Arthritis is a common, frequently underdiagnosed condition seen in cats and whilst it predominantly affects older cats, signs may also be seen from a young age.
Illness and common conditions in cats.
In this section:
Cats are the most popular pet in the UK
The bond between cats and humans can be very rewarding. As our understanding of cat behaviour increases, this bond strengthens and knowledge of how to address 'problem' behaviour means that they can now be properly investigated and managed.
Periodontal disease (or gum disease) is a bacterial infection of the mouth that causes weakening and eventual loss of the supporting structures of the teeth. Periodontal diseas can cause significant harm to a cat’s mouth, eventually leading to chronic pain and tooth loss. It can also increase the risk of heart, liver and kidney disease. There are often no obvious signs in the early stages of gum disease, so by the times symptoms are noticed, your pet may already have advanced disease. Symptoms are often noticed in older cats with advanced periodontal disease, but it is important to know that over 60 of dogs have early stages of gum disease by the age of three.
Feline resorptive lesions
Feline resorptive lesions affect more than one third of adult cats. The precise cause of these lesions is unknown. Second to periodontal disease, resorptive leions are the most common oral problem seen in cats. Resorption leads to damage of the tooth crown and root and is a painful condition.
Fractured teeth are common. The canine teeth (fangs) of cats often have fractures of the tip of the tooth. Since the pulp chamber extends very close to the tip of the tooth in cats, even small fractures can expose sensitive pulp tissue. A fractured tooth can be very painful and will usually lead to infection and death of the pulp tissue.
Feline chronic gingivostomatitis
Feline chronic gingivostomatits is severe inflammation or ulceration of the oral tissue and is a debilitating disease for affected cats. This condition usually requires aggressive treatment. Juvenile gingivitis is a severe gingivitis that can develop following tooth eruption. Cats will often have notable halitosis. Left untreated, this may progress to periodontal disease.