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Cats + Medical Conditions

  • Cerebellar hypoplasia is a developmental condition in which the cerebellum of the brain fails to develop properly. It most commonly occurs when a pregnant cat becomes infected with feline panleukopenia virus and passes the infection to her unborn kittens. Since the cerebellum is responsible for purposeful movement and coordination, the symptoms of this condition may not become apparent until the kitten starts to try to stand or walk on its own. There is no treatment; however, kittens with cerebellar hypoplasia are not infectious to other kittens or cats, are not in any pain, and will learn to adapt to their disability over time.

  • Chediak-Higashi Syndrome is a rare genetic disease of smoke-blue Persian cats. The condition affects how the body processes waste products, resulting in changes within the body’s cells and leading to abnormal pigmentation of the skin and coat. The condition can lead to eye abnormalities and problems with blood clotting, but most cats can have a normal lifespan with careful health monitoring.

  • Chin acne in cats is a poorly understood disorder of follicular keratinization (the overproduction of keratin, a protein found in the outer layer of skin). If this excess keratin is trapped in the hair follicle, comedones (blackheads) form. Pustules (pimples) may form if bacteria infect the comedones. The underlying causes are not fully understood but may be associated with excess sebum production, viral infection, immunosuppression, stress, or poor grooming. Treatment options are available and often involve improved hygiene.

  • Chlamydial conjunctivitis in cats is highly contagious and can look similar to herpes conjunctivitis. Young cats and kittens are especially vulnerable to this infection, although chlamydia can be detected in cats of all ages. It is one of the most common causes of infectious conjunctivitis in cats. This handout describes the clinical signs and how this condition can be treated or prevented.

  • Cholangitis is a term referring to inflammation of the bile duct. Cholangiohepatitis means inflammation of the bile ducts, gall bladder, and surrounding liver tissue. Cholangitis and cholangiohepatitis usually occur together as a complex or syndrome (CCHC or CCHS) and is much more common in cats than in dogs.

  • Chronic bronchitis is a long-term inflammatory condition that affects the pulmonary or respiratory system. This condition is irreversible and is slowly progressive.

  • The kidneys have many functions. They principally act to remove waste products from the blood stream, regulate the levels of certain essential minerals such potassium and sodium, conserve water, and produce urine. The kidneys have a large amount of spare capacity to perform their various functions so at least two-thirds (67% to 70%) of the kidneys must be dysfunctional before any clinical signs are seen.

  • When clinical signs of upper respiratory tract inflammation, such as sneezing or nasal and eye discharge, persist over weeks or months, or when they tend to recur at intervals of a few weeks, the condition is referred to as chronic upper respiratory tract disease. A runny or stuffed-up nose is the most common clinical sign in cats with chronic infections. There are many causes of this relatively common problem in cats. The treatment will be determined by the test results and diagnosis.

  • Chylothorax is a life-threatening condition caused by chyle leaking out of the thoracic duct into the chest cavity, causing lung compression and the inability of the lungs to fill with air. This occurs more commonly in purebred cats. The causes, diagnostics, treatments, and prognosis are explained in this handout.

  • The general condition of your cat's skin and coat are good indicators of her health. A healthy coat should be shiny and smooth, not brittle or coarse, and healthy skin should be supple and clear, not greasy, flaky, or bumpy. Selective breeding has led to the development of cats with a myriad of different coat characteristics requiring varying grooming needs. In order to maintain the skin and hair in a healthy state, your cat also requires a properly balanced diet.