I have a question concerning  Cat

Here you will find answers by our team of vets to FAQs to frequently asked questions in relation to Cat, Diseases

Frequently asked questions about Diseases:

  • Is the length of treatment for ear mites of over 6 weeks normal?
  • My cat sneezes, her nose is runny and she eats little. Has she got cat flu?
  • My male cat has coughing fits at irregular intervals. What causes this?
  • My cats drink a lot and use their litter tray often. Do the two have kidney problems?
  • Do I need to go to the vet if my cat is scratching her ear and has scabs? Could this be mites?
  • Is there an alternative for ultrasound treatment for tartar? My cat also does not eat the special food.
  • Is massive fur loss and dandruff in my cats a result of deficiencies?
  • Can cat fleas be passed onto humans?
  • My elderly male cat breathes heavily. What’s the cause of this?
  • My male cat was stung by a wasp. Is this sting a danger to him?
  • My cat has uncontrolled spasms after she had a fight with a neighbouring animal last week. What can this be and what can I do about it?
  • Our male cat has asthma-like attacks when he plays around. What can this be and what can we do?
  • What can be the reason for excessive amounts of knots in my male Persian cat’s fur when he is brushed daily?

Is the length of treatment for ear mites of over 6 weeks normal?

Question:
We got two cats (5 months old) 6 weeks ago that both have ear mites. I have been treating them with Orisel once every two days since then. Is it normal that it takes so long before the ear mites disappear? My vet gave me the ointment.

Answer:
Ear mites lay their eggs under the skin. The larvae stay under the skin for 3 weeks until all mature mites hatch and live on the skin. The ointment can only kill the adult mites in parts. Therefore, one has to continue treatment (at least 4 weeks) until all larvae hatched and one can be sure to have killed all mites. If one stops in between or too early, some larvae have time to hatch and to lay eggs under the skin again. In such a case, one would have to start treatment again from scratch.

 My cat sneezes, her nose is runny and she eats little. Has she got cat flu?

Question:
My cat is still very young (10 weeks old) and for two weeks she has a runny nose at times and sneezes (once or twice a day). Otherwise, she is very mobile and runs around and that is why we have not considered bringing her to the vet. But for a week, she has also been eating less. Could she have cat flu and should I go to the vet?

Answer:
Sneezing and a runny nose in young cats is almost always an indication of cat flu. However, cat flu is no harmless cold but a very serious infectious disease. It varies from individual to individual how serious the illness is but in order to avoid later damage to eyes and lungs, every cat with suspected cat flu should be treated immediately. The longer you wait with bringing her to the vet, the more elaborate and expensive the treatment will be. Even if it takes a long time, you really should have the cat treated up to full recovery and then have her vaccinated.   

 My male cat has coughing fits at irregular intervals. What causes this?

Question:
My male cat (European domestic, 3 years old) gets sporadic coughing fits, his head goes down then and he tilts it to the right while coughing. This only happens every few days though. What causes this?

Answer:
Such coughing fits can have various causes. Asthma, for example, is a relatively frequent cause of “coughing fits” in cats. It could also be a bit of grass in the throat, laryngitis or another irritation for the cat’s larynx. A vet has to examine the male cat thoroughly to help him. The vet can then start the correct treatment according to the cause. 

My cats drink a lot and use their litter tray often. Do the two have kidney problems?

Question:
My two cats are 16 years old, eat regularly, like to drink a lot and accordingly, use the litter tray often. Does this suggest that they have kidney problems as I know that this is often the case in cats? Otherwise, they are very healthy. Thank you in advance for your reply.

Answer:
The kidneys are unfortunately often really the first organs to get sick in older cats. Drinking a lot may indicate a kidney problem however this cannot be determined without an examination. I therefore advise you to have the blood and urine of the cats checked. These examinations can detect the start of kidney damage and therefore, treatment can commence early enough. If you wait until the cats are really bad and showing clear symptoms (thin, scruffy fur, bad appetite etc), it is often already too late for treatment

Do I need to go to the vet if my cat is scratching her ear and has scabs? Could this be mites?

Question:
My cat is scratching her ear and has brown scabs in her auditory canal. Could this be mites? Do I have to go to the vet or could I treat this myself?

Answer:
Cat ears are highly sensitive organs with an even more sensitive inner skin. Scabs are always a sign of infection and can be caused by mites but also by foreign bodies, bacteria, fungi, etc.. Of course treatment varies according to cause of illness and wrong treatment can result in very bad infections (e.g. too harsh cleaners, cleaning with cotton swabs). You should therefore never clean or treat the ears on your own but always go to the vet to receive accurate instructions. Please also do not wait to visit the vet as these infections are very unpleasant for the cat and can become very bad if not treated on time and therefore, treatment can also be more expensive.

