Cat Articles, Diseases

FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, or Feline AIDS)

Animals Affected

Cats

Overview

FIV is a virus that is related to HIV, the human AIDS virus.  Experts do not believe FIV is capable of infecting humans.  FIV causes a syndrome in cats that is similar to human AIDS.

Most FIV-infected cats catch the virus by fighting with other cats.  The virus spreads when an infected cat bites a cat that is not infected.  A much smaller number of cats catch the virus from their mother as kittens.  Sexual transmission of FIV does not appear to be common.

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV in Cats)

Animals Affected

Cats

Overview

Feline leukemia virus, or FeLV, is a virus that infects cats.   It is related to FIV and HIV, the virus that causes human AIDS.  There is no evidence that FeLV can infect humans.

FeLV does not sicken every cat that is infected with it.   However, some cats that are infected with FeLV suffer suppression of the immune system or develop cancers.   These cats often die from the virus.

Obesity in Cats

Animals Affected

Cats

Overview

Obesity is a syndrome in which the amount of excess body fat an individual carries is great enough to cause harm to health and well-being.   Obesity is a debilitating syndrome that is linked to a number of serious health consequences for cats.

A number of factors play a role in the development of obesity in cats.   However, the root cause of obesity is the consumption of more calories than the body needs.

Abscesses in Cats

Animals Affected

Cats

Overview

An abscess is an area of infection and pus accumulation in the body.   In cats, two types of abscess are common.  Dental abscesses occur when unchecked periodontal disease leads to severe infection of the teeth.  Fight abscesses occur when the skin and its underlying tissues are injured and become infected as a result of fighting with other cats. This article discusses fight abscesses.

Ear Mites in Cats and Dogs

Animals Affected

Cats, dogs, puppies, and kittens.

Overview

Ear mites are parasitic organisms that infest pets.  They may cause intense irritation and itching in the ears, accompanied by production of large amounts of ear wax.

Ear mites are a leading cause of ear problems in kittens and cats.  They can infest dogs and puppies as well, but are a less frequent cause of problems in this species.

Coccidia (Isospora) in Cats and Dogs

Animals Affected

Puppies and kittens. Rarely, adult cats and dogs.

Overview

Coccidia are microscopic intestinal parasites of dogs and cats.   They are extremely common, but they very rarely cause symptoms in adult animals.   In puppies and kittens, they are a frequent cause of diarrhea.

Untreated, severe cases of coccidia in young animals can lead to profuse diarrhea, dehydration, and serious illness.  However, most cases of coccidia do not have these consequences.