Appetite, Lack of
Bites & Other Wounds
Bladder Stones & Gravel (FLUTD)
Burns & Scalds
Dental Disease & Gingivitis
Epilepsy (Fits or Convulsions
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Nasal Catarrh & Sneezing
Strains & Sprains
Vomiting & Retching
Cat abscesses are common and are usually the result of a fight, when dirty wounds heal over too quickly, leaving infected material trapped inside. Painful swelling and skin discolouration can occur at the site as the abscess forms.
Bathe the area with diluted Denes Liquid Garlic to encourage the abscess to burst and release the pus trapped inside. Keep the area clean, but do not allow healing to take place until you are sure that all the infected material has been released.
Once the infection has been released and the area is clean
Alternatively once the abscess has burst, bathe the area with
Problems of this type are becoming increasingly common due to the stress placed on the immune system. This can be weakened by environmental pollution, toxins, chemical additives, certain drugs, poor diet, stress and lack of exercise or fresh air.
Skin allergies are very common, particularly to fleas, leading to itching, scratching, hair loss, scabs and sores. Food allergies or food sensitivity reactions are also being seen more frequently, resulting in diarrhoea or colitis.
Avoid foods that contain chemical additives and ingredients known to be linked to allergy related problems. Any of the non Fish Thrive recipes should be suitable.
Anaemia is a symptom and not an illness in its own right. You must always see your vet to determine the cause. Signs include pale mucous membranes, lethargy, weight loss and poor appetite. Underlying causes include nutritional problems, viral or parasitic infections, haemorrhage and kidney failure.
Some cats are just fussy feeders, but normally a change in appetite in an otherwise healthy cat can be a sign of illness or a mouth problem. Often cats that have been sick can be difficult to tempt back into normal feeding. Always check with your vet if in doubt about your cat’s health.
Avoid foods that contain chemical additives. Some cats are able to detect these and will refuse to eat. Any Denes recipe is suitable.
Ageing, wear and tear, injury, infection and poor feeding can cause degeneration of the joints leading to arthritis. Stiffness and pain are the main symptoms. This leads to problems moving around, jumping up and turning around to groom properly.
For further information see our Fact Sheet on Joint Problems.
A common problem caused by poor diet or, more frequently, by gum disease (gingivitis) or bad teeth. Gingivitis leads to spongy, bleeding gums, a foul smell and increased salivation. Some mouth problems can be linked with kidney disease and certain viral infections. Always ensure that your vet checks your cat’s teeth regularly.
Where there are kidney problems also give Denes:
For further information see the section on DENTAL DISEASE & GINGIVITIS.
Problems such as these are becoming increasingly common due to stress and the growing number of multi-cat households. It is always wise to seek behavioural advice sooner rather than later. Natural remedies have a major part to play in dealing with many of these problems.
Any Denes cat recipe. All Denes recipes are free from additives, which can contribute to some types of behavioural problems.
For further information see our Fact Sheet on helping with Behavioural Problems.
These can be difficult to find because the fur often mats over the injury. See your vet if the wound is large or deep, or if it continues to bleed, as stitching may be required.
This is a complex condition which is becoming increasingly common. Small crystals develop inside the bladder, combining to form gravel-like material that irritates the bladder lining, leading to symptoms of recurrent cystitis. In male cats the gravel can lead to a potentially serious problem by plugging the urethra and preventing the passage of urine. If you suspect that your cat is affected, see your vet immediately.
Foods containing a low level of magnesium or ash are sometimes recommended. Many of our recipes are suitable, but check with your vet first. Always ensure that drinking water is readily available. Avoid over feeding as this is a contributory factor to the development of FLUTD and try to feed your cat at definite times rather than leaving food down all day.
For treatment and prevention,
For further information see our Fact Sheet on Bladder Stones and Gravel.
Affects the larger air passages and can lead to breathing difficulties. Thick mucus can collect in the airways causing your cat to cough or wheeze. Always check with your vet to rule out more serious conditions such as heart problems.
Cool the affected area immediately with cold water to minimise the damage caused by the burn.
There is no simple answer to dealing with this serious problem. However, natural remedies and diet can provide supportive treatment in addition to any therapy your vet may give.
