeze poisoning, go to our section on urinary tract diseases    or to our page about   Anti-Freeze Poisoning

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Heart enlargement and the poor health associated with this problem is fairly common in middle aged and older cats... and one of the main reasons we recommend survey radiographs as part of our preventive health program for cats over 7 years old.

The cause of HCM is unknown, although certain breeds of cats appear to be predisposed. Middle-aged male cats may be more commonly affected. Sometimes heart muscle thickening similar to HCM can develop secondary to other disorders such as hyperthyroidism (elevated thyroid hormone) and systemic hypertension (elevated blood pressure).

For more information about this and other heart diseases of cats, please go to our section about heart disease.

Hyperthyroidism in the Cat

At our clinic, we detect and treat about 1 or 2 cases of hyperthyroidism in cats each month.  It's fairly common in older cats and is usually caused by a cancerous condition causing the thyroid glands in the throat to over produce thyroid hormone.  Thyroid hormone is critical to cell metabolism and good health, but like so many things in life, too much causes trouble:

Signs of hyperthyroidism can include:
·weight loss
·increased appetite
·increased activity and restlessness
·aggressive or "cranky" behavior
·a poor hair coat
·a fast heart rate
·increased water drinking
·increased urination
·periodic vomiting
·increased amount of  stool or diarrhea

Click here to go to our page about hyperthyroidism in cats

"The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited breath."
--W. C. Fields