Conjunctivitis is common in cats, and can vary from mild infections called “gum eye” to more serious conditions caused by the Chlamydia organism.
Gum eye is mostly seen in kitten just after their eyes have opened at about seven days up until about three weeks of age. The cats eyes appear to be firmly glued together with a discharge and this may be due to a mild viral infection. The mother cat will normally wash the eyes open, but sometimes they need some help. To do this, bathe the kitten’s eye with a sterile pad soaked in cold water. Always work from the corner of the eye nearest the nose outwards. Should it persist for more than a few days see a vet.
A blood blister called a haematoma can occur on the cats ear flap due to excessive shaking and rubbing caused by irritation. Without skilled treatment, the cat will develop a deformed ear flap will result in cauliflower ear.
Cat nasal discharges are normally due to viral infection such as cat flu and should be treated by the vet. Certain breeds for cat have restricted nostrils, and the flattening of the face causes kinking of the tear duct. The cat will probably always have eye and nasal discharges that have to be constantly attended to by the owner. Rarely a cat may show an asthmatic condition, having become allergic to one or more of the substances it encounters every day. Your vet should be able to diagnose any allergies. Long term treatment may be necessary.
Chest and Lungs
Inflammation of the membrane that covers the lungs and inside of the chest cavity is called pleurisy. Cats may have fluid in their chests for various reasons, ranging from heart failure to injuries. Usually, the fluid is sterile, but it may become infected with bacteria. The cats breathing becomes difficult and sudden exercise results in panting and wide-eyed, very distressed appearance.
The condition needs urgent attention, and despite chest drains and antibiotic treatment many cats do not respond, and die of the condition known as pyothorax.
Cats can sometimes develop a type of acne, where blackheads appear on the chin. These are caused by excessive production and secretion of sebum, which lubricates the hair. The pores through which the sebum is released may become blocked. When it occurs on the top of the tail it is known as “stud tail”. Both conditions should be treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. If your cat has these conditions, keep both areas scrupulously clean to prevent recurrence, and if in any doubt, consult the vet.
Constipation and diarrhoea often occur during the life of a healthy cat. There are many reasons why a cat becomes constipated. Fur balls are a usual cause, but sometimes insufficient roughage may be the problem. Introduce some bran or other cereal into the cats diet. If the condition persists take the cat to the vet. It may indicate a more serious condition such as megacolon.
There are cat preparations on the market, but home-made remedies are often just as effective. These involve a mild diet of bland food which does not upset the system. Try feeding the cat cooked white meat and fish bulked out with boiled rice or pasta. Another remedy is to sprinkle dehydrated potato granules on the cats food.
With both constipation and diarrhoea, the anal glands which are situated on either side of the anal opening, may become blocked, infected and swell up. Clearing them out can be done at home, but it’s not pleasant and does require some skill and is probably better left to a professional.
In addition to being a uncomfortable, excessive diarrhoea or straining can cause a condition called an anal prolapse. This can easily be recognized – a small section of the bowel protrudes through the anal opening. Do not do anything about this yourself; a vet must immediately put this back into its proper pace, possibly with a stitch or two to secure it.