Avoid foods that contain chemical additives such as colourings, flavourings and preservatives. Any Denes recipe will be suitable.
Colitis is inflammation of the last part of the bowel – the colon. Symptoms to look out for include diarrhoea with mucus and blood, sometimes accompanied by straining. Fast your cat for 24 hours, then feed a bland diet of chicken or fish with boiled rice or pasta until the symptoms have cleared. Chronic cases sometimes involve food allergies or dietary sensitivity.
For chronic cases try adding extra fibre to your cat’s food. Half a teaspoon of oat or wheat bran added to each meal can help.
Poor digestion and weak muscle tone can lead to constipation in older cats, although poor diet and damage to the pelvis can also be a factor. Check for large, hard or dry stools. Straining is also a common sign, but remember that this can also be a symptom linked to cystitis or diarrhoea.
Add half a teaspoon of oat or wheat bran to each meal to provide extra fibre. Half a teaspoon of liquid paraffin or olive oil added to each meal for a few days can also help. Alternatively, try feeding oily fish two or three times each week.
Coughing can be due to a variety of causes, including viral infections (such as cat flu), bacterial infections, foreign bodies, allergies, irritants (such as smoke), heart disease and parasites. It is important to find the cause, so always see your vet to be sure. Herbal remedies can provide additional help.
This is a common problem. Symptoms include frequent straining to pass small amounts of urine, which may contain jelly-like mucus or clots of blood. Recurrent bouts of cystitis will need investigation to find the exact cause. Fasting your cat for 24 hours will often help resolve the symptoms.
Any Denes recipe is suitable, but avoid over feeding dried food in recurrent cases.
For further information see BLADDER STONES & GRAVEL
Plaque build-up on your cat’s teeth can lead to inflammation of the gums or gingivitis. Check for difficulty eating, red inflamed gums, bad breath and drooling of saliva. Gingivitis can be a condition associated with some viral diseases such as FIV or FeLV.
Pancreatic disease or damage to the pancreas by drugs can lead to diabetes, a failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin. Although less common in cats than dogs, the symptoms are very similar and include increased thirst and appetite accompanied by gradual weight loss. Some cats will also develop cataracts.
Avoid obesity, as this increases the chances of developing this condition. Add half a teaspoon of oat or wheat bran to each meal to provide extra fibre, which will help regulate absorption of food from the bowel.
For further information see our Fact Sheet on Diabetes.
There are a great many causes including bacterial and viral infections, worms, food allergies, liver disease, poisoning and poor or incorrect feeding. Symptoms can vary from soft faeces to liquid watery stools, which may contain blood. See your vet if your cat is affected and seems to be unwell.
Starve your cat for 24 hours and avoid all dairy products. Aim to feed a bland diet in the following few days.
For further information see our Fact Sheet on Colitis and Diarrhoea.
The most common problem is ear mites, often affecting younger cats. These live in the ear canal and cause irritation, which leads to the ear clogging up with crusty, waxy material.
Clean daily using Denes Ear Cleaner. Instil a few drops and massage the ears gently, carefully cleaning out any debris with cotton wool swabs. Be careful to avoid inserting the swabs right down into the ear canal. Once the problem has cleared, use Denes Ear Cleaneron a regular basis to keep your cat’s ears clean and free from wax and debris.
This condition is not common but can be distressing for both you and your cat. In a large number of cases, the exact cause is not known, but fits can be linked with kidney, liver or heart disease, diabetes, injury or infection. If you cat is having a fit, then darken the room and be as quiet as possible. Most fits last only a short time, but can vary from mild tremors or muscle spasms, to violent thrashing and loss of consciousness. Always seek veterinary advice.
For further information see our Fact Sheet on Epilepsy.
Conjunctivitis can be caused by an infection, but could also be a sign of more serious eye problem, so always check with your vet. For more straightforward problems, bathe the eyes with cold tea.
Always consult your vet if you think that your cat has broken its leg. A cast may be applied or the break may be repaired surgically.
Most cats have problems with fur balls from time to time. As they groom themselves, hair is swallowed and collects in the stomach, forming fur balls. Most cats will vomit these up (look out for sausage like balls of hair), although some will pass hair in their stools. Large fur balls will irritate the stomach lining, leading to bouts of vomiting or digestive problems. Regular grooming to remove dead hair will help prevent fur balls from building up.
