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Feline Cardiomyopathy

What is cardiomyopathy?

Cardiomyopathy is a term used to describe diseases of the heart muscle. In cats, three classes of cardiomyopathy have been described: hypertrophic, dilated and intermediate or restrictive cardiomyopathy. In all classes, the heart disease usually results in clinical signs of heart failure. Cardiomyopathy may be seen as a primary condition or secondary to other diseases.

What are the clinical signs seen with cardiomyopathy?

In the early stages of disease, the cat may be able to cope and will not show any signs of disease. This is referred to as compensated ... Read More

Allergies in Cats

What are allergies and how do they affect cats?

One of the most common conditions affecting cats is allergy. An allergy occurs when the cat's immune system "overreacts" to foreign substances called allergens or antigens. Those overreactions are manifested in one of three ways. The most common manifestation is itching of the skin, either localized in one area or a generalized reaction all over the cat’s body. Another manifestation involves the respiratory system and may result in coughing, sneezing, and wheezing. Sometimes, there may be an associated nasal or ocular (eye) discharge. The third manifestation involves the digestive system, resulting in vomiting, flatulence or diarrhea.

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Chin Acne

What is chin acne?

Feline chin acne is a poorly understood disorder of follicular keratinization, which means the overproduction of keratin, a protein found in the outer layer of skin. When this excess keratin is trapped in the hair follicle, comedones or “blackheads” form. These comedones may become infected with bacteria and form pustules or “pimples”. Feline chin acne is similar to the acne that humans get.

What causes chin acne?

While the exact mechanism is not understood, the abnormal follicular keratinization is thought to be related to a primary gene... Read More

Ask the Vet – My Cat Does Strange Things by Kristel Weaver, DVM, MPVM

Who needs television when you have a cat? They are as unique as we are and endlessly entertaining. Some of the strange behaviors we see in our domestic cats are related to wild felid behaviors.

My cat plays fetch with pompom balls.  Isn't this behavior typical of dogs, not cats?

Cats love to pretend to hunt small furry items and young cats are especially playful.  In the wild, a mother cat brings food home to her kittens, so retrieving is also instinctual. Not all cats play fetch, but if your cat has figured out this game of hunting and retrieving it’s a great way for her to play and exercise. 

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