A glossary to help you understand any technical words you might come across when reading advice about how to look after your cat.
Don’t get stuck on terminology ever again…all the words are in alphabetical order to help you find things quickly.
A deficiency (a lack / not enough of) iron – haemoglobin in the blood.
Haemoglobin carries oxygen around in your cat’s body in the red blood cells.
A medicine used to kill internal worms (parasites) in cats.
This is a remedy to counteract the effects of a poison.
A medicine to help stop vomiting.
This means a failure to produce urine (wee).
An inhaled (breathed in) allergy, can cause itchy skin.
The wasting away of the muscle or any other part of the body.
Anything to do with the ear. An Auriscope is an instrument used to look in the ear.
A stimulus that the cat will move away from.
Meaning on both sides.
To take a small sample of tissue for tests and diagnosis.
In cats this is when the kitten comes out backwards, instead of head and legs first.
When the female cat is in season (oestrus) and is ready to mate.
This is the disease of the heart muscle.
The neutering of the tomcat – male cat by removing the testes. Cryptorchidism – none or one testis has descended into the scrotum.
Meaning the act of mating.
A problem present at birth; it has happened during pregnancy and whilst the kitten was in the womb. It does not mean a hereditary condition.
This is a steroid hormone that is produced in the adrenal gland.
In cats, this is the fifth claw of the front feet and is the equivalent of a thumb.
There are two types of diabetes:
This is a disease of the pituitary gland (found in the brain) and causes excessive thirst in a cat.
A lack of insulin produced in the pancreas – sugar diabetes.
Medicine prescribed to increase urine output and therefore also gets rid of excess fluid in the body.
Domestic shorthair cat
A non-pedigree cat with a short hair coat. Domestic longhair cat – a non-pedigree with a long-haired coat.
This means difficulty in breathing.
A clot or object moving in the blood that causes a blockage.
A parasite on the outside of the cat’s body, for example, a flea or tick.
A parasite which is on the inside of the cat’s body, for example, worms.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
A slow-acting virus that weakens a cat’s immune system. Symptoms may not show for many years.
The cat will be more susceptible to other infections and may need to be kept in an indoor environment.
Feline Leukemia Virus (FelV)
This is a transmissible virus and is a very common cause of death in domestic cats. The virus can be spread via sharing water and food bowls, mutual grooming, using the same litter boxes. Kittens can contract this in the womb or from their mother’s milk. Fighting with other cats can lead to infection from bites and scratches.
Feline odontoclastic resorptive lesion (FORL)
A condition where the tooth enamel has been lost and the dentine is exposed causing pain.
Cats usually have a pregnancy of around 63 days.
Where an inflammatory reaction causes a little lump or nodule. It is caused by immune cells clumping together to try and destroy a foreign substance.
Bleeding into the lungs or chest which fills the air spaces.
High blood pressure.
A disease of an unknown cause.
The white blood cells have a lower than normal count.
This is the fluid from the intestines which contains red and white blood cells, proteins and fats.
When cats ‘mark’
A cat will deliberately spray urine over furniture, bedding, walls, bags and indeed any surface which the cat wants to mark as part of their territory.
What does ‘metastasis’ mean in cat cancer?
This is the process of how cancer can spread to the parts of the cat’s body from a cancerous area.
Where does a microchip go in a cat?
The microchip (a small sensor) is put just under the skin in the neck area. This is used to identify
the cat if it is lost or injured. A scanner is needed to read the chip.