THE CAT, ITS POINTS: AND MANAGEMENT IN HEALTH AND DISEASE
by FRANK TOWNEND BARTON, M.R.C.V.S.
SEVERAL works have already appeared on the " Cat," most of which deal with it from an exhibition point of view its management and diseases. Unfortunately, such are often defective, if not inaccurate ; though it is unreasonable to expect the layman to be an expert in matters appertaining to diseases of the Cat.
The Author has had extensive experience in all matters concerning the animal, and this is the reason why he has collaborated with the publishers in the preparation of this work.
The various breeds of the cat have been carefully classified, whilst the sections devoted to the ailments have been written in accordance with pathological facts so far as known at the present time.
It is hoped that this small manual will be found a distinct advance on anything that has already appeared upon this subject.
The Author desires to express his sincere thanks and gratitude to those who have been kind enough to allow him the use of photographs, but above all to the Editor of " Fur and Feather," for the loan of some of the electros.
THE cat along with other quadrupeds, such as the dog, weasel, civet, etc. belongs to the Carnivora order of digitigrades, and, in company with the hyaena, etc., composes the family known as Felidas. The chief characteristics of this group are the beautiful markings cither spotted or striped which they present in the fur, along with a frill or mane, in some instances. Whole self-coloured are rare in comparison with those exhibiting either stripes or spots.
This coloration may be assimilative, to some extent, to the surroundings of the animals in a wild state, and more necessary than in a state of domestication, considering the stealthy habits which all the members of this group manifest, when seeking their prey in the forests of Europe, Africa, and Asia.
The claws of all this family are completely retractile. The muzzle and head are short and round the ears short, as also the jaws, which latter are possessed of vicelike strength. There are five complete toes on the fore-feet the first, or thumb, being very short and placed high up each armed with a sharp claw, whilst the hind legs have four toes the first being of a rudimentary character. They have three pairs of incisor teeth in each jaw, whilst the canine teeth are large and sharp.
Referring in particular to the cat, it is exceedingly difficult to locate its origin with any degree of certainty. That it is a descendant of one or the other form of the mountain or forest cat that is, Felts catus is fairly well established, but whether it sprung in the first instance from the wild species inhabiting Africa, Asia, or Europe is indeterminate. The best opinions lean towards a multiple origin. It is just probable that our domestic pussy may have sprung from Western Asia, and be a cross between the Egyptian or North African, and that originating from India or Persia.
The fact that very ancient fossil remains of the cat have been discovered in the Upper Eocene in Europe, whilst in Asia similar formations have been found in the Upper Miocene, and in America in the Lower Miocene, seems to indicate that possibly the continent of Europe may, after all, have been its cradle.
All we know definitely, however, is that a small and common type of wild cat (Felis caffra) has been found throughout the length and breadth of the African continent, very similar in build to our domestic cat, but having a slighter build and possessing a longer but thinner tail. The markings vary considerably in this type throughout its wide distribution. It will readily breed with the tame animal. It is sometimes called the Egyptian cat. The Egyptians paid a certain reverence to the cat, and seem to have made use of a domesticated form of it for some such purposes as hunting rats and mice out of their granaries, etc.
We cannot, however, commit ourselves to the positive assertion that the African wild cat was the progenitor of our domesticated friend, though the " tabby " markings that appear on both seem to favour this supposition. Besides the above, there is a spotted variety of wild cat that hailed originally from Northern India or thereabouts, and the descendants of which are very prevalent to-day in Hindustan. This also readily interbreeds with the domestic cat. Furthermore, there is no doubt that a European wild cat has existed from very remote times, inhabiting the then wild steppes and forest portions of the continent.
The wild cat (Felis catus) as we know it from specimens in museums, etc., very much resembles the tame one, but is generally a little larger and has a somewhat bigger head. Its tail is thicker and shorter, striped with black rings, and has a black tip. Its eyes are large and full, and of a yellowish grey tint. The throat, chin and underpart of the belly are white, as also the toes. The whiskers are longer and stiffer than in the tame variety, whilst the claws are grey. Markings resemble those of the domestic cat. The female is smaller than the male and lighter in colour. It preys on other animals and is fierce in its nature ; makes a nest in the hollow of a tree as a rule. The distribution of the cat in a domesticated condition is exceedingly extensive its extreme utility in destroying vermin being the reason for this.
The Greeks seem to have used an animal for mousing purposes, but it is probable that this, i. e. the "ailuros," was the marten and not the cat. This, however, is not absolutely certain. We find no traces whatever of the domestic cat in the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, though it is quite possible it was there when established. Certainly it came under control previous to the Christian era.
In the Middle Ages it was very much thought of, and laws and stringent regulations passed against its injury or destruction. Roman literature attests the very great care with which it was preserved. When rats and mice began to infest the human habitations of Northern Africa Morocco, for instance, and countries bordering the Mediterranean it became an invaluable ally to man, and speedily replaced the unsatisfactory marten for hunting small rodents, and in this capacity grew more and more in public favour.
In our own country the wild cat was found till within four centuries or so back, and even later in some of the wilder districts, say of Cumberland, Caithness, and North- Wales. Any now found in a wild state are probably such as have reverted from a tame to a wild condition, though disputed by many. In markings, it varied but little from the tame pussy, but was of superior size and strength, and had a larger head, whilst its tail was shorter and thicker and of uniform thickness throughout. It generally had a black streak down the middle of its back and tail. The limbs are ornamented with regular dark rings. It is highly probable that as the domesticated Eastern cat was brought or spread from Persia or India into Asia Minor, the Balkan Peninsula, it interbred with the wild variety, and in this way originated the different varieties of the domestic cat existing as we know it today. With the introduction of firearms, the days of the wild cat were numbered, its existence being incompatible with the advancing civilization.
Formerly, most European cats were of the short-haired variety, but these in recent times have been frequently crossed with the Persian, or long-haired breed. Tabby or striped cats were probably the earliest type, its stripes being derived from its wild ancestor. The eyes were yellow. By interbreeding, selection, etc., most of these stripes have disappeared.
Cats as a rule do not present anything like the same structural differences in conformation as the dog, not being required for such divers purposes ; the cat's sole occupation being the destruction of mice and rats. Neither does the cat become attached to its owner in the same way that the dog does, whilst it reverts much more readily to a savage or wild state than the dog. Singularly, cats never form the same degree of friendship to a person or persons as that of the dog, their attachment being one more of place than of person, hence the reason why a cat so constantly wanders back to its former haunts.
CHAPTER I GENERAL MANAGEMENT
Housing, or the Cattery Bedding Washing Preparation for Exhibition Transit by Train Disinfectants and their Uses.
Housing, or the Cattery.
UNDER ordinary circumstances the cat takes up its abode in the family circle, sleeping either in or out of doors at night though it must be confessed that it is an undesirable practice, and to some extent unkinr 1 to allow cats to roam about out of doors all nignt. Such leads to fostering the roving disposition, and, once acquired, a cat is seldom much use for the destruction of smaller vermin within the house. Moreover, it has a detrimental influence in other ways, such as the contraction of mange, distemper, and too frequent gestation.
When a number of pedigree cats are to be kept, the erection of a cattery, either in or out of doors, becomes essential, but it is much preferable to have it out of doors, being healthier for the cats and certainly less objectionable to members of the household. If the cattery is carefully constructed, it can be kept out of doors at a more equable temperature than even a room in the house, whilst the necessary artificial warmth can be provided in the outdoor cattery just as well during the cold weather. The construction of it will necessarily depend upon the ground at the owner's disposal, the number of cats it is desired to accommodate, and the disbursement of capital at command.
Most of the manufacturers of dog and poultry houses make various forms of catteries, some of which, however, are of a very elaborate design. Probably those made by Messrs. Boulton and Paul, Norwich, and Spratt's Patent, London, have no superiors, but this, of course, is a matter for individual judgment. Fig. i represents a portable outdoor cats' house and run, and is an extremely ornamental structure. The run is covered with galvanized iron netting, and there is a shelf in the run with a door at the end.
The size of the house is 2 yards long by 4 feet wide, and is 5 and a half feet high at the eaves. The roof is covered with corrugated iron, and the house is made of weather-boarding, whilst the floor is also wooden, as well as the shelves for sleeping upon. Its cost is £6 10s. A similar house to the above could be constructed by a skilful workman. If convenient, it is always better to place the house and run upon a concrete or asphalt foundation. Place it in a position that will ensure it the maximum amount of warmth and sunlight.
Fig. 2. This represents a lean-to cattery of excellent construction, and comprises two houses, each with a run, the size of each house being 3 feet by 4 feet from back to front, and each run is 4 feet square ; the whole occupying a space of 14 feet by 4 feet, and 6 feet high at the back. This is a beautiful house, but expensive. The roof is of corrugated iron, the runs of galvanized iron network, and the walls of rustic jointed weather-boards, painted and fitted with shelves in the houses and runs.
In Fig. 3 the illustration represents another cathouse with a run, made both as a single and a double house. The single house is 7 feet 6 inches by 2 feet 6 inches ; whilst the double is 5 feet wide. Both the run and house have a door for cleaning it out ; the roof is covered with weather-boarding. The cost of a single house is £3, and the double is £5.
Any local carpenter will construct a cattery according to the owner's plans, but such construction must be regulated by certain principles, applicable to a cattery only, which, if left to the devices of the carpenter, are almost certain to be found wanting in the essentials of a good house.
First of all there must be a large air-space above, as cats require plenty, of pure air. The joints of the boarding must be either overlapping one another, or else the house must be lined with match-boarding with a layer of felt between, the latter certainly repaying the extra outlay by the additional comfort it affords.
The outlet for impure air should be in the roof; and the inlet, in the form of a small window, fixed in the door. Both house and run should have a separate door, taking care that the door in the house has a south or south-west aspect, whilst the door in the run is preferably at the end. The run should be enclosed with half-inch galvanized wire netting fixed on to the sectional framework of the run. 4 feet by 4 feet may be allowed for the run ; for the house, 6 feet by 4 feet ; and the height at the eaves, 6 feet. Doors should open outwards. Use well-seasoned red deal for its construction, and have the roof either slated or tiled upon wood, corrugated iron being too hot in summer, and too cold in winter. The floor of the house should be of boards, with a shelf or bench for the cat to sleep upon, whilst the floor of the run may be either of concrete, gravel, wood, or grass, etc. ; but in any case it should be freely sprinkled with moss, litter or some other absorbent.
