Articles

Cats + Infectious Diseases

  • Unfortunately, anthrax is being threatened as a method of bio-terrorism. Different animals have different levels of susceptibility to anthrax infection.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stand united in their position that feeding raw food to cats is potentially dangerous to both the cat and to you. In the most recent study conducted, nearly 25% of the raw food samples tested positive for harmful bacteria, including Salmonella ssp. and Listeria monocytogenes.

  • Blepharitis means inflammation of the eyelid. In most cases, the inflammation affects the outer two layers of the eyelids; in some cases it may spread to involve the inner lining or palpebral conjunctiva.

  • Feline chlamydial conjunctivitis, or chlamydophila (previously known as feline pneumonitis) is an infection caused by a bacterial organism called Chlamydophila felis (previously known as Chlamydia psittaci [feline strain]). Although the term pneumonitis implies inflammation of the lungs, the most common symptoms of C. felis infection involve the eyes or the upper respiratory tract (nose or throat), and only when infection is not treated does it spread to the lungs.

  • The upper respiratory tract includes the nose, the throat (pharynx and larynx), and the trachea (windpipe). The term "chronic" means “long lasting.” When clinical signs of upper respiratory tract inflammation, such as sneezing or nasal and ocular (eye) discharge, persist over weeks or months, or when they tend to recur at intervals of a few weeks, this is referred to as Chronic Upper Respiratory Tract Disease.

  • Coccidiosis is an intestinal tract infection caused by a one-celled organism or protozoa called coccidia. Coccidia are microscopic parasites that live within cells of the intestinal lining.

  • Conjunctivitis is the medical term used to describe inflammation of the tissues surrounding the eye. These tissues include the lining of the eyelids and the third eyelid, as well as the tissues covering the front part of the eye or globe. Conjunctivitis may be a primary condition or may be secondary to an underlying systemic or ocular (eye) disease (see also our handout "Conjunctivitis in Cats").

  • Cytauxzoonosis is a tick-borne parasitic disease caused by Cytauxzoon felis, a protozoal organism. Cytauxzoon felis infects the blood cells of cats. It was first reported in the USA in 1976, and is now an important emerging disease in domestic cats.

  • Feline calicivirus (FCV) is a virus that is an important cause of upper respiratory infections and oral disease in cats. This virus infects cats throughout the world, and can cause disease in both domestic and exotic species of the cat family.

  • Feline Hemotrophic Mycoplasmosis (FHM) is the current name for a relatively uncommon infection of cats. With this disease, the cat's red blood cells are infected by a microscopic blood parasite. The subsequent destruction of the infected red blood cells results in anemia. Anemia is a medical term referring to a reduction in the numbers of red blood cells (erythrocytes) or in the quantity of the blood pigment hemoglobin, which carries oxygen.