Give half a teaspoon of olive oil with food each day to help the fur ball pass through.
Cats suffer from heart problems much less frequently than dogs. If you suspect that your cat has a problem, see your vet immediately. Symptoms include reluctance to exercise, coughing due to congestion of the lungs and fluid accumulation in the abdomen.
Avoid foods that are high in salt. All Denes recipes are low in salt and are suitable for cats with minor cardiac problems. Put your cat on a diet if it is overweight, as obesity will contribute to heart problems.
For further information see our Fact Sheet on Heart Disease.
Over-activity of the thyroid gland, or hyperthyroidism, will cause your cat’s metabolism to increase, leading to symptoms such as weight loss, increased appetite and thirst, weakness and hyperactivity. See your vet if you think that your cat may be suffering from this condition.
Foods containing extra calories are ideal.
Avoid giving Denes All-in-One+ Powder as this supplement may aggravate this condition.
For further information see our Fact Sheet on Hyperthyroidism.
For your cat to be in peak health and condition, the immune system must be working at its best. Where the immune system is weakened, symptoms of ill health can develop, including allergies, recurrent infections, gingivitis, digestive problems, poor skin and coat and lack of vitality. Remember that a great many factors can affect the way in which the immune system works, including diet, pollution, stress and some drugs.
Where the immune system is under stress, also give Denes:
For further information see our Fact Sheet on The Immune System
The condition causes chronic diarrhoea with mucus and sometimes blood mixed with watery or sloppy stools. Occasionally recurrent vomiting may be a symptom. The bowel lining is inflamed and food allergies or food intolerance may occur as a result. Low allergen diets are often recommended.
For further information see our Fact Sheet on helping with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
This is one of the most common conditions to affect cats. Kidney failure mainly affects older animals as the kidneys start to wear out. Symptoms include increased thirst, gradual weight loss, vomiting, bad breath, mouth problems and loss of condition. Anaemia can also be associated with kidney disease. Always consult your vet and start treatment as early as possible.
Diet is important. Try to feed a recipe that is low in protein, salt and phosphorus.
For further information see our Fact Sheet on Kidney Problems.
The liver is one of the body’s most important organs. Problems can arise due to infections, poisoning, growths and old age. Bouts of vomiting, weight loss, increased thirst, odd coloured soft stools, weakness and jaundice are a few of the signs that can occur.
Try to provide a diet that is free from chemical additives as these can place an additional strain upon the liver. Ideally the diet should also be based on high quality protein and contain lower levels of phosphorus and salt.
For further information see our Fact Sheet on Liver Disease.
Respiratory infections such as cat flu can damage the nose and lead to recurrent bouts of sneezing and catarrh. In some cases this can lead to more severe problems such as sinusitis.
Cats tend to regulate their food intake much better than dogs and so obesity is less of a problem. Check with your vet to rule out medical problems that might appear to make your cat seem overweight.
Aim to feed your cat at definite times, ensuring that all food is eaten within a set period of time. This will help to avoid overeating. Adding extra fibre, such as oat or wheat bran (half a teaspoon to each meal), to any of our tinned recipes will add extra bulk to the food and make your cat feel full.
For further information see our Fact Sheet on Obesity In Cats and Dogs.
Most cat owners are familiar with fleas. Look for the tell-tale signs of flea dirt in the coat, which appear as small gritty black particles. Remember that regular grooming with a flea comb is essential to remove fleas from your cat. This should be combined with regular vacuuming to reduce the flea egg population in the environment.
For more information look under the section on ALLERGIES
This mite is sometimes called ‘walking dandruff’ and will cause your cat to itch and scratch persistently. They can usually be seen with the naked eye, appearing like flakes of dandruff in the skin.
These small, bean-shaped insects attach themselves firmly to a cat’s skin, especially around the head and neck area. Check regularly for ticks during the summer months, removing them carefully by covering in vaseline and leaving them to drop off.
These small round orange mites are just visible to the naked eye. They cause problems in late summer leading to scabs and sores around the head, on the ears and between the toes.
