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There are over 250 diseases that can affect cats. While some are as common as the sniffles, others are rare and have devastating consequences. Knowledge of these rare and fatal diseases can help you identify the worrying signs and seek timely treatment for your furry friend.
Here are five rare cat diseases every cat owner needs to know about:
Is your cat biting herself or making weird vocalizations? There may even be seizures and skin problems. All of these are signs of feline Hyperesthesia.
This rare condition cannot be diagnosed at first glance. Since the symptoms represent so many other feline diseases, only a test of elimination can be used to diagnose the cat of this condition.
This condition is also called “rolling skin disease” because it leads to ripping of the skin when the cat is touched. The cat will be extremely sensitive to any stimulus and will be very irritable.
- Cutaneous asthenia
Even a gentle rub, massage, or pat can leave the cat’s skin stretched out or wrinkled. In the best-case scenarios, the loss of shape in the skin lasts for a few days. But, in the worst cases, Cutaneous asthenia leads to permanent disfigurement of the cat’s skin.
This condition is believed to occur due to the low production of a collagen-producing enzyme called procollagen peptidase.
- Infectious Peritonitis
Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is one of the rarest feline diseases and also extremely fatal.
FIP occurs because of a viral infection – the feline coronavirus, to be exact. Newborn kittens and cats raised in dirty conditions are the most vulnerable to this virus. The coronavirus resides in exposed feces and, when eaten or touched by cats, is transmitted into the cat’s body.
This disease causes extremely weakened immunity, fluid build-up in the body, loss of appetite, lethargy, vision & breathing problems, seizures, and extreme behavioral changes.
- Chediak-Higashi syndrome
The Chediak-Higashi syndrome is a rare feline disease that occurs due to the CHS1 recessive gene. Here, cats are afflicted with a condition called oculocutaneous albinism where their eyes, fur, and skin turn completely white or very light and become extremely sensitive to external stimuli. From sensitivity to light to immediate infections at the slightest exposure, this condition can really debilitate the cat and reduce its quality of life.
Chediak-Higashi syndrome has also been found to reduce platelet count in cats. This means bleeding injuries will be unable to clot naturally. This disease affects Persian cats the most.
- Hypertrophic muscular dystrophy
Hypertrophic muscular dystrophy is a rare muscle condition which results in muscle weakening and leads to the development of bulging muscles in cats. But because the cat does not have the muscular and skeletal strength to carry its weight, the bulged muscles lead to very restrictive body movement, stiffness and a hopping-like gait. This disease is sporadic and occurs when the cat’s muscles have a deficiency in a protein called dystrophin. It mostly affects males of the domestic shorthair species.