There should also be a shelf fitted up in the run for the cat to bask upon during the day. The whole structure should have a couple of coats of anti-corrosion paint. The place must be absolutely damp-proof.
During the summer no bedding is necessary. For warmth and cleanliness fine oat straw is the best of all, a layer of which should be upon the shelf or sleeping board. Shavings or brake-fern can be substituted. Sleeping on cushions, etc., is usual, but is certainly not equal to straw for keeping a cat's fur clean. Change the bedding every two or three weeks.
If cats are kept clean by regular grooming and in a clean house, they will seldom require washing, but, through circumstances not always under control, it may become necessary to wash a cat, an operation often of extreme difficulty, as the cat has an inherent hatred to washing, though some owners wash their cats regularly. It is a mistake to immerse the animal, but it should be placed in an ordinary foot-bath, or shallow vessel ; the fur then wetted on the hinder part of the body and some dog-shampoo then well rubbed in, so as to form a good lather. This is then rinsed off with tepid water. The same is then applied to the fore part of the body, and then the whole rinsed off with cold water. The cat must be thoroughly dried afterwards. As cats are very refractory, it is better to use a pair of stout gloves to prevent being scratched.
Many may argue that a dry shampoo has not the same cleansing power as the wet process, which to a certain extent is true, but this method of cleansing the coat has much to recommend it ; in fact the writer believes if it were more widely known its adoption would become universal, as it reduces the hardship of the feline ablution to one of comparative simplicity. Dry shampooing fluid can be obtained in bottles from the chemists'. The coat is freely wetted with it, and then vigorously shampooed till the lather appears and disappears as the process is persisted in, the coat becoming sweeter and cleaner.
Preparation for Exhibition.
An inferior specimen shown in tip-top condition has been known to beat a much superior one shown in bad condition, and any fancier who values the reputation of his exhibit should make it a rule never to show when in bad or indifferent condition. Another matter is to avoid showing in spring and autumn, when cats are renewing their coats, for if the coat is not Ai it will be severely handicapped. Strictly speaking, there is no royal road to attain exhibition condition beyond that of regular grooming, careful feeding, and cleanliness.
Long-haired cats are much more trouble than the short-haired, therefore children had better confine themselves to the latter. The wool of the cat is fine, or, rather, should be so, and the best appliance is an ordinary hair-comb, taking care to tease the hair well out, especially the under part, which has a tendency to become felted.
A long soft-haired brush should be used in addition to the comb for long-haired cats, but for the short-haired the writer prefers a soft-haired horse-brush, with a strap at the back, selecting one of small size.
The great secret is the preservation of all the hair possible, but when long-haired cats have been neglected a certain amount of the felted under coat must be clipped away. The frill round the neck must be brushed, so as to stand well off, whilst that on the tail must receive similar attention.
To attain the maximum pristine condition of the coat, it must be groomed three times daily ; feed on the best raw meat night and morning, and add two drops of Fowler's solution of arsenic to the milk, night and morning, say, for six weeks previous to exhibition.
Transit by Rail.
No matter whether sending your cat for exhibition, service, or sale, it is your duty to see that it occupies a suitable hamper, or travelling-box, with secure fastenings, as cats occasionally make their escape during transit, and there is difficulty in obtaining anything more than 2 in compensation unless its value has been declared by the sender at the time of dispatch, and a trifling additional fee paid for such. Lined hampers, with a good bedding of straw, do very well. Special boxes and hampers are sold for this purpose by those dealing in dog and cat requisites. Always label plainly, and give a feed 'of raw meat before dispatch. Avoid sending by any but main lines whenever possible. All show hampers should be plainly labelled both inside and out, and kept in dry places when not required for use, and, on return, such had better be fumigated.
Disinfectants and their Uses.
One of the most powerful disinfectants, or rather sterilizers, is boiling water ; few, if any, germs can resist the prolonged application of this. Wherever disease has been, wash down with very hot water, soft soap, with a little carbolic acid added to it. As soon as dry, brush over with carbolic acid and water, and finally lime-whiten. This is, of course, only applicable to inanimate objects, and must on no account be used on the cat, as such animals are readily destroyed by this chemical.
Carbolic acid, creolin, formalin, Jeyes' fluid, corrosive sublimate, chinosol, sanitas, terpinol, pino eucalypt, are the principal disinfectant agencies, and solutions of any of these can be employed for washing the cattery and appliances, etc., therein.
This means filling the place with fumes, and allowing these to have a prolonged action upon the walls of the cattery by exclusion of the surrounding atmosphere.
Sulphurous acid gas, formalin, and chlorine gas are the principal fumigating media.
The first-named is made by throwing a handful of flowers of sulphur upon some hot coals on a shovel.
Formalin tabloids ready for use, together with the needful apparatus, can be obtained, with instructions, from a chemist, or it may be improvised from a night-light, and shallow saucer. The fumes are very irritating, probably more so than chlorine gas.
Needless to say, all live stock must be removed before fumigation.
II FOODS AND FEEDING
IT is customary to feed the house-cat in a very irregular manner, and, through negligence, often not at all : hence the reason why one sees so many half-starved cats about. The negligence of the average domestic in the matter of feeding house pets is notorious, as these are either fed to excess or overlooked altogether.
The natural diet of the cat is flesh, and such should constitute at least three-fourths of its food ; milk, bread and fish making up the remaining fourth. Vegetables are wholly unsuitable, and liver is too much of a laxative, but very suitable as an occasional feed, especially during the summer. In London and other cities cooked horseflesh constitutes the principal food for cats, being both cheap and wholesome, either cut up or given whole preferably the former. If a cat is fed on this, say, for the midday meal, along with a little milk both morning and evening, it is all that it requires.
Another form of flesh is that known as lights (that is, the lungs), and cats are largely fed upon this. It is not, however, a good form of flesh, and in some cases constitutes the source of tuberculous infection. Its use should be discouraged at all times.
Table scraps make an excellent article of diet, particularly when meat is mixed with a little gravy and potatoes. Both fresh and salt fish are useful, but it ought to be cooked, although we have seen it stated that salt may actually cause peritonitis a statement that almost staggers humanity.
Good sound horseflesh and scraps from the butcher are cheap, economical and satisfactory, but fatty substances cats will not take as a rule. To feed cats upon putrid flesh, fish, etc., is a most pernicious practice, though one, we regret to say, not uncommonly practised.
Kittens, after weaning, should be fed at least four times a day milk thickened with a little corn-flour, or, what is still much better, " Lactol," the latter being particularly suitable for them. Directly they are able to take solid food, begin them with fish, say, twice a day.
Small birds and mice, of course, constitute an important item of food whenever a cat has an opportunity of procuring such as its prey, but these cannot always be relied upon as a daily allowance.
Patent cat-foods are sold, the principal one being manufactured by Spratt's Patent, and this is an excellent food, and cats thrive on it.
The author has recommended horseflesh as the best food, but a word of caution is necessary to qualify this recommendation. There are at least two diseases affecting the horse, which might be transmitted to the cat through consuming the semi-cooked flesh of a diseased animal.
Legislation against these diseases is prohibitive, namely, anthrax and glanders. Carcases affected in this manner are not allowed to be cut up, much less distributed as food to other members of the lower creation : the obscurity, however, of these maladies does sometimes lead to their accidental admission into the cat's-meat market, yet this is not sufficient to disturb the recommendation of horseflesh as food for cats.
Special Feeding of Sick Cats.
When cats have to be fed, artificially, as in many cases of disease, a great deal of trouble and patience has to be exercised, and considerable manipulative dexterity is called for.
First of all, the following artificial foods and stimulants are the principal ones : warmed milk ; iced milk ; milk and soda water ; beef juice ; Brand's Essence ; Lactol ; Oxo ; Bovril ; raw egg ; egg and brandy ; corn-flour ; arrow-root ; malt and beef wine ; coco wine ; Wincarnis ; Liebig's Extract ; raw minced meat, etc. For sick cats Lactol is truly excellent.
The main thing to observe in feeding a cat that is ill is to give a very small quantity, repeated, say, six times a day. The stomach readily rebels-against artificial foods, and if too much is given the stomach is sure to reject it. A dessertspoonful is ample to give each time, and if raw meat is used, a teaspoonful of minced beef-steak is enough at once.
The condition of the patient will be the best guide in regulating the quantity, mode of administration, suitability of the aliment and its repetition. The proper way to give a cat fluids is through a small pewter syringe, which is charged with the material, then inserted at the side of the mouth, and the piston then driven home. Semi-fluids, however, cannot be given in this manner. A teaspoon is commonly used for the latter, the mouth being held open meanwhile. Even when the greatest care is exercised, cats become very refractory to the artificial administration of either food or medicine, and the remedy may prove more detrimental than the disease, especially if the cat struggles violently meanwhile.
One person should hold the cat by gripping it after the fashion indicated in the chapter on General Management, whilst the second person administers the food. (It is better if a third party is present, to steady the head and to depress the lower jaw, through which a piece of tape may be passed inside the mouth and the free ends then used as a lever, for depressing the lower jaw.) When cats have to be fed by the lower end of the bowel, the chances of recovery are very small indeed. A clyster must be given to clear out the rectum, and the nutrient medium then injected a little brandy, or brandy and egg, being the best for such purposes.
III THE VARIETIES POINTS, ETC. SHORT-HAIRED CATS
Introduction Tortoiseshell Black Red or Sandy White Cream Black and White Blue The Tabby (Red, Brown, Spotted, Silver) Dutch-marked.
General conformation of the short-haired cat :
All cats, no matter whether short-haired or long-haired, must conform to a certain general type; and this conformation, modified in accordance with the distinctive features of the various breeds, will be found applicable throughout.
First of all, there are slight differences between the he and the she cat, such being mostly observable in connection with the skull and facial expression, which in the she-cat lacks the massiveness and masculine appearance that characterize, the Toms. Moreover, the muscular development in the latter is much more pronounced, and the virile nature is more distinguishable, even under ordinary conditions, but particularly evident in the presence of Queens the soft and pleasing expression of the she-cat, when compared with that of the male, being readily discernible.