Is there an alternative for ultrasound treatment for tartar? My cat also does not eat the special food.

Question:
What do I have to do against tartar so that this does not become chronic? My vet said that I should use special dry food (“expensive”). But my male cat likes to eat tinned food best in contrast to the cat. Do you have a tip for me? Is the removal via ultrasound even sensible and when do you have to expect a repeat procedure if the teeth are not cleaned? In addition, my vet noticed that the tartar mainly was to be found in the region of the molars. The incisors were almost not affected.

Answer:
Tartar occurs in cats, as with all other animals, in very different individual forms. How seriously the relevant animal is affected mainly depends on the saliva composition. This is a film of bacteria which stores minerals from the saliva and then becomes a “rock hard” film which can be removed completely only by ultrasound. If this film occurs, therefore the only option to remove it is ultrasound. If you scrape it off manually, residue stays on the tooth and tartar quickly reforms. If you do not remove it, tartar pushes the gum back and the teeth fall out. In cats, mostly only the molars are affected. There are various options to slow down tartar formation. The most effective option is, exactly as with humans, daily brushing of the teeth. Unfortunately, that is almost impossible in cats. The second best option is mechanical cleaning with chewing bones. But cats only rarely take these chewing sticks. In nature, chewing through mice cleans the teeth (the skin is tough and cleans the teeth). We only have the option of feeding special food to our domestic cats. This dry food has a special consistency so that it does not break up immediately when being crunched but the tooth enters the bit first and is cleaned. The intervals, in which the removal by ultrasound is required, are prolonged decisively. The male cat’s preference is of course a problem, especially as cats that mainly eat wet food, often no longer have chewing muscles and therefore refuse to chew. It is very important to dental health to get him back to chewing (like children who do not want to brush their teeth). When the chewing muscles are retrained, he will also accept the food. Remember that your male cat is getting older and can handle sedation less well. The better you train him to “brush his teeth”, the less often you have to expose him to this treatment. You will also notice that this food is by no means more expensive than tinned food. If it is very high quality food, the male cat needs less portions a day and it is therefore no more expensive than cheaper food. In addition, these high quality food brands do not only have advantages for dental health but also promote good digestion and therefore the general well being of the animals. Do not switch the food quickly but feed increasingly more dry food, so that the digestive tract can adapt to the new food.

Is massive fur loss and dandruff in my cats a result of deficiencies?

Question:
I have a question concerning my two cats. At the moment, they are losing their fur massively; I noticed that two of my cats have very noticeable dandruff. Is this a form of deficiency? And if yes, why do only the two older cats have it but not the little one (1 year old)? They all eat the same food.

Answer:
Dandruff can have the most varied causes. A deficiency is a rather rare reason and does often occur in cats that are fed with homemade food and not with cat food. Another reason can be the change of fur with a corresponding excess stress on the skin or an individual food incompatibility. But it also can be totally unrelated to food, e.g. a slight allergic reaction to some environmental stimulus or a hormonal dysfunction. I advise the following to eliminate food related reasons and to give the skin some substances to regenerate more easily: Switch your cats, if they tolerate it, to high quality dry food with the following properties. It should be easy to digest, contain high quality proteins and fibres for intestinal bacteria so that the intestinal flora can develop at an optimum level. Only a healthy intestine can give the skin everything it needs. In addition, the food should contain Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. These fatty acids help the body’s defences to fight better against smaller infections. Your Maxizoo store will be happy to advise you on the right food. In addition, you can administer a vitamin preparation for the skin so that it has all substances in excess during its high performance phase, the change of fur. Be patient during the change. Switch the food slowly within 3-4 days. You have to expect 6 to 8 weeks wait until you can see the desired improvement in your cat’s fur. If the switch does not help even after that period of time, you should have the animals checked by a vet to rule out disease.

Can cat fleas be passed onto humans?

Question:
Can cat fleas be passed onto humans?

Answer:
The temperature of human skin is not at an optimum for cat fleas. It therefore generally does not go onto humans. Massive flea infestation in the flat, however, can result in “slip ups” and people can also be bitten (very itchy, circular bites are typical). In this case, the flat and the cats (and dogs if present) have to be treated for fleas thoroughly. The fleas do not stay on humans even then but return to the carpet or blanket after biting and wait for a cat or dog to pass by.

My elderly male cat breathes heavily. What’s the cause of this?