Ensure that your cat is wormed regularly using Tablets from your vet. Kittens usually have roundworms, which they acquire from their mother. These may be vomited up and look like white coiled watch springs. Older cats may have tapeworms as well, which they get from ingesting fleas or small rodents. Check for small, white, rice-like tapeworm segments around your cat’s bottom. Sometimes these appear flattened and move independently.
Feed a good balanced healthy diet and use herbal remedies to strengthen the immune system in order to deter fleas and other parasites as much as possible.
Lack of pigmentation can result in a pale nose or eye rims. Depth of coat colour is also poor. The cause is normally dietary.
Symptoms vary depending on the type of poison and the amount eaten. Look out for lethargy, sudden change in appetite, vomiting, salivation, bleeding or convulsions. Poisoning is always an emergency so seek help from your vet immediately.
Pregnancy lasts between 63 and 65 days. Normally between three to five kittens are born with each litter. Remember that about one month after the birth, your cat will come into season again and may become pregnant while she is still feeding her kittens.
Correct feeding is vital, especially in the later stages and during the nursing period. A high energy, high protein diet is essential.
This is a problem suffered by older cats which affects the muscles, ligaments and tendons. Signs include stiffness and difficulty moving or jumping, especially in damp or cold weather. You may also notice your cat stretching a lot.
The most common allergy affecting cats is to fleas, although some cats are allergic to certain food ingredients. Affected cats will itch, scratch and over-groom. Scabs, sores and areas of hair loss are common, leading to dermatitis. Eczema and dermatitis cover a multitude of other skin symptoms as well, including raw weepy sores, skin infections and problems caused by parasites other than fleas.
Feline acne is a specific infection that affects the area under the chin, causing the skin to become sore, weepy and dirty looking.
For further information see the section on Allergies and Parasites and our Fact Sheet onAllergies.
Coat and skin condition often reflect general health. If you are worried always ask your vet to check for any underlying causes such as kidney, liver or digestive problems, parasites or allergies.
Improve the diet by feeding more natural foods, free from additives. Any Thrive recipe will help.
This is caused by a fungus and not worms and is a condition more commonly seen in kittens and in both longhaired and exotic cats. Signs to check for include areas of hair loss and local scaling of the skin. Ringworm is transmissible to people so you should always discuss any possible infection with your vet.
Two different viruses cause cat flu. Rhinotracheitis virus, causes mild flu symptoms, sometimes with mouth ulcers. Feline calici virus, causes more severe symptoms with a nasal discharge, sneezing and coughing. Some cats are left with permanent damage leading to snuffling and, in severe cases, chronic catarrh and sinusitis. Chlamydia can sometimes cause flu-like symptoms with sneezing and a nasty nasal discharge, but more often causes conjunctivitis.
Both of these viruses weaken the immune system, leading to a variety of symptoms and chronic health problems which can ultimately cause your cat’s health to fail over a number of years.
Of the two, FeLV carries the poorest outlook. Symptoms of FeLV can include chronic infections (such as chronic cat flu), anaemia, tumours, diarrhoea, liver failure and abortion. Signs of FIV are generally less severe. The most common is gingivitis, but other symptoms include recurrent fevers, chronic snuffling and sneezing, sticky eyes, diarrhoea and kidney failure. Your cat may become very ill as the immune system gradually fails.
Many of the individual symptoms of FeLV and FIV will need to be treated accordingly. Aim to provide as much support for your cat’s immune system as you can, to delay the onset of more serious health problems.
Avoid foods that contain artificial additives. Any Thrive recipe is suitable.
Landing or jumping awkwardly can damage ligaments, tendons or muscles leading to discomfort and stiffness, causing your cat to limp. Try to confine your cat to the house for a few days while the injury heals.
This can be a problem for some cats, either because they are simply frightened or because they are upset by the motion of the car. Always avoid feeding your cat prior to any trip to reduce the chances of vomiting.
Cats have sensitive throats and retch easily. Always check with your vet in case a blade of grass or a fish bone may be stuck. It is normal for most cats to vomit from time to time, as a result of furballs. Other causes include worms, infections and more serious problems such as poisoning, liver disease or kidney failure. See your vet if your cat has stopped eating or vomits repeatedly.
Starve for 24 hours then feed a bland white meat-based diet.