The Coat, in both male and female, of a well-bred cat should be soft, and dense and, in the long-haired varieties, abundant. The Skull ought to be round, especially in the dome, and its transverse diameter great, any tendency towards narrowness being decidedly faulty a feature so commonly observable in cats of inferior breeding. Eyes to be set well apart, large and lustrous. Ears small, thin in texture, covered with soft hair, and carried slightly forward. The skin covering the skull, likewise over other portions of the body, should be fine, a coarse skin being indicative of inferior breeding. The nose ought to be broad, muzzle broad, any signs of "snipiness" being faulty.
Fore-limbs : the fore-arms must be big in the bone, and judges pay particular attention to this, a big-boned, clean-muscled limb being requisite. Legs neither too long nor too short, but proportionate, ending below with well-rounded, compact, padded feet.
Neck medium length, well-rounded and muscular, any sign of weediness in this region being a defect. Shoulders muscular and deep. Chest of considerable width. Ribs ought to be deep, and well sprung, a flat side being a somewhat common fault. When you pick the cat up behind the shoulders, you ought to be impressed with the capacity of the chest, as so many animals are faulty in this respect. Flanks should be full, and the belly well-rounded, not tucked up as seen in so many inferior-bred cats. Back and loins strong, ending in a bushy gracefully carried tail, with an abundance of soft hair upon it. Hind quarters should be indicative of great power, and the muscles firm to the touch.
The general build of a typical cat's body should be one of compactness, any tendency towards lankiness or slackness of build being objectionable, and such will most assuredly be noticed under judicial ken, although probably the ordinary observer might overlook defects patent to the connoisseur. The temperament of a cat should be sweet, but, unfortunately, many of the cross-bred cats are far from the ideal in this respect, though it must be admitted that environment has a marked influence in the determining of the temperament.
The colour of the Tortoiseshell should be red, black, and yellow or white. The markings constitute the principal features, and unless these are sharply and clearly defined the cat will be handicapped in the show pen. The Dutch markings on the face are points of beauty, viz. the "blaze" or light triangular strip up the face, ending at the back of the neck. The white feet and stops, with white chest, are essentials, but there is no collar as in the Dutch rabbit.
The white markings must not be fused with the body colour, whilst the line of delimitation must be sharp, for judges are keen upon quality in this respect, as so many Tortoiseshells are defective in this matter ; in fact, it is one of the chief difficulties a breeder of Tortoiseshells has to contend against.
If there is no white, then the amount of black hair should be small, compared with the red and yellow markings. Uniformity of markings in size, etc., is of paramount importance, and a Tortoiseshell will never stand high up in the prize-list if deficient in' this respect. The eyes should be a dark amber a light eye being a serious defect.
When selecting a sire or queen to breed from, endeavour to procure one particularly good in respect to its markings; but really good specimens are not easily obtained, and, when obtained, as a rule, command a high price.
This whole-coloured variety must be of a raven blackness, though many have a distinct rusty tinge, especially noticeable in direct sunlight. If black cats are exposed to the heat of the sun, they soon get a rusty colour. When judging these cats, never do so by artificial light. The presence of white hairs constitutes a disqualifying feature, especially upon the feet or about the face being least objectionable when upon the chest. Unscrupulous exhibitors sometimes resort to dying in order to overcome this fault.
The individual hair should be fine, and the whole coat be possessed of a brilliant lustre. Eyes an intense orange a light eye being a common fault. The durability of the black and its special suitability for the town has made it exceedingly popular, and the enormous number of black cats attests public opinion in this respect, but of course there are good, bad, and indifferent specimens the two last-named being the commonest.
The Red or Sandy.
Both these colours, which in reality are but shades of one and the same colour, are less frequently met with than the black, and are not as durable as the latter for a town cat. The deep rich red is preferable to the light or sandy, though many are mealy that is, light-coloured. The eyes should be deep yellow, corresponding to the colour of the body.
White cats, for town houses, are unsuitable, but in country places they are extremely nice, and have the happy knack of keeping their fur clean. The iris should be a deep rich blue. Purity of colour is an essential feature, and the coat should be soft and abundant.
Albino specimens have pink eyes, and this of course is a defect. Another common fault is that of having odd eyes, i.e. one eye may be the correct blue and the other yellow.
Needless to add, the presence of any coloured hair is a serious blemish, destroying a cat's chances of success at an exhibition.
The body colour is really a light fawn, whilst the eyes should be either hazel or green. In other respects, the points are practically identical with the last-named.
Piebald. (Black and White.)
Black and White cats are very common, and these hybrid cats are the progeny of two whole-coloured parents the black and the white; but the black colour usually predominates, the white usually being upon the face, breast, and feet. They are very suitable as town cats. Black stripes upon a white body are the tabby markings.
There is a blue variety of short-haired cats, which seems to be really a Blue Tabby, destitute of the markings or spots characteristic of the latter, excepting when young, when tabby markings may be present. The shade varies from a light silver to a light blue. There is no lustre on the coat the colour being subdued.
The characteristic features of the Tabbies reside in their markings, or the transverse stripes, though some Tabbies are spotted ; but whether striped or spotted, sharpness of markings constitutes the ideal of beauty. These markings probably represent, or are the legacy of, the primary stock, from which the domestic cat has been evolved.
The ground or body colour may be either white, red, yellow, silver, blue, grey, brown, or chocolate, and opinions are at variance as to which of these constitutes the best for body colour, and the only answer that the writer can give is, individuality of taste. White markings on coloured grounds of Tabby cats are faulty.
The Red Tabby.
The markings or the spots stand prominently out in contrast to the lighter ground colour ; in fact, deep transverse markings or spots are essentials for the show pen, though there is a certain difficulty in breeding the ideal in this respect. Another important feature is that of having the transverse bands of less width than the intervening self colour. In short, the Striped Tabby should have narrow, deep, and regular stripings, without any one space being wider than the rest. The correct shade is really an intense orange, striped with a mahogany tan. The Brown Tabby. The Brown Tabby is a popular variety, and the classes at shows are usually well filled. The ground colour should be a deep brown with darker shadings.
The Spotted Tabby.
The ground colour varies just as with the striped varieties, but the essential feature is the presence of spots of deeper intensity. Regularity, uniformity of size, general distribution, and sharpness of definition are the necessary requisites in a Spotted Tabby's fur. Irregularly distributed spots ; fusion of spots and feebleness of the same, together with lack of definition, are the common faults.
Distribution of spots on the face materially enhances the beauty of a Spotted Tabby. White markings are objectionable.
The Silver Tabby.
This may be either striped or spotted with a silver ground colour, and the dark markings confer a degree of beauty probably not exceeded in any other variety. When the writer bred Silver Tabbies, he found that the chief difficulty consisted in obtaining sharply defined markings, as the silver body colour seems to give much more trouble for clearness of definition no matter whether of spots or transverse stripes. The colour of the eyes has been compared to that of the emerald, a light green eye being most detrimental to type.
The Dutch-marked Cat. (Magpie Markings.)
The markings in this variety are closely allied to those of the Dutch rabbit, but a certain amount of latitude must be allowed, and tact exercised when judging this variety. Let us explain that two forms of markings occur in the Dutch rabbit termed the " Old " and the " New." In the former the collar ends behind the elbows, whereas in the latter at the base of the neck; but it must not extend round the neck. The body is black, and in the new style of markings the fore and hind feet " stops " must be marked to a little distance just below the knees and hocks ; but in the old style the feet are white, and here again judges will have sharpness of definition, blurring being defective. The ears must be the same colour as that of the body the muzzle white and the " blaze " extending up the skull to join the collar, narrowing in its ascent. Great importance is attached to the cheek markings, and all breeders of Dutch cats and Dutch rabbits are anxious to reduce (within reasonable limits) the cheek markings, which must be uniform with the body colour, but above all uniform, in size, sharpness of outline and colour, with the opposite cheek. The body colour may be black, blue, or tortoiseshell. Odd eyes constitute a defect of the worst kind.
IV FOREIGN AND MANX CATS
THIS is an extremely handsome variety of cat, and one of comparatively recent introduction into this country. When the kittens are born they are white, but subsequently change into a deep fawn or dun, with black points. The coat should be smooth, lustrous, and fine in texture. The eyes large, and of an intense blue with markings round. The ears small, and carried erect with a slightly forward incline at the tips. The head lacks the massiveness of the English cat, being more wedge-shaped. The mask should be a sooty brown the ears the same. The tail also should be sooty brown, and the feet similar in colour. Distinctness of markings in the situations named must be looked upon as essential of beauty. Some Siamese cats have a little white about their feet, but they are better without this, yet it is not a disqualification.
There is another colour for the Siamese the chocolate body, with pure black points.
Siamese cats make excellent pets, being companionable; and are easily taught to fraternize with dogs, being full of life; and thrive fairly well in either a temperate or sunny climate. They ought not to be kept out of doors in winter, and cannot be recommended where the climate is severe or exposed. Tip-top specimens are difficult to obtain, and readily command high prices. Another striking feature of this royal breed is the peculiarity of their gait resembling that of the monkey. In course of time the constitution of the Siamese will probably improve. Its acclimatization in this country ought to render it less delicate.
This is a short-haired variety of cat, occasionally seen at the larger shows. In colour it is harebrown with brownish black tickings. There should be a sharply defined black trace running the length of the spine, ending in the tail. The eyes are hazel. Abyssinian s are a good deal used for cross breeding. They should be of a smart and compact conformation of body. In size they are about the same as the ordinary English cat.
The Manx cat the origin of which is involved in obscurity chiefly exists in the Isle of Man, and has been found also in the Crimea and Cornwall. Few specimens are now found.
The suppression of the tail constitutes one of the characteristic features of the breed. Manx cats by no means breed true to type, any more than the bob-tailed sheep-dog or schipperke does, and if the aborted caudal appendage is removed, it makes the cat quite as good as though it had been born with a total absence of tail. It is the absence of tail that gives the peculiar appearance to the Manx Cat, being akin to that of the rabbit in the hinder part, owing to the length of the limbs.
With reference to colour of coat, the Manx may be of any colour, but probably black is most frequently met with.
