Listed below are a few problems cat owners have trouble with. The cats comfort is at the top of everyone's list so if you learn the signs and signals of problems you will be able to do with any situation a lot quicker.
These are just a couple of examples of a few problems, and this list will be added to over a period of time.
Antifreeze Poisoning (Ethylene glycol) in Cats
A common cause of poisoning in cats & a leading cause of acute kidney failure. It is a clear, odourless liquid with a sweet taste which is attractive to cats, dogs & children. Once ingested the body starts to break down the ethylene glycol quickly. Around 50% of the ethylene glycol is excreted by the kidneys, the remainder is metabolised by the body into other toxins including glycolate, glycoaldehyde, glyoxylate & oxalate. While ethylene glycol is relatively non toxic, the metabolism causes by products which are highly toxic to the cat. Even as little as a teaspoon or two is enough to kill a cat & ingestion of ethylene glycol is always a medical emergency, and you should take your cat to the veterinarian immediately.
Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning in cats?
Within 30 minutes to 12 hours of ingestion the cat show the following symptoms:
• The cat will appear intoxicated, stumbling, lack of coordination, dizziness & vomiting.
• Excessive thirst.
• Excessive urination.
• Rapid breathing
Aspirin Poisoning in Cats
Aspirin is one of the most well known & popular over the counter drugs available. Therefore it is easy to assume that it is safe for cats, but this is not the case.
Unlike humans, cats metabolise aspirin very slowly and it is extremely easy to give a cat a fatal overdose in as little as a single tablet. Aspirin poisoning occurs when a carer intentionally gives the cat a high dosage of aspirin, gives aspirin over a prolonged period or accidentally gives a product containing aspirin.
Aspirin can be used in very small doses, but only under strict veterinary supervision. It is absolutely vital that cat owners do not self medicate their cat
What are the symptoms of aspirin poisoning?
Symptoms of aspirin poisoning include;
• Loss of balance
• Vomiting, which may contain blood
Without treatment the following may occur:
Constipation is not a disease, but a symptom of an underlying problem. It is defined as the infrequent passage of small, hard & dry stools. There is no set number of bowel movements a cat must take in a day, but one to two is fairly average. It can affect cats of any age although it is seen more commonly in middle aged to elderly cats.
The causes of constipation
• Reluctance to defecate due to behavioural issues.
• Obstruction of the colon.
• Dietary: Diets
• Drugs & medications:
• Pelvic injuries from car accidents.
What are the symptoms of constipation?
As one would expect the most obvious sign of constipation is straining, after a period of straining the cat may pass a small amount of watery feces, or small hard/dry feces, it may cry in pain as it attempts to defecate.
• Crouching & straining
• Hunching over, due to discomfort
• Loss of appetite
• Weight loss
Heat Stroke in Cats
Heat stroke (also known as hyperthermia) is a life threatening medical condition in which the body's internal organs (liver, kidneys, lungs, heart & brain) begin to shut down as a result of elevated body temperature caused by high temperatures & humidity.
The cat's body temperature is approximately 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, or 38.2 to 39.2 Celsius. If the outside temperature is warmer than the cat's internal temperature heatstroke is a very real possibility.
What are the symptoms of heat stroke?
• Rapid panting
• Bright red tongue
• Dark red gums or pale gums
• Salivating (thick)
• Muscle tremors
• Capillary refill time of less than 1 second
• Vomiting (possibly with blood)
• Diarrhoea (possibly with blood)
• Bleeding from the nose
Some cats are more susceptible than others, these include short nosed breeds such as Persians & Exotics, young & old cats, obese cats & cats with airway disease.
Is My Cat Pregnant?
The gestation period for a cat is 63-65 days. This varies between cat though, and anywhere between 60 to 70 days is normal.
What are the signs of pregnancy in cats?
Unlike humans, it is not possible to determine a pregnancy via a blood or urine test in cats. However, there are often indications that your cat is pregnant, some signs include;
• By the third week of pregnancy the cat's nipples will become enlarged & pink. This is known as 'pinking up'.
• By the fourth week of pregnancy she should have gained enough weight to make her pregnancy visible.
• By 3-4 weeks your veterinarian should be able to palpitate the abdomen & feel the babies