- AbscessAn infected swelling. This can often be caused by a cat bite but can be caused by your cat getting a splinter of something by rubbing up against a fence or structure. Affected animals feel ill, go off their food and have high temperatures. You need to visit your veterinarian to get(...)
- AgoutiThe Agouti gene gives rise to the hairs in cats (and other mammals) to have colors distributed along the hair shaft in bands rather than each hair being one solid color. Alternating between light and dark pigmentation. This gives rise to the typical Tabby cat stripes.
- AilurophileSomeone who is a Cat lover - Greek ailuros 'cat'
- AilurophobeAn Ailurophobe is someone who has a fear or dislike of cats
- AlbinoAn Albino is one who has the genetic disorder, Albinism. Albinism is quite rare in cats. A lack of pigment in the cat's skin and hair results in the cat having white hair and pink eyes
- AllergenAn Allergen is ant substance that causes an allergy
- AllergyAn allergy is an over reaction to a substance (Allergen) that is normally harmless. Typical allergies presented in cats result from food ,flea bites and pollen.
- Alley CatA Feral Cat
- AnaemiaAnaemia is a condition caused by iron deficiency resulting in a decreased amount of red blood cells.
- AnalgesicAnalgesics are a family of drugs used in the relief of pain.
- Animal ShelterAn animal Shelter is an organisation which cares for stray and homeless animals and attempts to find them permanent homes.
- AnorexiaAnorexia is a lack of or loss of appetite for food. In cats this can be due to stress often resulting from emotional upset or illness.
- AnurousTailless The state of not having a tail
- AnxietyAnxiety is an emotional state. When the cat is in a situation or environment where they feel insecure. This can result in the cat displaying aggressive behavior, spraying, loss of appetite. The cat should NEVER be punished but one should seek the cause of such anxiety for the resolution.
- AshAsh is a term typically used on pet food ingredients labels to refer to the amount of minerals contained.
- AstheniaWeakness - A lack of strength within the body
- AsymptomaticShowing no symptoms
- Awn HairsIn a cat’s coat, the awn hairs form the middle layer of the 3 layers and are more brittle and thicker towards the top. Awn hairs form an insulating layer and provide protection to the down hairs closest to the skin.
- BandingIndividual bands of colour growing in a crosswise direction
- Benching CageAt a cat show, this is a cage where a cat is kept and displayed when it is not being judged.
- BibThe part of the rough or long hair around the chest area
- BicolourA cat with a patch code of white and a second colour
- BlazeA contrasting marking that runs down the center of the head and caN continue down the nose to the chin
- BloodlineDirect line of descent, pedigree.
- BlueA blue grade 2 slate grey coat colour
- BoarAn archaic term for the neutered male cat.
- BoosterA booster is a top up vaccination usually given annually
- BreakAn indentation of the cats nose at about eye level typical of the Persian cat breed
- BreedA group of cats with related ancestry and similar defined physical characteristics.
- Breed standardThe set of breed descriptions originally laid down by the various parent breed clubs and accepted officially by international bodies.
- Breed trueThe act of producing kittens that closely resembled the parents
- BreederA person who breeds cats.
- BritchesLonger hair on the back of the upper hind legs
- CalculusPlaque that has become hard and mineralised and turns teeth a yellow-brown color
- CalicoA coat pattern consisting of patches of red white and black
- CallingA term used to describe the sounds made by the Queen in heat ( typically howling screaming and yowling).
- CameoA coat colour that is basically white with the outer edge of the hair being red
- Carpal PadsThe pads on the front wrists of the cat
- CastrationRemoval of the Testes (Neutering of male cats)
- Cat fluCat flu is a common term for a feline upper respiratory virus.This is most commonly caused the Feline Herpes Virus (FHV) or Feline Calicivirus (FCV)
- CatnipCatnip is a perennial herb with the botanical name Nepeta cataria. This plant produces a chemical nepetalactone which circa 50 = 70% of cats will have a reaction too. This reaction is typically hereditary. Nepetalactone produces a high in cats which is harmless and will wear off in time.