There is nothing whatever to recommend the breed, whilst the loss of the tail in no way enhances its beauty. If a short tail is present, it should be removed whilst the kitten is a few days old, and there is no doubt that many spurious Manx cats exist, as the result of this simple operation, practised for deception.
V THE LONG-HAIRED VARIETIES
General Characteristics of the Persians White Angora Smoke Persian Blue Persian Black Persian Chinchilla Tortoiseshell Tortoiseshell and White Cream Persian Orange Persian Brown Tabby Red Tabby Silver Tabby.
General Characteristics of the Persians.
AMONGST all the varieties of cats the Persian, in point of beauty, stands pre-eminent, and a first class specimen of this breed is certainly an adornment to any household. The heading of this chapter shows the reader, at a glance, in what divers colours the Persian exists, and a study of it ought to enable one to satisfy himself as to what colour will best suit and please him. In town, for preference, the darker shades should be selected, but in rural districts any colour will do.
If about to purchase a Persian, we recommend application to some breeder of repute, stating wants, amount of disbursement, and whether a Tom, Queen cat, or neuter is desired ; as the latter is usually lower in price, because a breeder is usually very willing to dispose of all specimens not likely to make winners. The best age to buy at is about four months, and for a first-class kitten five or six guineas is a reasonable price. Do not be misled by advertisements with flowery descriptions of low-priced Persians.
Reverting to the general characteristics, beauty of coat constitutes the primary factor in the whole class of Persians no matter what colour. To put the matter plainly, the coat must be long ; abundant ; dense, and soft in texture, Around the neck the hair should stand off to form a collar or frill which is usually lighter than the rest of the hair upon the body. The hair composing the frill must stand well off, and partly hide the shoulders and brisket. A highly-developed frill is significant of good breeding, but allowance must be made for its defective nature if a Persian is young, or not in full coat.
The head must be massive and well rounded, snipiness being a defect. The eyes, large, full and brilliant, the iris generally corresponding to that of the body colour. The ears, well-shaped, small, and covered with fine fur ; whilst the tufts springing from their bases at their inner sides to be of the same colour as the frill represents the hall mark of pure breeding. The fore limbs to be of medium length, but big in the bone. Feet compact ; well rounded, with an abundance of hair between the toes. Body compact, with ribs well sprung, and chest deep. Back and loins strong. Quarters gracefully turned. Tail must have an abundance of long soft hair, to form the plume.
Lightness of bone ; bent or short limbs ; slackness of build ; large ears ; snipy face ; a coat coarse in texture ; and a poorly developed frill, with, of course, defective markings, are faulty, though in a variable degree.
The White Angora.
Although the Angora is sometimes spoken of as distinctive from the Persian, yet it is so closely allied to the latter that any attempt to classify it as a distinctive variety is inadvisable. Therefore we have included it under the Persians. The fur should be pure white, abundant, of great length, glossy, and of soft fleece-like texture. There must be an abundant frill. Ears small, tufted, and fine in texture. Eyes must be a rich blue : judges pay particular attention to these. Normally, during youth, the
iris is pale in colour, gradually increasing with the cat's growth as the pigmentation deepens or ought to do. This is where many Angoras fail. Light washy blue eyes are faulty. Odd eyes are equally objectionable. The body conformation should correspond with that given under the " General Characteristics."
The Smoke Persian.
There are black and blue varieties of this. If a Black Smoke, the hair is white towards the skin and a dark grey at the tips ; whilst the collar or frill is of a lighter grey. The face is dark, or black, in the black variety, but in a blue variety is grey. The fore-limbs must correspond with the colour of the face. Ear tufts are light. Iris, orange.
The Blue Persian.
The Blue Persian, in reality, is a steel grey, and the chief essential is that the fur must be free from any admixture of white or any other colour of hair ; in other words, paleness and purity of coloration are a sine qua non ; any tendency towards smoked fur, shadings or markings, being faulty. Eyes should be a deep orange.
The Black Persian.
The coat should be of raven blackness and full of lustre absolutely free from white hair or the slightest rusty tinge ; the last-named being a common fault in blacks, hence the reason why one should never use a sire, or queen, with this fault, to breed from. The Black Persian is particularly suitable as a town cat, being handsome and durable. The eyes should be an intense orange a light eye being a fault.
In conformation, coat, etc., the Black Persian is identical with the description given under the heading of " General Characteristics."
The Chinchilla is an exceeding handsome variety, and one that appeals to popular sentiment, and rightly so.
The hair differs in colour at its roots and tips, being of a silvery hue at the former and grey at the latter. Any tendency towards shadings, or spots, is decidedly faulty. The presence of brown or black hairs is most objectionable, although when the kittens are born they are nearly dark almost bordering on black.
It is very difficult to breed Chinchillas absolutely free from markings of a darker shade. Eyes, either green or orange preferably the first-named.
The Tortoiseshell, and Tortoiseshell and White.
To breed a first-class specimen of a long-haired Tortoiseshell, or Tortoiseshell and White, is a more difficult task to succeed in than in the corresponding short-haired variety ; clear definition of markings being difficult to attain.
As the name implies, there should be a combination of black, yellow and red, or these colours with the addition of white; sharpness of definition being a sine qua non. So many Tortoiseshells are blurred, and it is this fact that handicaps them in the show pen.
Colour of the eyes, a deep orange; and coat, conformation, etc., are given under the " General Characteristics " ; likewise under the corresponding " Short-haired Variety " (q.v.).
The Cream Persian.
In colour the coat is either light or dark cream, but there must be no tendency towards white, although the cream colour has, obviously, been produced by mating the White with some other light self-coloured Persian. Absolute freedom from markings is essential.
The eyes should be a deep amber. There must be no smudginess on the face.
The Orange Persian.
As the name implies, the body colour is orange or red, but there must be no tabby markings. These are very handsome cats, and tip-top specimens command fairly high prices.
It is a difficult matter to breed them uniform in colour, there being a natural tendency towards the development of a mealy shade on the under parts of the body breast, neck, chin, etc. and this constitutes a drawback.
The remarks made under the heading of " Shorthaired " Tabbies are equally applicable to the longhaired varieties, which are divided into Red Brown Silver.
The Brown Tabby.
Both the Brown and the Silver Tabbies are very pretty varieties, and may be either striped or spotted.
The ground colour should be a deep rich brown, and the markings sharp in their definition, and of an intense blackness. It is a difficult matter to breed Tabbies uniform in their markings, no matter whether as spots or stripes in fact, the breeder's ideal will probably never be reached, so that it is better to confine one's attention to whole colours. On either side of the spine there should be two clearly defined black markings extending to the quarters, and
divergent from these, on either side, should be transverse markings of an uniform width, and corresponding in equality with those of the intervening brown areas features difficult to attain. The same regularity of stripes should be on the legs and tail, whilst from the " stop " narrow stripes pass to the back of the head, blending with the frill. In the case of Spotted Tabbies spots replace the stripes. Body colour should prevail. Iris either amber or green.
A light chin, as in other Persians, is decidedly faulty, but not a disqualification.
The Red Tabby.
In this variety the same remarks apply as in the brown, the only difference being in the ground or body colour, which should be an intense orange. The Iris yellow.
The Silver Tabby.
This is an exceedingly handsome variety, but a fine specimen of a Spotted Silver Tabby is indeed rare ; in fact, the Striped Tabby with perfection of markings is equally uncommon.
The body colour must be silver and in excess of the markings, so as to throw up the latter. Uniformity, clearness of definition, together with narrowness of stripes and freedom from blurring in the case of Spotted Tabbies combined with quality throughout, are the typical qualifications of the Silver Tabby.
In concluding our description of the Silver Tabby and all other varieties, we respectfully submit the opinions and descriptions given, as the outcome of practical, as well as professional, acquaintance with the various breeds referred to, and the author would be very pleased to receive suggestions from members of the fancy that will tend to enhance the utility of any future edition of the work. Doubtless many minor points have been overlooked, but, we trust, nothing that will militate against the success of the book, either as a practical guide or as one for the purpose of acquiring a good general knowledge of all ordinary matters appertaining to the cat in health and disease.
VI BREEDING AND REARING
Period of Gestation, Rearing Kittens, Selection.
To any one interested in pedigree cats, breeding operations, if carried out successfully, may become fairly lucrative ; but he who expects to attain success, either as breeder or exhibitor, must be prepared " to walk before he can run," devoting a reasonable amount of leisure time, and a moderate expenditure in the pursuit of his hobby.
It is no use to purchase second-rate cats. The most economical method of commencing breeding operations is to obtain two or three young queens preferably self-coloured ones, and mate these with the best sires attainable, the fee for which may be either one guinea or thirty shillings each. When the kittens are born, choose, say, a couple of the best, and dispose of the rest as soon as ever the pick of the litter have been selected. In due course, these must be shown, preferably at the larger shows.
A frequent change of blood enhances constitutional vigour, whereas in-and-in breeding weakens it.
The initial outlay for a couple of good queens will probably amount to ten guineas.
Unless the cattery is indoors, winter breeding should be avoided as much as possible, summer litters being distinctly preferable. Care must be exercised to purchase stock from a strain of robust constitution, as so many Persians are delicate in this respect, rendering the kittens difficult to rear.
Before breeding from the queens, let them attain the age of nine months, or even a little more ; whilst in the case of a stud cat, six months later is quite early enough, and even then the number of visits should be limited.
Never use old cats for stud purposes, as their progeny will be small and delicate. Always select a sire that is strong in the points in which the queen is deficient in fact, this constitutes one of the grand principles of selection.
A question that naturally arises is with reference to the number of times it is advisable to breed from the queen during the course of the year. The Author's answer is twice, as two litters per year allow complete reinstatement of the vigour of the constitution.
When a queen approaches desire for the male, she becomes restless : cries to attract attention and switches her tail, seeking freedom whenever possible. This period of oestrum varies from a few days to, it may be, a couple of weeks, and during this time she should be allowed to visit the stud cat, on, say, two occasions, preferably on succeeding days.
Period of Gestation.
This is precisely the same as in the dog, viz. nine weeks ; and it is only during the later phases of gestation that a reasonable amount of care need be exercised.
