Cats Diseases

  • HCM (Hypertrofische Cardiomyopathie)
  • PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease)
  • Fiv (Feliene Infectieuze Peritonitis)
  • Felv (Feliene Leucemie Virus / Leucose)

H C M - Hypertrofische Cardiomyopathie

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a common heart condition in cats.
It is a hereditary condition in which the heart muscle starts to thicken so that the function of the heart decreases and the heart can no longer supply sufficient blood in the body. This can also cause blood clots to form in the heart. The disease is often diagnosed in young animals and is more common in certain cat breeds,
such as the Maine Coon.

  • Symptoms
Cardiomyopathy leads to heart failure. The typical symptoms of heart failure in the cat are shortness of breath, a fast heartbeat that can be irregular and heart murmurs.
Some cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy show little or no symptoms for a long time.
Sudden mortality can also occur. Cats with a blood clot or thrombus can get a thrombosis.
Clogging an artery can lead to cat paralysis of a hind leg.

  • Diagnosis
The clinical signs and the age and breed of the cat can already give an indication, but the diagnosis can only be made with echocardiography, a technique in which ultrasound waves can be seen inside the heart.
One can then measure the thickness of the heart wall and demonstrate the flow of the blood in the heart using certain techniques. Any blood clots can also be determined.

  • Therapy
There is no cure possible Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.
If necessary, the possible heart failure will be treated. Plains can drift away excess fluid and there is medication that affects the contraction of the heart.
One can consider giving cats with thrombosis blood thinners, but these are very difficult to dose in cats and the prognosis of such animals is generally very poor.

  • Prognosis
The prognosis is unfortunately not so good. Cats with HCM that do not yet have symptoms can sometimes survive for more than 5 years. If there are clinical signs of disease (heart failure),
then this survival period will be much shorter.
Cats with a blood clot have a very poor prognosis: they usually die within a few months

  • Prevention
Given the hereditary background, one must exclude affected cats from breeding.


P K D - Polycystic Kidney Disease

PKD is the abbreviation of Polycystic Kidney Disease: Polycystic Kidney Disease.
It is a hereditary condition in which large fluid-filled cavities gradually develop in the kidneys. In view of heredity, the disease is more common in certain breeds and families: PKD is particularly common among Persians.

Also cats from other breeds where Persians were bred, such as the Sacred Birman, the Ragdoll and the British Shorthair, can show PKD.

  • Symptoms

The development of the cavities gradually reduces the function of the kidneys. The cavities, as it were,

oppress the healthy kidney tissue and gradually signs of chronic renal insufficiency develop.
The first symptoms usually occur in middle age when the animals are 6 to 7 years old.

  • Diagnosis

The diagnosis is made with the aid of an ultrasound. The cavities are clearly visible with this research.

With DNA research one can now determine PKD if there are no cavities visible in the kidneys during ultrasound.

  • Therapy

The treatment of PKD will be the same as for chronic renal failure.
The animals receive a special low-protein diet to relieve the kidneys. This can be supplemented with medication.

  • Prognosis

Unfortunately, there is no cure for PKD and the animals will eventually succumb to their effects.

  • Prevention

PKD is a hereditary disease. It is therefore very important to exclude affected animals from the culture.
Persians used for breeding must be tested for PKD before breeding.

Fip - Feliene Infectieuze Peritonitis

FIP or Feline Infectious Peritonitis is a complicated condition caused by a virus.
It is suspected that the disease is actually caused by the Feline Enteric Corona Virus (FECV).
This is a relatively harmless virus that can cause diarrhea in cats and where the cat normally cures quickly. It is very contagious and there are cats that are carriers of this virus and therefore continuously excrete, without symptoms.
Apparently this FECV virus mutates fairly easily. In about 1 in 50 infected cats, the genetic material of this virus can change to form the FIP virus. This virus is not contagious, but causes serious symptoms.
This mutation seems to be more common in stress and in cats with reduced immunity (such as Fiv and FeLV!).

  • Symptoms

FIP exists in 2 forms: the wet and the dry form.

The wet form of FIP is quite typical: the cats get huge fluid outflows in the abdomen and / or chest cavity. The abdomen can be very swollen and the moisture that the veterinarian gets out has a typical yellow and draughty appearance. Moisture in the chest cavity can cause severe breathing problems.

The dry form of FIP is characterized by the formation of plaques throughout the body. These can occur in all organs and provoke inflammatory reactions there. The kidneys, liver, lungs, lymph nodes, intestines, brain and eyes can be affected. The animals then show signs of inflammation of these organs.

Fever often occurs and cats with FIP are listless, lose appetite and lose weight.
Both forms are deadly. The survival time of the wet form is several weeks, from the dry few months.

  • Diagnosis

A suspected diagnosis is made based on clinical signs and blood tests. In the moist form, the abdominal or chest cavity is also examined.
A definitive diagnosis can only be made by examining tissue particles or by autopsy.

  • Therapy

One can stretch the life of the animal through hospitalization and aggressive therapy, but eventually the animal will die with FIP.

  • Prognosis

Bad: the cat will die.

  • Prevention

There is a vaccine available but this is never administered, due to its poor functioning and the low incidence of FIP.

FeLV - Feliene Leucemie Virus (Leucose)

The disease leucose occurs as a result of an infection with the Feline Leucemie Virus (FeLV). FeLV is mainly transmitted via saliva from infected cats, but also through urine and feces.
The transfer via saliva has as a consequence that co-living cats eating from each other's crib are often both contaminated. Not all cats that come into contact with the leukemia virus actually get the disease leucose. It has been established that mainly young kittens are susceptible to the development of the disease.
Older cats seem to develop a defense against the virus in many cases.

  • Symptoms

Infection with FeLV causes leukemia: tumors of the white blood cells. This can result in the cat getting tumors, anywhere in the body. Often the internal organs such as liver, lungs, spleen and kidneys are affected. Leucosis is a common cause of tumors in cats.

Due to the disease, the white blood cells, which are responsible for the immune system, can no longer perform their actions properly. This results in a clinical picture that shows great similarities with FIV or Kattenaids: a reduced resistance characterized by chronic inflammations and infections.

  • Diagnosis

The diagnosis of leucosis is made by means of a blood test. This test is often combined with the FIV test, because the clinical picture of both diseases is very similar and because infections with these viruses often occur together.

  • Therapy

There is no cure for leucosis.
The secondary infections can be controlled with antibiotics.
Tumors can be treated with medication that suppresses the growth of the tumors, but these often also have a negative effect on the already reduced resistance of the cat.

  • Prognosis

Bad: leucosis is deadly. Usually cats die within 1 to 3 years.

  • Prevention

In contrast to FIV, there is a vaccine available against the leukemia virus. This vaccine greatly reduces the chance that the cat will develop the disease, but does not completely rule out this opportunity.