Known Cat Diseases
Having conquered cat flu, triumphed over tapeworm and braved behavioral
quirks, it is time to focus attention on some oft-observed, but little-documented,
afflictions of cats.
1. COLLAPSIBLE LEGS
Symptoms: The affected cat places one side of its head on the ground
as though cheek-marking the concrete, carpet etc. After several such
maneuvers, the legs on that side of the cat suddenly collapse, leaving
the cat waggling its feet in the air.
Treatment: This involves placing the palm of one hand on the exposed
belly and rubbing gently. There are side-effects though - some feline
sufferers attack the rubbing hand while others recover spontaneously,
often after prolonged treatment. This condition is probably incurable
and any cat which requires prolonged treatment after an attack will most
likely suffer repeated attacks of collapsible legs throughout its lifetime.
Symptoms: The affected cat repeatedly headbutts any available part of
a readily available human and turns its head slightly so that the lips
and cheek are rubbed against legs, arms, clothing etc. This condition
gets its name from a contraction of the phrase "soggy nudging".
Snudging may well be a form of excessive scent-marking. A bad attack
can result in soggy clothing.
Treatment: Give the sufferer lavish affection. Most attacks
subside between 10 minutes to 1 hour after onset of symptoms.
You may need to dry off
snudged clothing or skin. Attacks recur frequently, usually when the
most readily available human is engrossed in a TV program, book or telephone
Symptoms: The cat spreads to take up all available free bed space at
night. It then expands a bit more until any human occupants occupy the
smallest possible area of bed. It may do this on top or underneath the
covers or on the pillow. It is highly contagious - any other cats on
the bed will also develop symptoms of bed-hogging.
Treatment: The most obvious solution is to evict the cat from the bed.If
this is morally unfeasible, train yourself not to give way as the cat
expands. Buying a bigger bed is probably pointless as most affected cats
can easily expand to fill standard, queen-sized and king-sized beds.
Otherwise, simply train yourself to sleep while hanging precariously
off the side of the bed. Attacks of bed-hogging have been known to last
up to 23 hours (in one case a 3-day attack was noted by a cat-owner who
was confined to bed with flu; the cat thoughtfully kept her company during
4. NON-SPECIFIC INSECT INFESTATION (also NON-SPECIFIC SPIDER INFESTATION)
Symptoms: A disorder more prevalent among outdoor-going cats and cats
with access to conservatories and garden rooms. Symptoms range from minor
(the odd greenfly in tail, money-spider on fur) to severe (entire ecosystems
of insects living on cat, spider webs spun between ears/whiskers, cat
so weighed down with spider webs that it has difficulty walking).
Treatment: Minor symptoms can be treated by simply removing the infesting
agent (aphid, ladybug, spider etc) and combing webs out of fur. If the
cat suffers recurrent or severe symptoms an exercise regime is highly
recommended since highly mobile cats appear to attract fewer greenfly
(research into this factor continues).
Symptoms: The cat lowers its nose into water and exhales. This is followed
by whiffling, spluttering, sneezing, snorting, head-shaking and a generally
confused expression. Bath-foam appears to trigger attacks of fuffling
in some cats. It may also be linked to interesting items seen in the
water e.g. goldfish, food-crumbs, greeblingz. Fuffling is most common
during kittenhood although even quite elderly may suffer an occasional
Treatment: None. Snorkelling apparatus or scuba suits are possibilities,
but cats do not readily accept such treatment. Kittenhood fuffling generally
subsides as the cat grows older, possibly due to some acquired immunity
(or greater common sense).
6. IRRITABLE LAP SYNDROME
Symptoms: The cat appears unable to settle comfortably on laps, instead
treading, kneading, rearranging itself, fidgeting, vocalizing, getting
up and turning around, falling off lap and getting back on again, attacking
magazines, needlework, computer keyboard, telephone etc.
Treatment: Immediate treatment is essential. Drop whatever you are doing
(literally if need be) and give 100% attention to the sufferer otherwise
symptoms may escalate and become quite distressing to the lap-owner.
Only prolonged attention will cure an attack of Irritable Lap Syndrome.
Like Collapsible Legs this syndrome is incurable, although attacks may
be effectively treated as and when they occur.
7. LAP FUNGUS DISORDER
Symptoms: Having taken over a human lap, the cat proceeds to spread in
all planes. This may be accompanied by secondary symptoms such as high
volume purring, dribbling, kneading and snoring. The condition is highly
contagious and several fungoid cats may infest a lap simultaneously.
Treatment: Topical treatment with proprietary anti-fungals is ineffective.
Prompt treatment (as per Irritable Lap Syndrome) is required to alleviate
the worst symptoms although in a number of cats, such treatment actually
aggravates the condition. This disorder manifests itself periodically
through the affected cat's life and there is no long-term cure.
Symptoms: Varied:- sucking at clothing, owners earlobes/nose/fingers/skin,
drooling, glazed expression. Often accompanied by kneading and high volume
Treatment: Ultimately incurable. It is possible to remove smurglable
items from around the cat. The ailment may be transmitted to humans in
the form of large laundry bills, misshapen clothing and chapped skin.
Symptoms: Random dashes through to helter-skelter running through house
in pursuit of unseen prey. Greeblingz are believed to be non-visible
entities and some authorities have linked them to UFO sightings or feel
that they may be diminutive other-dimensional beings. Cats suffering
from greeblingz typically have wild-eyed expressions. There is a minor
danger of greeblingz attaching themselves to humans; if a cat tackles
such greeblingz, injury to humans may result. A very few cats are naturally
Treatment: None known. Anti-epileptics are ineffective as the condition
appears unrelated to other forms of seizure. Avoid getting in the way
of a cat engaged in greebling hunting. Attacks usually subside spontaneously,
perhaps as greeblingz return to their own dimension. These irritating
creatures are not visible to human eyes, but no doubt the superior sight
and hearing of cats enables them to see them.