When a queen is heavy in kitten, the flanks and the belly become considerably enlarged, and later on the teats enlarge ; while, a few days before full time, milk appears, which may be taken as significant of approaching labour.
A liberal system of feeding must be followed, and, if possible, she must be allowed exercise. About the end of the eighth week, see that she is provided with a box containing a bed of hay in some secluded position, easily accessible to her at all hours, day and night. She will soon regard this in the light it is intended. If all goes well, the delivery of the kittens should be accomplished without any aid, interference being unnecessary and prejudicial at this time. Some queens make excellent mothers, others the reverse.
In the latter case, it is advisable to provide a foster nurse, the substitution of the offspring being gradual. A foster mother can be substituted any time, or she may be utilized for rearing, say, half the litter only. In any case it is advisable to leave the kittens with the mother for a couple of months ; in fact, some breeders allow the queen or foster parent, if she is a prolonged milker, to suckle the young for three months ; yet it is a wise plan to supplement this with a partial weaning. Cows' milk, with a little sugar in it, and made luke-warm, is the right nourishment, at and subsequent to this time.
This constitutes an important part of breeding operations, and the ultimate result will depend upon skilful management during the first few months of life. The more exercise the kittens can be allowed the better ; whilst liberal feeding combined with regularity are contributory to success.
Avoid the use of patent foods condensed milk, etc. ; but feed four times a day, up to four months, on cows' milk, prepared as previously directed, with a little bread, boiled rice, etc., and with an occasional feed of minced raw beef, boiled fish, etc. By liberal feeding up to twelve months the best results will be attained. Warmth, dryness, and exercise are necessarily important, but avoid the "coddling" system, so much indulged by foolish breeders, as nothing is more destructive to the constitution than the adoption of this unnatural plan.
Production of the Different Varieties, or Selection for Specific Purposes.
Probably this section of the work should constitute its strongest feature, but it is the writer's intention to dismiss it with a few brief remarks, because every breeder holds and probably always will hold his own ideas as to the rationale of mating. A great deal of nonsense has been written, and all that is required is the application of sound judgment, leaving the issue to take care of itself.
Self-colours should always be mated with Self-colours, and never, for. instance, Black with Brown, or Red with a Cream, or a Striped Tabby with a Spotted one. It is by the perpetuation of excellences that the ideal will be attained. When one attempts to cross two distinctive varieties for the production of a third, breeding then becomes purely speculative irrational in principle, and unsatisfactory in its ultimate results.
A small head, or one that is snipy must be corrected, by selecting a sire particularly massive in this respect, and the same remarks are equally applicable to lightness in bone, openness of frill, shortness of coat, and slackness of general conformation, all of which can be expelled by judicious selection ; and the best means of doing so, is to keep in touch with the larger exhibitions devoted to cats, taking note of the best sires shown thereat.
VII AILMENTS AFFECTING THE AIR-PASSAGES
Catarrh, Laryngitis, Distemper, Pleurisy and Pneumonia, Bronchitis, Tuberculosis, Diphtheria.
THE cat is by no means exempt from the ailments affecting the air-passages, but less so than the horse, dog, etc., chiefly because it is neither compelled to undergo such severe exertion, nor yet to live under such unhealthy and unfavourable conditions as those to which the aforesaid animals are subject. The simplest complaint of the respiratory apparatus is that known as
This is denoted by a watery discharge from the nose and eyes : a snuffling of the nose ; perhaps a slight cough, and a want of usual vigour.
Keep in warm house and give warm food. Follow on with a dose of Epsom Salt, say 20 or 30 grains in a little water, if such can be conveniently given ; but catarrh usually cures itself in a few days ; an equal temperature being the most important factor towards recovery. Inhalations are sometimes useful.
Laryngitis (Sore Throat).
Inflammation of the larnyx the upper part of the throat occasionally occurs in cats, and when it does so it causes difficulty of, or, it may be, complete inability to swallow. If the throat is manipulated externally its soreness will become at once evident, whilst fluids are not uncommonly passed back through the nasal openings.
Loss of condition soon arises ; the coat stares, the cat coughs and sneezes, and in a general way poor pussy seems to be altogether " out of sorts." The causes are variable, but it is very often accompanied by catarrhal signs ; in other instances, there is the possibility of its being tubercular ; whilst a third cause may be an injury, occurring either externally or internally.
Both external and internal treatment are necessary. Externally rub the throat with white oil, or, what is equally useful, liniment of capsicums. This should be done once daily.
Internally, a little borax and honey may be smeared inside the mouth, or a teaspoonful of glycerine may be given night and morning. Keep the patient very warm, with a flannel bandage round the throat. Encourage discharge from nose by steaming with hot water, to which a little spirit of camphor has been added. This, however, is a somewhat difficult process with the cat, owing to its refractory nature.
This malady truly represents the feline scourge, and has its allies in the horse, dog, etc. It may be defined as
A SPECIFIC, FEBRILE, CATARRHAL DISEASE, THE GERMS OF WHICH HAVE A PREFERENCE FOR ATTACKING MUCOUS MEMBRANES, CAPABLE OF BEING CONVEYED FROM CAT TO CAT BY DIRECT AND INDIRECT MEANS ; RUNNING A DEFINITE COURSE; ASSUMING VARIOUS FORMS, AND ENDING NOT INFREQUENTLY IN DEATH.
First of all, let us ask ourselves a few simple questions concerning this disease, all of which are of considerable significance to owners of valuable cats.
1. Is the disease infectious ? In our opinion yes.
2. How is it transmitted? In some cases by direct contact, in others through the medium of an infected cattery, infected foods, and feeding vessels, the clothing and hands of attendants, by various household media, and probably through the medium of the air.
3. Of what nature is the poison ? Regarded in the light of modern pathological knowledge relating to allied diseases, i. e. specific eruptive fevers, we are forced to believe that minute living organisms are the sole and only cause; that these are endowed with great vitality, and are contained in the nasal discharge and excretions : that such may be also of a volatile nature, as opposed to the fixed forms of virus ; but in this disease the virus is apparently both fixed and volatile, hence the multifarious paths by which it enters the system.
4. Does one attack confer immunity ? Not absolute protection, but to a considerable degree.
5. What are the predisposing causes ? Exposure to cold ; enfeeblement of constitution ; unhealthy surroundings ; change of climate, as, for instance, when a cat comes from a southern to a northern climate.
These begin with a general dulness : cat seems languid, the coat stares ; always sitting by the fire, if the cat is indoors ; thirst, but shivering precedes the thirst. Very soon sneezing comes on, and there is a watery discharge from the nose and eyes, which gradually changes to one of a thicker character, sealing up the nasal and ocular openings.
There is a cough, sore throat, and the cat refuses all food, even the most tempting morsels. These symptoms continue for a week or so, and if all goes well recovery may be established in from ten days to a fortnight. This is feline distemper in its simple or uncomplicated catarrhal form. Unfortunately for pussy, matters do not always run so calm a course, but a more stormy state of constitutional destruction frequently ensues. The lungs, the liver, the stomach and bowels, or a combination of these may be implicated. Before proceeding further the reader must be given to understand that the earliest indication of all i. e. during the incubative stage is indicated by using the clinical thermometer, the mercury of which rises several degrees. The normal temperature of the cat ranges from 100 to 101 Fahrenheit ; but in feline distemper it may read 105 or 106 ; the progress of the malady is assuredly indicated by the use of this instrument night and morning, and a note should be made of the temperatures registered. Take the temperature in the rectum by inserting the bulb into this, whilst an assistant holds the cat. The index, i. e. a small, detached rod of mercury, must be set at 97, done by shaking the thermometer: the stem bears three kinds of marks long, medium and short. The long marks are placed at 95, 100, 105, 110, and between 95 and 100 are four medium length marks indicating intermediate degrees, viz. 96, 97, 98 and 99 ; between each of these medium-length marks there are four short strokes, and each short stroke has the value of two tenths of a degree, expressed thus 95.2, -.4, -.6, -.8, and then 96 and so on.
Prostration is a significant feature, and persists throughout the attack, the rapid loss of flesh being very marked. When the stomach and intestines are affected, vomiting and diarrhoea are present, and if the liver (bilious form) participates, jaundice is the most pronounced symptom.
Bronchitis is indicated by rales in the air-tubes, and may lead to catarrhal pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs). There are other inconstant symptoms.
Treatment and Management.
Isolate the cat ; keep in a very warm house. Good nursing constitutes an essential factor, but in spite of this the percentage of deaths is high. A stimulant course must be adopted, but there are many difficulties confronting one, owing to the refractory nature of the cat.
Frequently repeated small doses (half-teaspoonfuls) of brandy and coco wine, or teaspoonful doses of Wincarnis are most to be relied upon. A grain of quinine, combined with three grains of hyposulphite of soda, made into a pill and given twice daily, is a useful remedy, but the following pills will be found suitable. Carbonate of ammonia - 12 grains. Quinine - 6 grains. Powdered camphor - 6 grains. Extract of belladonna - 3 grains. Licorice powder and treacle sufficient to make 12 pills. Give one, night and morning.
If vomiting is troublesome give 10 grains each of bi-carbonate of soda and bismuth, dry on the tongue, three times daily. Diarrhoea must be treated according to the instructions laid down under the heading of this disease. Sponge the eyes and nose daily with tepid water. If the cough is troublesome give a teaspoonful of ipecacuanha wine to clear the throat.
A portion of salt herring, fried, is a capital food in distemper, so also is a little minced raw meat.
Pleurisy and Pneumonia.
These may be part and parcel of distemper, or may exist apart from that malady. Either one or both lungs may be affected, but it is quite impossible for an amateur to diagnose the existence of either ; if conjectured, consult a qualified veterinary surgeon the sooner the better.
Inflammation of the bronchial tubes is one of the commonest accompaniments of distemper, and so long as the disease remains confined to the larger bronchi its significance is comparatively unimportant, but extension of inflammatory action into the smaller air-tubes is liable to lead to inflammation of the lungs. In the treatment much will depend upon the stage at which the disease has arrived, hence the advisability of early professional advice. Keep in a warm, moist and equable atmosphere, and clothe the body.
20 drops of squills 20 drops ipecacuanha wine half-teaspoonful of glycerine blended together, given night and morning, can be employed when professional services are not at hand.