- CatteryA building or establishment where cats are kept - Boarding Cattery, Breeding Cattery, Rescue Cattery
- ChiggersChiggers are red bugs or harvest mites that typically live in decaying vegetation. Cat can become infected with chiggers while roaming such areas. As as can both dogs and humans.
- ChronicRelating to an illness or disease that persists for a long period of time or is constantly recurring.
- ColonyA group of feral cats
- ClowderThe collective name for a group of cats
- CobbyA short compact body shape ( typical of the British shorthair cat and others).
- ColostrumThe first milk produced by the Queen. Colostrum contains important antibodies that help builds up the kitten's immune system.
- ColourpointColourpoint is a coat colouring typical of Siamese and Birman cats. The points of the cat (face, ears, legs and tail) are a dark colour whilst the main body of the cat is a light colour. The true colour of these cats is actually the darker colour which only appears in these points of the body(...)
- CongenitalA condition or trait existing from birth.
- CrepuscularActive during twilight typically at dawn and dusk
- CystitisInflammation of the bladder
- DamAnother name for a Queen
- DanderTiny particles or flakes of the cat skin. It is this that can cause the allergic reaction in some people
- DeclawingDeclawing a cat involves the amputation of the entire digital phalanx up to the joint, as it is here that the claw develops. It is NOT just the removal of the cat’s claws as the term would imply. The procedure is the equivalent of amputating the ends of human fingers up to the first(...)
- DehydrationExcess loss of water from the cat's body or organ. This can be one of the 1st symptoms of ill health in the cat. It is commonly tested by looking at the It is commonly tested by looking at the elasticity of the skin on the back or scruff of the cats neck.
- DermatitisInflammation of the skin
- Dew ClawThe Dew Claw is the 1st Digit found on the inside or wrist of the front leg.
- DiabetesDiabetes is a disease in which the body is unable to make full use of blood glucose in the body because of in sufficient amounts of insulin being produced by the pancreas.
- DiluteDilute references the colour of the cat's coat. The effect of a gene reduces melanin in the cat's coat making the colour of the coat lighter
- Domestic ShorthairA shorthair cat of mixed or unknown parentage
- Down HairDown hairs form the layer closest to the skin of the cat. Down hairs are the most important insulating layer. They are the finest and softest hair having a wave-like form to best trap air maximising their insulating properties.
- Drop-onSome treatments for Parasites can be treated in drop on form. A small amount of liquid formulated for this purpose is placed or "dropped on" the skin at the back of the cat's neck.
- DyspnoeaDyspnoea is shortness of breath. Cat suffering from this should receive veterinary attention urgently.
- Elizabethan collarA cone made usually of plastic that can be wrapped around the head of the cat and attached to the collar. These are typically used to prevent a cat from biting or licking at a wound giving it a chance to heal.
- EnteritisInflammation of the intestine
- EntireA cat that hasn't been neutered
- EuthanasiaHumanely ending a life, ie: putting your cat to sleep.
- Feline idiopathic cystitisFeline idiopathic cystitis is a common disease in cats where the cause of the cystitis is not known
- FeralFeral cats are cats that originated from domestic cats but have not been socialised by people and live in a wild state. Not the same as a Stray Cat.
- fivFeline idiopathic cystitis is a common disease in cats where the cause of the cystitis is not known
- FleasSmall wingless parasites commonly picked up by cats and other animals.
- FlehmenFlehmen is a facial gesture I cat makes similar to a grimace. The cat raises its head slightly opening its mouth at the same time wrinkling its upper lip and nostrils. The cat uses this gesture to draw air in to stimulate the Jacobsen's Organ.
- Free Feedallowing your cat open access to food at all times.
- Ghost markingsFaint tabby markings seen in some solid coloured cats
- GibA castrated Male cat.
