The saying we are all so familiar with says that dogs are a man’s best friend. However, cats can’t be left behind. While pet cats display affection differently than dogs, cats can bond just as strongly with their humans as dogs.
At Brightcare Animal Neurology, as pet parents ourselves, we know that having a pet requires dedication, consistency, and a lot of patience and love. Our furry friends give us unconditional love and, all-around, make our lives better with their companionship and playful spirit. But when a health condition or emergency strikes, they can turn our world upside down, causing us stress and anxiety.
Suppose you are a cat owner or thinking about the possibility of adding a feline member to your family, you must be aware of certain medical conditions your furry friend may face at some point in their lifetime.
As your trusted veterinary neurologist in Long Beach today, we want to talk about neurological disorders such as epilepsy, congenital disease, and infectious diseases you and our cat may have to face together.
What Are Neurological Disorders In Cats?
Neurological disorders result from a disruption to your cat’s nervous system. If the neurological issue is in your cat’s brain, it may suffer seizures. However, an infection in the spinal cord may result in an unsteady gait, problems with normal limb function, or in the worst cases, complete paralysis.
If your kitten or older cat is facing a neurological condition, it’s important that you understand that it is not their fault. Neurological conditions can be caused by a variety of factors. In fact, if your kitten or older cat is facing a neurological condition, you can’t and shouldn’t blame yourself either.
What Causes Brain Disorders In Cats?
Your cat’s brain disorder may be caused by many different factors, such as inflammation in the brain caused by infectious diseases such as meningitis or encephalitis. Viral infections such as rabies, a condition that is fatal, birth defects, and neoplastic disease-causing tumors or growths in the brain.
Now that you have a better understanding of what exactly a neurological disorder is, it’s important to look at the most common neurological diseases.
Encephalitis & Meningitis
According to Petmd, Encephalitis in Cats is an Inflammation of the brain. Encephalitis is a life-threatening condition that affects cats. It is occasionally accompanied by the inflammation of the spinal cord (myelitis), and/or the inflammation of the meninges (meningitis), membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.
Symptoms Of Encephalitis In Cats
Depending on what part of the brain is affected, your cat may suffer symptoms that appear suddenly without prior warning and may get worse as the condition progresses.
Some symptoms you need to keep an eye out for are:
- Behavioral changes
- Decreased responsiveness
- Head tilt to either side
- Paralysis of face
- Uncoordinated movements or circling
- Unequal size of pupils
- Decreased consciousness
Cognitive Dysfunction In Cats
Feline cognitive dysfunction or FCD is a cognitive disease, directly related to brain aging, leading to changes in awareness, deficits in learning and memory, and decreased responsiveness to stimuli. It may also be known as cognitive dysfunction syndrome or CDS.
As a pet parent, you might be wondering how you can know if your cat is suffering from FCD; Let’s take a look. The signs you need to look for include wandering away from home into unfamiliar territory, lack of interest in playing, excessive sleeping, altered cycles of sleep and wakefulness, long periods of staring blankly into space or at walls, indifference to food and water, and urinating and defecating outside of their litter box. When looking for signs, it’s important that you consider what is abnormal behavior for your cat.
There is one more very common health condition specific to cats that you should be aware of, and it is known as Feline infectious peritonitis or FIP.
What Is Feline Infectious Peritonitis?
Feline infectious peritonitis or FIP is an important disease that affects domesticated cats. It occurs worldwide in cats of all ages. However, the disease is most common in young cats less than two years of age. Although FIP is not a particularly common disease, it is important because once a cat develops the disease, the outcome is almost invariably fatal.
What Causes Feline Infectious Peritonitis?
Feline infectious peritonitis is associated with a viral infection called feline coronavirus. There are many different strains of feline coronavirus, which differ in their ability to cause disease. Unfortunately, feline infectious peritonitis remains one of the least understood of all diseases affecting cats.
With everything we have covered so far, it is normal to feel discouraged about owning a pet cat, but don’t worry, the benefits a feline friend provides far outweigh the health problems you may have to face with your furry and cuddly friend.
Pets can provide an enormous amount of health benefits to their pet parents, but here are some benefits that are specific to cats. They can:
- Lower stress and anxiety
- Improve your cardiovascular health
- Prevent future allergies
- Reduce feelings of loneliness
Get Help From Your Long Beach Veterinary Neurologist
Although cats are more independent than many other pets, owning one is still a major commitment.
Cats need a devoted owner to keep them as happy and healthy as possible and a veterinary neurologist in Long Beach & Mission Viejo to help them in need of an emergency or in case they need help working through a neurological disorder.
If you believe your feline best friend may be suffering from a neurological disorder, don’t waste any more time. Set an appointment and contact the veterinarians and staff at Brightcare Animal Neurology today. We look forward to helping you and your cat.