Educational Articles

Cats + Medical Conditions

  • The cornea is the clear, glistening membrane that makes up the surface of the eyeball. A penetration or erosion through a few layers of the outermost corneal epithelium is called a corneal erosion or corneal abrasion. A corneal ulcer is a deeper erosion through the entire epithelium down into the stroma.

  • Cats do cough, but not as often as other animals. Retching or gagging is often confused with a cough in cats. A cough is an expiratory effort producing a sudden, noisy expulsion of air from the lungs.

  • Skin cancers are fairly common in cats, but cutaneous lymphoma is quite uncommon. Only about 3% of lymphoma cases in cats occur in the skin.

  • Cyanosis is defined as a bluish discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes of the body, caused by inadequate oxygen levels. Treatment will depend upon the underlying reason for the low oxygen levels.

  • Cystitis is a general term referring to inflammation in the urinary bladder. The term cystitis does not imply a specific underlying cause. In cats, diseases of the lower urinary tract (bladder and urethra) are often grouped under the term feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). The initial diagnosis of FLUTD is based on the identification of signs of lower urinary tract inflammation.

  • A joint connects two or more bones together. Most joints in the body are mobile, allowing the bones to move in relationship to each other. The vast majority of moveable joints are held together by an outer layer of tough fibrous tissue called the "joint capsule".

  • Dental disease is one of the most common medical conditions seen by veterinarians. The most common problems are due to gingivitis (an inflammation of the gums caused by the accumulation of plaque), periodontal disease, and tooth resorption.

  • Diabetes mellitus is a disease of the pancreas. This small organ located near the stomach has two different types of cells that have very different functions. One group of cells produces the enzymes necessary for proper digestion.

  • Diabetes is a complex disease involving a hormone called insulin. When a cat does not make enough insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it does make, diabetes results. Diabetic remission occurs when a cat maintains a normal glucose level for more than four weeks without insulin injections or oral glucose regulating medications.

  • Diarrhea is the passage of feces as unformed or loose stools, usually in increased volume and frequency of passage. It is a result of increased speed of passage of fecal material through the intestine combined with decreased absorption of water, nutrients and electrolytes. Diarrhea is not a disease in itself but a clinical sign that may reflect one or more of many different problems.