- GingivitisAn inflammatory disease affecting the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth (The Gums). This in turn can lead to tissue, bone, and tooth loss. (Periodontitis)
- Glycogen Storage DiseaseGlycogen Storage Disease (The type IV classification as found in cats) is a rare inherited condition resulting from an enzyme activity defect that effects the metabolism of glucose. This leads to a build up of glycogen in various body tissues. Symptoms can include: seizures, muscular(...)
- Guard HairGuard Hairs form most of the top coat of the cat. They are longer and thicker than both the awn and down hairs providing the waterproof outer jacket protecting the underlying fur from the elements.
- HairballA hairball is a mass of hair ingested by your cat whilst grooming and then vomited up as a usually brown grey suspicious sausage-like shape.
- HeatOne usually refers to a cat being "on heat" this is the period which time she is fertile and receptive to the advances of the Tom
- HepatitisInflammation of the liver
- HereditaryCapable of being transmitted genetically from parent to offspring
- HockA cats rear ankle
- Hypertrophic CardiomyopathyHypertrophic cardiomyopathy causes the hearts left ventricle walls to become enlarged and abnormally thickened. This reduces the efficiency of the heart being able to pump blood into the aorta. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is usually diagnosed by your veterinarian carrying out an(...)
- IdiopathicA disease having no known cause. as in FIC (Feline idiopathic cystitis)
- InstinctA pattern of behaviour that the cat is born with and is mostly hereditary and unalterable.
- IntramuscularLiterally into the muscle. This is usually used with reference to injections given directly into the cats muscle tissues
- IntravenousLiterally into the vein. Use with reference to injections given directly into the vein.
- Jacobsen’s OrganThe Jacobsen’s Organ is an olfactory organ located in the roof of the cat's mouth. It is used primarily for detecting and analysing the scent of other cats. This is brought into play when the cat performs the Flehmen reaction
- JowlsLoose flesh around the neck and throat
- KindleThe collective name for a group of kittens. Not to be confused with litter
- KittenA young immature cat
- Litter ²Material placed in a litter tray for cat toiletting to absorb liquids and reduce odours.
- Litter ¹The offspring of a queen produced at one birth
- MaskThe dark markings, shading typically seen on the face of Siamese cats
- MatA knot of hair that can form in the coats of long haired cats if not groomed regularly.
- MicrochipA small electronic chip a little larger than a grain of rice that is encoded with a unique fixed number. The chip is implanted just under the skin in the scruff of the cats neck.
- MoggyA mixed breed or crossbreed cat. Not a purebred or pedigree. (UK)
- MuzzleThe cats nose and jaw.
- NeuterTo neuter is to desex the cat. i.e castration in the male (removal of the testes), and spaying the female (removal of the ovaries and uterus)
- OlfactoryRelating to the sense of smell
- OnychectomyThe medical term for De-clawing
- PadThe furless padded area on the bottom of a cat's foot.
- PapillaeThe tiny backward facing tooth- like spines on a cat's tongue. Giving it that rough feeling you notice when being licked.
- Patella luxationPatellar luxation is a condition in which the Knee cap (Patella) moves out of its normal location. This condition can occur as a result of injury or congenital malformation or a congenital hereditary defect. If it is a result of a congential condition then it usually affects both hind legs(...)
- PedigreeThe written record of a cats genealogy.
- PicaThe eating of non-food items such as wall and fabrics. This is thought to be an inherited condition commonly affecting Siamese and Siamese crosses.
- PiebaldCovered with two patches of colour. In cats this is typically black and white.
- PinnaThe outer ear or ear flap. plural pinnae
- PolydactylPolydactyl - (Many digits) Cats typically have 18 toes. 5 on each front paw and 4 on each rear paw. Polydactyl cats can have an extra toe on 1 paw or even all 4 paws. It has been known for some cats to have an extra 2 toes. It is a genetic trait/variation that can appear in some cats(...)
- PolydipsiaExcessive thirst
- PolytocousProducing many offspring in a single birth.