Consumption in the cat is not an uncommon malady, and generally results through feeding upon the infected viscera of fowls, etc., possibly in some cases through infected milk, especially in the case of kittens. It is a specific disease, due to the entry of the bacilli of tuberculosis into the system, the germs being of microscopic size. A consumptive cat may become a source of infection to human beings, especially children : hence the advisability of early destruction. The absorbent glands are early implicated in tuberculosis, and this is the reason why the glands along the intestines are often affected. The lungs may be the seat of the disease, much depending upon the paths of infection. The leading symptom is a gradual wasting away. It is not economical to attempt treatment
Some veterinarians, also members of the medical profession, have referred to diphtheria in the cat, which has also been blamed as a source of infection to human beings. The writer is not aware of the accuracy of such diagnosis, and its appearance in this animal is doubtful, though not disputed.
VIII DISEASES AND DISORDERS OF THE DIGESTIVE ORGANS
Vomiting, Diseases of the Teeth, Obstruction in the Throat, Indigestion, Inflammation of the Stomach, Inflammation of the Bowels, Congestion of Liver, Tuberculosis of the Bowels, Poisoning, Diarrhoea and Dysentery, Constipation, Worms.
THE vomiting centre in the cat is evidently well developed, as this animal like the dog can almost vomit at will, hence the reason why it readily rejects offending substances from its stomach. Certain toxic substances are absorbed so rapidly by the stomach that the animal is unable to deal effectively with them, hence the cat like other animals, especially those of a scavenging nature readily falls a victim to poisoning.
Vomiting is salutary, and ought not to be checked, unless prolonged and exhausting. It must be looked upon as symptomatic, and treated accordingly. Bismuth is a useful remedy.
Diseases of the Teeth.
Both kittens and adult cats are troubled with irregularities of their teeth, but decay of the teeth usually affects the latter, though these animals, on the whole, are singularly free from dental troubles. A loose or decayed tooth must be extracted, and the same remark applies when the permanent teeth are replacing the temporary ones.
Entanglement of the fang, especially of the molars, occasionally occurs, preventing a permanent tooth from occupying its proper place in the jaw. Cats should be allowed to gnaw at a bone now and then, as this is their natural tooth-brush.
Obstruction in the Throat (Choking).
The cat seems particularly unfortunate in suffering from the lodgment of foreign bodies in the back part of the mouth and gullet, and most extraordinary substances have been taken from the latter by veterinary surgeons. In one case, a cat swallowed a steel hat-pin, four or five inches in length, shown in position by the X-rays. This was extracted, and the cat did well. The writer has frequently found pieces of bone lodged across the back part of the mouth, likewise fish-bones, but it is not necessary that the offending body should be inside, because compression, externally, on the gullet, may lead to obstruction.
The mouth must be fixed by the aid of a gag, and the cat securely held, but it is far better to take the animal to a veterinary surgeon, as the throat may be easily damaged through unskilful manipulation.
Although only symptomatic of disorder or disease, symptoms of indigestion do occur without any obvious reason, and this is one of the reasons why it is usual to speak of it as a disorder. Cats, especially if ill fed, are notorious scavengers, and the filthy substances they sometimes consume certainly derange the stomach.
Worms, if numerous, act in a similar manner especially the round worm (Ascaris mystax), which, by the way, is not an uncommon cause of vomiting,
General unthriftiness, indicated by a staring coat; lack of energy ; drowsiness and an irregular condition of the bowels are the principal signs of dyspepsia. Diseases of the heart, stomach, liver, kidneys, intestines, and other organs are represented, in part, by symptoms of indigestion.
The cause will probably be unascertainable, therefore treatment must be regulated in accordance with the predominating symptoms. A simple remedy comprises the daily administration of a powder, composed of 10 grains of carbonate of bismuth, 1 pepsine. 5 charcoal. 5 bi-carbonate of potash. Place dry upon the tongue. Feed on liquids and Spratt's malt milk, etc. If worms are the cause, treat accordingly.
Inflammation of the Stomach (Gastritis).
The chief cause of this condition is the ingestion of irritant poisons, but we are inclined to think that it does occur in severe forms of distemper, and, possibly too, through the presence of a large number of worms in the stomach. It is a very serious condition. The most prominent signs are acute pain in the belly, vomiting, thirst and collapse. Its treatment calls for professional assistance, but, in the mean time, water must not be given, but milk and soda-water be allowed, and the stomach requires all the rest possible.
Inflammation of the Bowels (Enteritis).
This is closely allied to the preceding condition, in fact, the two are frequently intercurrent, their causes being practically the same, whilst their symptoms are indistinguishable to the non-professional. To allay the pain, a dessert-spoonful of castor oil, combined with twelve drops of laudanum, or six drops of chlorodyne if the latter is used a slightly smaller dose of oil must be given, say a big teaspoonful. The chlorodyne may be repeated in a little milk and water every three or four hours, until an abatement of pain occurs. This is practically always a fatal disease. A kick, or other external injury, may provoke an attack of this nature, combined with inflammation of the covering of the bowels (peritonitis).
Congestion of the Liver (Jaundice or Yellows).
The liver of the cat is subject to several diseases, but there is one of a more purely functional nature ; namely congestion, which leads to, as a rule, the development of a symptom known as jaundice or the yellows, due to bile pigments circulating in the blood and tinging the mucous membranes and skin saffron. In some cases the fault lies in the bile duct, which, if obstructed, partially or completely, leads to the flow of bile being dammed back into the circulation. The cat becomes sluggish ; its coat stares ; its bowels are constipated ; its skin is yellow ; eyes and mouth yellow : and, unless attended to, it dies.
Organic disease of the liver may cause also symptoms of jaundice.
Apply a hot linseed poultice (contained in a muslin bag) over the liver, and follow this up with 5 grains of Epsom salt 1 Calomel given in the form of a pill, pushed well back into the throat. Also give, night and morning, 5 grains of chloride of ammonia in the form of a sugar-coated pill. If vomiting is troublesome give 10 grains of powdered bismuth in a teaspoonful of soda-water, three times a day.
Other symptoms must be treated accordingly. Feed on boiled fish and a little milk whey. The cat may take it ; or soda-water and milk can be given.
Tuberculosis of the Bowels.
The reason why cats are sometimes affected with this disease is apparently due to the channel of infection being through ingestion of some substance it may be, meat or milk containing the germs of tuberculosis. Cats are very fond of the fresh livers of poultry, and this frequently leads to infection, as the latter are much troubled with this disease.
It is the glands mesenteric which are implicated ; these become enlarged, and such enlargement may, sometimes, be felt through the abdominal walls. The leading signs are : gradual wasting away; loss of energy; want of appetite, etc. Destruction is the most economical.
As stated, when referring to some of the previous diseases, the scavenging nature of the cat predisposes it to the ingestion of various noxious substances, but beyond this, many human beings seem to have a strong inclination towards the destruction of cats, especially when they become a nuisance to an adjacent neighbour's garden.
When criminal1y destroyed such substances as strychnine, arsenic, antimony, phosphor-paste and various vermin-destroyers are those usually resorted to, but the worst of all is strychnine. It causes remarkably painful and distressing tetanic spasms the body being convulsed from head to foot ; death sometimes occurring within a quarter of an hour the muscles of respiration being paralyzed.
Arsenic and antimony both cause rapid signs of collapse. Pain in the belly is indicated by the cat howling : purgation : vomiting : death within a variable time. The other poisons give rise to allied symptoms. Treatment, accordingly, must be left to the veterinary surgeon, but death usually occurs.
Diarrhoea and Dysentery.
The former is characterized by fluid, or semi-fluid evacuations, and, in the latter, blood accompanies these evacuations. The former is symptomatic, but the latter not necessarily so, in fact, often purely representative of disease at the lower end of the bowel. The causes of diarrhoea are, practically, too numerous to mention, but the following may be taken as typical of a class : sudden changes of food ; too much sloppy food ; prolonged use of liver ; presence of worms ; distemper ; exposure to cold, etc. In some cases prolonged diarrhoea may provoke an attack of dysentery, though the latter is generally caused by some specific agency.
House the cat and keep it warm and comfortable. Feed it very carefully, preferably on some farinaceous food, for some few days, such as a little milk and arrowroot, or Horlick's malted milk.
Begin treatment with a mild laxative, such as a teaspoonful each of linseed oil and castor oil, to which 6 drops of chlorodyne has been added. Follow on with 5 grains of powdered cinchona bark, 3 drops of Rubini's essence of camphor in a teaspoonful of milk ; or 10 drops of paregoric may be given, night and morning in the same quantity of milk ; but it is quite impossible to lay down any definite rule for treatment, so much depending upon the cause.
The treatment of dysentery had better be left to the veterinary surgeon ; but small doses of powdered ipecacuanha are the best, especially if supplemented by astringent injections, or the use of astringent suppositories into the lower end of the bowels.
Some cats are very subject to a confined condition of the bowels, if so it is a good plan to feed them on a little liver, twice weekly, preferably raw, and if they can be persuaded to take a little oatmeat gruel daily so much the better. If either of these suggestions fail, give a capsule containing 5 drops of sacred bark daily. Castor oil is a good remedy to overcome a temporary condition of this sort, but it is worse than useless as a permanent remedy.
A little sugar or treacle in the milk is useful, and, in some cases, an injection may be necessary, either of water, or a teaspoonful of glycerine. Compound liquorice powder is a good laxative, say J teaspoonful occasionally. Liver pills (small ones) also answer admirably.
Cats are liable to be infested with both round and flat worms, and instances have been recorded in which very severe epizootics have prevailed amongst cats, as the result of such infestation.
No matter whether worms are few or many, they are always detrimental to their host, and if their presence is suspected, the sooner they are cleared out the better. Kittens are very subject to worm infestation, and there is a species of round worm, known as Ascaris mystax, which infects these and adult cats. In the former they occasionally cause convulsions, diarrhoea and sickness. Before breeding from a queen, see that she is cleared out of worms, or at any rate, receives a dose or two of worm medicine.
