Amyloidosis in Cats (August 2019)

Not too long ago, I spoke about amyloidosis in dogs, so now it’s time to go over amyloidosis in cats.

Amyloidosis occurs pretty frequently in kitties, especially in certain breeds. Siamese, for example, is a breed that often deals with this type of problem.

What is Amyloidosis?

In short, amyloidosis is the result of abnormal proteins in the bodies of cats that are unable to be dissolved. They have a resistance to a cat’s normal digestive system and are unable to be broken down.

The amyloids are moved to different tissues, organs, and throughout the body, in general, because they cannot be broken down properly.

As a result, this displaces and damages normal cells in a cat’s body.

However, this can happen normally through age, but the extensive form is a definite problem.

Symptoms of Amyloidosis in Cats

Amyloidosis can be a tricky thing to spot. You have to know your cat’s behavior and habits like the back of your hand.

Unfortunately, symptoms will vary depending on which organs are affected and how far the development of amyloidosis has gone.

Listed below are the most common symptoms seen in cats with amyloidosis:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Increased drinking and urination
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weakness in one or both of the rear legs
  • Fluid build-up under the skin, chest cavity, and/or abdomen

If you spot any of these signs of amyloidosis in cats listed above, bring your cat to the vet as soon as possible.

The Causes of Amyloidosis in Cats

Interestingly enough, certain breeds are more prone to amyloidosis than others.

Oriental Shorthair, Siamese, and Abyssinian breeds have a genetic disorder that often lead to the development of amyloidosis.

As I mentioned above, amyloids being spread through the body can be a normal thing based on a cat’s age, but only in minimal amounts that cause little to no damage.

Amyloidosis can be caused by chronic inflammatory disease, cancer, chronic infections, and any conditions that lead to a lot of severe inflammation.

Treating Amyloidosis in Cats

Unfortunately, there is no cure for amyloidosis in cats, at this time of writing.

Treatment is usually directed at helping whatever organs are affected to function relatively normal again, but different vets will try different treatments.

Cats with amyloidosis can still live long, happy lives, but regular treatment is necessary and you have to be consistent.


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