Question:
The male cat (Persian mix, 14 years old), castrated, has been breathing so heavily recently and is quickly out of breath. If he wants to hiss, he starts to cough (which is no direct cough). He also often sounds rattled when purring. One person says it could be the heart, another says its asthma and another says that it’s water in the lungs. I know I have to go to the vet but as one of my animals was put down in July, I’m afraid. I do not have the impression that my cat is in pain or feels unwell. What is your opinion in this case?

Answer:
Difficulties breathing, coughing, rattling and heavy breathing can have a series of different causes. As your acquaintances said, a heart problem, possibly a subsequent pulmonary oedema “water in the lungs”, feline asthma but also an infection of the throat and the larynx, the windpipe or the lungs or bronchi could be behind this. You really only can be sure whether it is a harmless laryngitis or heart disease if you have your cat checked by a vet. Your fear of a visit to the vet is understandable but you should give yourself a push for the sake of your cat’s wellbeing. You have noticed for some time that he is not feeling well; even if he does not seem to suffer at the moment, an acute deterioration can occur depending on the illness which could be prevented by a visit to the vet. The probability is very high that the vet can initiate a successful treatment which helps your male cat after exact diagnosis. Heart disease, e.g. can be managed very well in most cases, your male cat could have a much longer life due to early treatment.

My male cat was stung by a wasp. Is this sting a danger to him?

Question:
My male cat Kimba (Burmese, 1 year old) stepped on a wasp and now has a swollen paw! Does this die down as in humans or is this dangerous for my male cat Kimba due to the poison. He is running around as normal but constantly licks the paw. Also no whining or anything!

Answer:
Normally, wasp stings in animals die down the same as in humans. However, animals lick very heavily on the sting which can lead to infection and prevent healing. You should present the animal to the vet. The vet can decide if the whole thing can be left alone, if the animal should get anything for the itching so that he doesn’t lick that much or if a protective bandage should be put on.

My cat has uncontrolled spasms after she had a fight with a neighbouring animal last week. What can this be and what can I do about it?

Question:
My cat (European domestic, 4 years old, outdoor cat) has had spasms or waves. This means that it looks as if a wave is running through her from the neck to the tip of the tail. She also runs senselessly around in zigzag at times. She behaves strangely sometimes. She is shy and hides as if I was a stranger. About 1 week ago, the neighbouring male cat gave her a good “going-over”. She only had some scratches which have scabs now. What can this be and what can I do about it? P.S.: I can hardly get her into the carrying cage to bring her to the vet.

Answer:
You should absolutely bring the cat to a vet. Bites and scratches by other cats in particular can become seriously infected under the skin and can become real suppurative foci. This causes a pain which makes the cat “spasm” and suddenly shies. These wounds should therefore be controlled and treated as soon as possible. The longer you wait with going to the vet, the more extensive and unpleasant the treatment will be.

Our male cat has asthma-like attacks when he plays around. What can this be and what can we do?

Question:
Our male cat Gizmo (Persian, 1 year old) suffers from asthma-like attacks when he is playing around. But he is not short of breath, he is only panting. What can be the cause and what can be done?

Answer:
Panting after play can be caused by a larynx or pharynx infection. In this case, your male cat has to pant, choke or cough at other times during the day as well. Your male cat’s behaviour can also be a sign of serious heart disease. Increased panting, wheezing, shortness of breath, longer recovery periods of the animal, often even dry retching or coughing are typical symptoms. There is asthma bronchiole in cats but this does not occur regularly following physical exercise but mostly directly after contact with allergens (e.g. in spring with pollen). I advise you to have your cat checked thoroughly by a vet, especially for an infection of the throat, tonsils or larynx and for heart disease. Only then can the cause be found and your cat be helped.

What can be the reason for excessive amounts of knots in my male Persian cat’s fur when he is brushed daily?

Question:
My male cat (Persian, 6 months old) is brushed daily but his fur still becomes entangled and there are knots. I have to have him shaved completely now. Can I sedate him as he is still so young? Could the cause be his food?

Answer:
Persians have very fine long fur which will become entangled again and again. The only remedy is to brush the cat extensively every day. It is important that the brush or comb does not smooth out the fur superficially but also works out the daily small tangles. You could use a spray for cats to simplify brushing which makes it more pleasant for the cat. Sensitive areas like the stomach and armpits must not be left out when brushing daily. Food has no effect on tangles. The sedation is no problem for young animals; they handle the sedative much better than older animals. You should think about having the cat castrated and tattooed or chipped at the same time. This would mean that he had overcome all unpleasant things during his youth with one sedation.