- PolyuriaExcessive Urination
- PrepotentA cat with a strong genetic influence resulting in offspring that consistently resemble the parent.
- Progressive retinal atrophyThe Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) gene causes degeneration of the photoreceptors (the rods and cones) in the retina by producing a defective protein associated with retinal atrophy. This causes late onset blindness and cats affected by this condition have normal vision at birth but then(...)
- Pyruvate kinase deficiencyPyruvate kinase deficiency is a rare disease in which an enzyme ‘pyruvate kinase’, normally found in red blood cells, is lacking. This means that the red blood cells life is reduced and as a consequence there is a reduced number of red blood cells circulating within the bloodstream, resulting(...)
- QueenA female cat that has not been neutered /spayed
- QuickThe soft tender flesh at the base the growing part of a cats claw
- RenalRelated to the Kidneys. Renal diseases are common in the older cat.
- Renal amylodosisRenal amylodosis rare disease which is caused by abnormal protein deposits in the kidneys. Amylodosis occurs when irregular antibody proteins are created but cannot be broken down by the body as would normally be the case in a healthy cat. Amylodosis reduces renal function and can(...)
- RingwormRingworm or dermatophytosis is not actually a worm at all as the name implies but a fungus that can grow on a cat's skin. It can form a red or silvery scaly ring resulting in hair loss in the area. It is infectious and can be passed by airborne spores and the fallen hair of infected(...)
- RoundwormRoundworm is a long thin spaghetti like parasitic worm that can find its way into cats intestines. The cats usually ingest the eggs that reside in their prey, rodents, birds etc.
- Scratching postA tower like structure covered in sisal or seagrass that cats can use to scratch, stretch and de-husk their claws.
- SpaySurgical removal of the Uterus and Ovaries
- SprayUrine marking behavior, where the cat sprays urine onto a vertical surface to mark it's territory
- StifleThe knee joint of a cat's hind leg.
- StopAn indentation along the line of the cats nose. Typical of Persian cats.
- StrayStray cats are cats that have been socialised as a pet cat and have been either lost or abandoned.
- StudA male cat used for breeding.
- SubcutaneousLocated or placed just beneath the skin. Usually in reference to injections or cysts.
- TabbyTabby refers to a coat pattern in cats and is thought to be the original coat pattern of all domestic cats. There are four tabby patterns: mackerel, classic, spotted and agouti or ticked tabby. All tabby cats have expressive markings around the eyes and a mark shaped like the letter M on(...)
- TapewormA parasitic ribbonlike flatworm that can live in the intestines of cats and other vertebrates, including humans, after the ingestion of their eggs.
- TaurineAn essential nutrient for cats and that which must be supplied by their diet. Taurine is only to be found in the flesh of animals and not plant material.
- TickA small parasite that can attach to the cat and feed on its blood.
- TomAn intact male cat
- tortieA coat pattern that is generally a mosaic blend of black and orange.
- Tortie TabbyCats having a tortoiseshell and tabby pattern in their coat. US: Torbie
- TortoiseshellA coat pattern that is generally a mosaic blend of black and orange.
- TraitA genetically determined characteristic or condition
- TumourAn abnormal growth of tissue
- UndercoatA layer of the coat comprising down hairs.
- UrolithA bladder stone.
- ValerianA plant native to Eurasia and widely cultivated for its more fragrant white to pink or lavender flowers. The scent is attractive to some cats producing a reaction not dissimilar to catnip.
- VibrissaeWhiskers - Thick hairs that typically grow around the facial area of cats and other mammals that are sensitive to vibrations & touch
- WeanThe process of transitioning kittens away from their mother's milk on to solid foods.
- Whiskerssee Vibrissae
- WormsParasites that live in a cats body normally the digestive system aand the most common of which are roundworm and tapeworm.
- ZoonosesDiseases that can be passed from animals to humans. e.g. Bird Flu, Ringworm, Rabies