A remedy suitable for round worms may be of little service for the tape-worms, whilst the converse holds good. As a general remedy there is nothing superior to the freshly grated areca-nut. The best way is to give it in the form of a pill mixed up in butter. From 3 to 12 grains will be minimum and maximum doses ; but it is necessary to withhold food for 12 hours, giving a small dose of castor oil afterwards.
IX SOME DISEASES OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
SOME DISEASES OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
Convulsions, Paralysis, Megrims (Vertigo, or Meniere's Disease).
Both kittens and adult cats more especially the former are occasionally subject to fits or convulsions, which vary in their severity, and usually pass away within a short time of the onset, but recurrence is frequent. Irritation of the digestive organs, such as that resulting from the presence of worms, teething, etc., is a frequent cause of convulsions.
Give a mild dose of castor oil, and follow up with a pill composed of 5 grains of bromide of ammonium, given two or three times per day. Feed on easily assimilated food. It is generally advisable to treat the little creature for worms (see Worms) before commencing with the bromide.
Fortunately for cats, paralytic symptoms are seldom seen in these animals, and when they do occur, such generally represent some form of external violence, as may happen when a cat has been roughly handled by a dog. It is quite possible that paralysis may originate from obstruction of the bowels, hence the reason why it is generally expedient to give a clyster along with a dose of purgative medicine. Any organ or portion of the body may exhibit loss of functional power, either of a temporary or permanent nature ; for instance, a fractured limb is a paralytic one. As a rule it is either the hind or the fore quarter that is paralysed, or it may be the whole body.
The causation being of a variable nature, no definite line of treatment can be laid down, consequently it is best to have the advantage of professional treatment, if the cat is worth it, otherwise the animal had better be destroyed.
Megrims (Vertigo, or Meniere's Disease).
Cats sometimes show symptoms of vertigo or dizziness, manifested by running round in circles, rushing about the room, and losing their equilibrium. Such erratic movements are frequently due to internal canker of the ear, causing symptoms allied to those of Meniere's Disease, in which the gait is staggering, together with sudden giddiness and a tendency to fall to one side. The ears should be carefully examined, and if due to canker, treated in accordance with the remedies under the heading of that disease. In other cases 5 grains of bromide of potash may be given in water twice or three times daily.
X DISEASES OF THE SKIN
Erythema (or Inflamed Skin), Burns, Scalds, etc. Mange, Eczema (Acute and Chronic), Ringworm, Herpes and Skin Abrasions.
Erythema, Burns, Scalds.
UNDER this title the various superficial inflammatory conditions of the skin are included ; in fact, erythema constitutes the preliminary stage of most skin troubles, although the owner may not notice that the skin is inflamed, unless the cat happens to be a white one. In dark-coloured and long-haired cats the usual signs of skin inflammation are generally obscure. Any part of the skin may be affected, but round about the nose, the face and ears, are common situations for erythema to make its appearance.
It is hardly likely that an amateur will be able to distinguish erythema from mange, which, of course, is contagious, and arises from parasitical causes. As a precautionary measure, it is advisable, if there are other cats upon the premises, to isolate the affected animal.
Burns and Scalds both produce a variable degree of erythema, and the skin should be dressed with a cream composed of equal parts of chalk and lime water, containing the addition of a little camphor.
Treatment of Erythema.
Dress the bare places with a little zinc cream, made by adding a couple of drachms of oxide of zinc to every 2 ounces of lime water, but black wash is a very good remedy for this and allied diseases. Any chemist will dispense this lotion.
For smoothed-haired cats, there is nothing better than equal parts of boracic acid ointment and zinc ointment, to every 2 ounces of which 20 drops of oil of tar has been added.
It is generally advisable to give half a teaspoonful of liquid extract of sacred bark, say twice a fortnight, or, better still, a little liver pill about once a week. Feed on meat either raw or cooked.
All sorts of skin complaints have been classified under this title, which, to say the least, is somewhat ambiguous, though one may put it that the cat suffers from both acute and chronic forms of eczema. These troubles are allied to, or may be indistinguishable from, parasitic mange, which is contagious,' whereas eczema is not. Again, one usually arises from internal, whilst the other from external, causes.
Both diseases may be confined to one portion of the body, or may extend all over it. In many instances eczema is inherited. Moreover, both skin affections are attended with a considerable degree of irritation, causing the cat to scratch and lose its fur. Minute blisters usually appear, and scabs or crusts may form, if the irritation is acute. In chronic eczema, the skin usually assumes a dried up condition, becoming very scurfy.
Internal treatment is called for ; in fact, most reliance must be placed upon this, an external application being secondary to it. Feed the cat liberally on meat, and give it one of the following pills night and morning : Arsenious acid - one sixtieth of a grain. Sulphate of iron - 20 grains. Extract of gentian - 60 grains. Excipient sufficient to make 60 pills. Continue for 6 weeks. 6
As an external application use the following dressing daily : Creosote - drachm. Oil of tar 1 drachm. Methylated spirits - 8 ounces. Mix.
In dry forms of eczema, tarry preparations are the best, and in the moist forms drying powders are often useful. As a simple application for the latter, boracic acid is useful, and should be dusted on daily.
This is an ambiguous term, and various forms of skin diseases are included under it ; thus we have red mange, blotch, etc., but it is better to reserve the term mange for such skin diseases as are induced by parasites, living upon, or burrowing into the skin, of which there are several varieties infesting the cat, the principal one being known as the Sarcoptic Mange Parasite (Saracoptis Cati), which lives upon the skin, inducing severe irritation, redness, and loss of hair. The parasites, or their eggs, may be conveyed directly, from one cat to another by contact, or by indirect transference, such as through the medium of chair-cushions, sleeping - places, travelling-hampers, show pens, etc., and one mangy cat may often be the means of spreading the complaint throughout a whole neighbourhood.
Mange in the cat is communicable to man, but, strange to say, when the parasites are thus transferred, they only induce a temporary form of itch, and certainly not severe like that brought on in true cases of human itch, which so often appears between the fingers ; therefore the presence of a mangy cat need cause no undue alarm so far as the members of the household are concerned.
When cats are allowed access to stables where horses are kept in a dirty and unhealthy condition and affected with mange, they (cats) sometimes contract the disease from this source, whilst the converse statement also applies. A mangy cat soon becomes a wreck, but the progress of the disease certainly varies sometimes being slow, at others rapidly extending over the body.
Where a number of cats are kept together as in cat boarding establishments, there is a special liability to contract this malady, so that it is never advisable to send cats to such homes, private boarding places being preferable ; and most veterinary surgeons will take cats in for this purpose, the only difficulty being that cats are extremely difficult to feed when they go into a strange place, moping and refusing food, almost up to the point of starvation, in many cases.
Veterinary inspection at shows unquestionably curtails the spreading of mange from such a source.
Greasy applications must be avoided, being inadmissible. In ordinary cases of mange, and when the disease is of very limited extent, the following Lotion will be found useful : Creosote - 1 and a half drachms, Methylated spirit - 4 ounces. Wet the bare patches twice daily with it.
As a rule, it is necessary to dress the cat from head to foot, and the best application is lime and sulphur lotion (prepared by boiling lime and sulphur together, mixed with water). This destroys the cause of the mange, viz. the parasites, in about half-an-hour. Care must be taken to guard against re- infection, therefore thoroughly cleanse and disinfect all the articles with which the cat has been in contact. In cats that are of no particular value, the most economical plan is to have such destroyed.
But with valuable cats we think it advisable to consult a veterinary surgeon, and act in accordance with his judgment.
Cats are very liable to this skin trouble, and in these animals it assumes two distinct forms viz. (a) the circular and (b) the honeycomb. Rats and mice are troubled with ringworm, and constitute a common source of infection in the cat. It is due to a vegetable fungus, the growth of which is favoured by a filthy and unhealthy state of the skin. Human beings, especially children, frequently contract the disease from cats, as shown by accurate investigations.
The cat may also convey it to other animals, and where there are calves affected with ringworm, the latter are liable to infect cats, and thus there may be a cycle of infection established.
The signs of Ringworm are a circular bare patch or patches with the hairs broken across, giving the surface a stubbly appearance ; but in the honeycomb form, crusts are formed and a nasty sore results.
Clip the hair off around the patch ; then wash with soft soap and warm water, subsequently painting it with a little tincture of iodine, repeating every other day till cured. A cat thus affected should not be allowed to have free range of the neighbourhood, it being unjust to cats of neighbouring tenants. Groom regularly, and see that the animal is well looked after in all other respects.
The term Herpes is sometimes applied to ringworm, but also to other skin eruptions accompanied by the appearance of minute blisters, and there is one form that makes its appearance, occasionally, round the margins of the mouth of the cat. If so, dress with a little boracic acid ointment.
Cats are very liable to superficial injuries to the skin arising from various causes. The simplest method of dealing with such is, to paint them with some antiseptic solution, healing tincture, or friar's balsam.
XI DISEASES AND INJURIES OF THE EAR
Serous Abscess, Internal Canker of Ear, Eczema of the Ear, Morbid Growths in the Auditory Passage, Accumulation of Waxy Material, Torn Ears, Mange of the Ear.
THIS is a very common injury, and one that apparently results from a bruise, although the owner may be quite unaware of any such injury. The ear gradually assumes a baggy appearance, due to the accumulation of an inflammatory fluid between the skin and cartilage (or ear flap), causing a bulging both on the inner and outer side of the latter.
The swelling comes on gradually, and with increasing tension the pain increases ; in fact, cats suffer a great deal when afflicted with this injury, technically known as haematoma of the ear.
It is better to take the cat to a veterinary surgeon, but if this is not convenient make a half-inch cut through the skin on the inner side of the flap of the ear, taking particular care to have the cut lengthwise, not transverse, otherwise the ear will become deformed, when healing has taken place.
The fluid will now escape, but the adhesions, i.e. the blood-clot inside the cavity, must be broken down, and this can be done by inserting the blunt end of a hairpin, or a probe. The wound must be kept open for a few days by means of a pledget of tow, and washed out with a solution of iodine as follows :
Compound Tincture of Iodine - 1 part. Water - 6 parts. Half an ounce of the foregoing solution will be quite sufficient to wash out the cavity twice, using a small glass syringe for this purpose.
