To help you find out more about some of the most common medical issues in feline health, we’ve compiled a set of info sheets written by Cat Clinic staff, as well as links to websites that provide high-quality information about specific feline health topics.

Declawing. This info sheet explains The Cat Clinic’s position on declawing, what the surgery is, what complications can arise, and what alternatives exist. Highly recommended if you are considering having your cat declawed.

Holiday dangers. This info sheet covers many of the most common dangers cats can face during the winter holidays. The Clinic cats wrote much of this document.

Illnesses of the senior cat. This info sheet reviews the six illnesses most commonly seen in senior and geriatric cats: arthritis, cancer, dental disease, heart disease, hyperthyroidism, and kidney disease, including causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

Vaccinations. This info sheet explains what vaccinations we’re likely to recommend for your cat. Please note that we don’t follow a rigid formula for determining which vaccinations your cat needs when. Instead, we tailor a vaccination protocol to meet your cat’s individual needs, based on a number of factors, including age, lifestyle, and overall health.

Asthma. Asthma, formally called feline chronic small airway disease, is more common in cats than many people realize. This webpage by the Feline Advisory Bureau in the United Kingdom explains how it’s diagnosed and treated.

Behavior. The FAB is a great source of information on feline behavioral issues. This webpage includes links to FAB info sheets that explain what behaviors to expect from young and old cats, how to handle behavioral problems such as unwanted scratching or soiling, and steps you can take to help cats that are grieving or trying to adjust to feline newcomers. The American Association of Feline Practitioners’ feline behavioral guidelines are available free to both veterinarians and cat owners.

Cholangiohepatitis. This disease of the liver and bile ducts is one of the most common feline illnesses we see at The Cat Clinic. The Mar Vista Animal Medical Center in Los Angeles includes this thorough explanation of the disease on their website.

Claw trimming. In addition to the resources listed on our Declawing info sheet, this video from the Cornell Feline Health Center provides a good how-to demonstration.

Cytauxzoonosis. One of the most frustrating diseases we encounter is cytauxzoonosis (sometimes called “bobcat fever” because bobcats are the natural host), a tick-born illness that is almost always fatal in cats. This webpage from the Mar Vista Animal Medical Center provides an overview of the disease. Currently The Cat Clinic of Norman is enrolled in a university trial to test new treatment methods for this disease. If you suspect your cat might have been bitten by a tick and he or she has displayed a sudden change in behavior or appears listless, unwilling to eat, or feverish, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

Diabetes. This FAB webpage offers an excellent overview of diabetes in cats, from signs and diagnosis to treatment options. A second FAB webpage discusses what to expect if you have a newly diabetic cat.

FeLV. Between 2 and 3 percent of cats in the United States are infected with the feline leukemia virus. The Cornell Feline Health Center offers this overview of a serious feline illness.

First Aid Tips. From the American Veterinary Medical Association.

FIV. The feline immunodeficiency virus causes damage to the cat immune system and is a serious disease. Fortunately, many cats can live happily with the virus for many years so long as simple precautions are followed and the cat receives routine medical care. The Cornell Feline Health Center explains.

Heartworm disease. Cats get heartworms too. In fact, recent research has shown that heartworms are a serious and all-too-common health threat for cats. This AAFP webpage offers a brief overview of heartworms and heartworm associated respiratory disease (HARD).

Hyperthyroidism. Another FAB webpage explains all about this relatively common disease of older cats.

Medicating cats. Please contact us if your cat is a patient at The Cat Clinic and you have questions about giving medications! If you’re not a client, can’t reach us, or are just curious, this set of cat health topics from the AAFP might be useful. For a how-to guide on pilling a cat, see this video from the Cornell Feline Health Center. This video, also from Cornell, shows how to administer liquid medicines to a cat.

Poisons. The ASPCA provides a useful FAQ covering a range of pet poisons, from food to household cleaners. If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, please seek immediate veterinary care.

Renal disease. The Feline CRF Information Center is a website run by cat caretakers who’ve had extensive experience caring for cats with chronic renal (kidney) failure/insufficiency. The site is a tremendous resource for owners whose cats are newly diagnosed with renal disease. Another excellent resource is Tanya’s Feline CRF Information Centre, also run by a pet owner.

Ringworm. Also known as dermatophytosis, ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin and hair that can be irritating and frustrating to treat. This thorough webpage from the FAB explains all you need to know.

Toxic plants. Many common household plants are toxic to cats, including all types of lilies. The ASPCA offers a searchable database of toxic plants and includes photographs of many of them. (The Cat Fanciers’ Association offers a more printer-friendly, single-page list of toxic and nontoxic plants.) If you suspect that your cat has ingested a toxic plant, please seek immediate veterinary care.

Toxoplasmosis. Many people, especially pregnant women and their doctors, are concerned about the role of cats in transmitting this parasite. As this FAB info sheet explains, having a cat does not put you at greater risk. A similar info sheet from the U.S.-based Cornell Feline Health Center makes the same points.

Vomiting. A common symptom in ill cats, vomiting can mean many widely different things. This roundup from the AAFP explains the differences between vomiting, regurgitation, and coughing and points to helpful links elsewhere online.

© 2009 by The Cat Clinic of Norman, P.C.