There is another method of dealing with the wound, i. e. to sew the cartilage to the skin of the ear by inserting two or three stitches right through it, but this, in the author's opinion, is not so good as the older plan.
Internal Canker of the Ear.
Like the dog, poor pussy is a frequent sufferer from this troublesome complaint, which, if neglected, extends to the delicate internal mechanism of the ear, probably ultimately leading to destruction of the cartilage and bone.
Some cases of canker are, unquestionably, of constitutional origin, but by far the largest proportion of cases in the cat are due to a species of minute parasites, and the acari can clearly be seen if the sooty-like deposit be examined. Their presence sets up a great deal of local irritation, but seldom leads to suppuration, so frequent in cases of a constitutional nature.
It is absurd to say that internal canker of the ear arises from a cold, etc. One or both ears may be affected.
The affected animal will be seen seeking relief by rubbing its ear, and, not infrequently, has fits of vertigo, running round the room as though it were in a frenzy. If the ear is examined it will be found reddened inside and moist, with either a sooty-like deposit or else a discharge. Manipulation causes pain, and the animal is constantly turning its head to one side.
Grip the cat firmly, in accordance with instructions given elsewhere (see " Management ").
Syringe out the ear with a little methylated spirit, or else clean it out with a little boracic acid lint and methylated spirit. In fact, this must be done daily. In addition to this, if there is a sooty deposit, dress the ear with the following lotion : R Oil of eucalyptus - 1 drachm. Oxide of zinc - 2 drachms. Oleate of zinc - 1 drachm. Methylated spirit of wine - half ounce. Almond oil, sufficient to make 2 ounces. Mix, and pour a little of this cream into the ear night and morning.
Ordinary cases of canker of the ear can generally be cured by dressing the inside of the ear with the following lotion : R Solution of acetate of lead - 2 drachms. Sulphate of zinc - 20 grains. Chloride of zinc - 4 grains. Distilled water - 2 ounces. Apply to ear daily.
Eczema of the Ear.
The ears are occasionally affected with an eruption, which may either be a constitutional form of eczema or parasitic mange. In most instances the eruption is dry and scurfy, especially around the margin 'of the ear, or ears. The skin is dry. The hair falls out and there is a variable degree of irritation, which, if parasitical, usually invades other parts of the skin.
Rub with boracic acid ointment, but in the case of long-haired cats it is better to dress with a non-greasy application. Therefore the following is suitable : R Oil of tar - 2 drachms. Bismuth - 4 drachms. Methylated spirit - 4 ounces. Castor oil - 2 drachms. Mix and apply daily.
Morbid Growths in the Auditory Passage.
Not uncommonly warty excrescences grow within the middle ear, and sometimes completely occlude the passage.
Advanced cases of canker necessarily cause a great deal of irritation, and nature seems to make provision by the formation of new growths in the ear, in order to strengthen the lining membrane, though, of course, this is abnormal and destroys the hearing either partially or wholly. Professional skill is needed for their removal.
Accumulation of Waxy Material. The normal waxy secretion accumulates to an excessive amount, and blocks up the passage. The best plan is to pour in half a teaspoonful of warmed glycerine daily.
Lacerations of the ears are not uncommon, and the chief drawback to such is the extremely feeble reparative power in this region there being little beyond skin and cartilage. Torn parts must be drawn together carefully by some adhesive, such as plaster, or by fine stitches, taking care to previously cleanse the wound and clip the hair off. As a rule some deformity of the ear occurs.
ange of the Ears.
The ears are commonly affected in mange, especially at their juncture with the head, and all the owner may see is a falling off of the hair and the cat scratching the part. It is not very long before it extends to the body. (See " Mange.")
XII DISEASES OF THE EYE
Ophthalmia, Opacity of the Cornea, Cataract, Glaucoma, Torn Eyelids, Eversion and Inversion of the Eyelids, Eczema round the Margin of the Eyelids.
Cats are occasionally troubled with this complaint, which originates from a variety of causes, and differs in its signs, course and treatment.
In its simplest manifestation Ophthalmia is denoted first by a watery discharge from the eyes ; intolerance of light ; and the cat frequently rubs the eyelids with the paw, as if to allay the pain and shield the eye from the light. In the course of a few days there is generally an accumulation of matter about the eyelids, causing their edges to adhere, and this is particularly the case when the disease accompanies distemper.
The irritation not uncommonly leads to opacity of the cornea, so that the animal is temporarily blind. External injuries and the entrance of various foreign bodies into the eye are the usual causes.
Bathe the eye with an infusion of chamomile several times a day, using a piece of boracic lint for this purpose. Next dress with the following lotion, keeping the eye removed from draughts : Boracic acid - 20 grains. Sulphate of zinc - 8 grains. Wine of opium - 2 drachms. Water .... 2 ounces. Allow this to circulate freely in and around the eye two or three times a day, continuing until improvement ensues.
Boracic ointment will be found useful, but what is still better, the following ointment : Yellow oxide of mercury ointment - 1 drachm. Red oxide of mercury ointment - 1 scruple. Boracic acid ointment - 1 ounce.
Put a small bit of this into the eye night and morning. W T hen the eyes are in a chronic state of inflammation, the cause is usually due to a relaxed condition of the lining membrane of the eyelids, and requires a certain amount of constitutional treatment for its removal, for which purpose there is nothing better than half a teaspoonful of cod liver oil emulsion night and morning.
Opacity of the Cornea.
As already stated, this may follow upon ophthalmia, but it is also the result of external injuries, such as a scratch from a thorn, or a scratch produced by fighting with another cat, although the membrana nictatans is fairly well developed in the cat. During distemper, opacity of the cornea sometimes occurs.
The cat may be temporally, or permanently, blind much depending upon the cause, though the degree of blindness varies. The reparative power of the eye is great, and what looks serious often turns out fairly satisfactory, as nature appears to exert specially recuperative powers in this region.
Four grains of silver nitrate added to one ounce of distilled water makes a very useful eye lotion, particularly suitable for some cases of opacity of the cornea. The animal should be held by an assistant : the eyelids separated, and a few drops of the lotion dropped into the eye night and morning. Lead lotion should not be used in the treatment of this diseased condition.
In this disease the crystalline lens is implicated, its capsular investment, or both the lens and the capsule, and is chiefly met with in old cats senile cataract. A blow upon the eye may occasion it, whilst in rare cases it occurs from specific causes specific ophthalmia.
No treatment of any use. It is progressive, and very often associated with other degenerative changes in the eye.
In this condition the eye assumes a bluish-green appearance ; is often accompanied by cataract ; and, like the last-named, incurable.
Poor pussy has occasionally the misfortune to get her eyelids torn, sometimes in combat with her own species, at other times in a fight with a dog ; if so, they must be neatly adjusted with stitches, therefore consult a veterinary surgeon the sooner the better.
Ophthalmia often results in consequence of this.
Eversion and Inversion of Eyelids.
When the eyelid is inverted which may be either the upper or the lower one though usually the upper one it sets up a great deal of irritation, in fact ophthalmia, and sometimes the eyelashes are projected upon the globe of the eye, leading to opacity of the cornea.
Nothing but surgical operation will cure this, so consult a veterinary.
Eversion of the eyelid is denoted by turning of the eyelid outwards, exposing the lining membrane of the lid, and this again may act as an exciting cause of ophthalmia. Surgical operation is the only remedy.
Eczema round the Margin of the Eyelids.
Bareness around the margin of the eyelids is not at all uncommon, and is really a form of erythema, but may be part of a general cutaneous eruption. (See " Eczema.")
XIII MISCELLANEOUS INJURIES, ETC.
Wounds, Fractures, Sprains, Bruises, Abscesses, Morbid Growths, Dislocations, Ruptures, Spaying, Castration
Wounds. (Also see Diseases of the Eye and Ear.)
The cat is by no means exempt from the infliction of wounds, some of which are the outcome of malice by boys, etc. The roving nature of cats renders them specially liable to get hung up in barbed wire, etc. The situation of the wound has an important bearing upon the issue, injuries in the region of the belly and chest being very liable to be followed by internal inflammation. Punctured wounds are usually worse to deal with, and require careful examination. If the torn part is bleeding, it ought to be bathed with cold water, and afterwards with an antiseptic solution, such as Jeyes' Fluid, ' Sanitas,' or Pino- Eucalypt, the last-named being an excellent antiseptic, obtainable from Messrs. Gilbertson and Page, of Hertford. After
cleansing, it may be necessary to resort to sewing, taking what are called interrupted stitches, i. e. each stitch taken separately and then tied off. Silk or fine can be used. Superficial wounds may be painted with friars' balsam, or some healing ointment, but the hair around the wound should always be clipped off before dressing the injury.
Broken bones are nothing like so frequently met with in the cat as in the dog, and when they do occur, the fracture is often of a compound nature, i. e. implication of flesh and bone, hence it is frequently necessary, if a limb, to amputate it ; but a spring trap, plus the cat's struggles, sometimes renders an operation unnecessary, and the cat will assist in completing the healing of the stump with its tongue. If the cat is valuable, or much thought of, seek professional aid, if not, destruction is the most merciful end.
A sprained leg, though uncommon, occasionally occurs, but the lightness of this animal, together with its extreme caution renders this infrequent. When a part is sprained, if recent, it is indicated by increased heat; swelling; pain, and a variable degree of lameness. Treatment comprises the application of a cooling lotion, such as a little acetic acid in water, but, after about forty-eight hours, stimulating lotions are suitable, such as arnica tincture and water, say, 1 ounce of former to half-pint of water. In chronic sprains, iodine liniment is the best application.
A bruise, or contusion as it is sometimes called, results from some form of external injury, and very often is accompanied by a fractured bone. Foment with warm water, and then apply the arnica lotion recommended for sprains.
Abscesses and Morbid Growths.
(See also Serous Abscess of the Ear.)
An abscess consists of an accumulation of matter, and may be situated within the body cavity or externally to it usually the latter. It generally is the result of an injury, and its presence is denoted by a variously sized swelling, which, as it approaches maturity, gradually increases, and when it reaches a climax, it softens in the centre the skin pitting under pressure of the finger, which is an indication that it is ready for lancing, and if this is done, it makes a much better job of it, than if allowed to rupture spontaneously. The hair should be clipped off the skin, then the latter cut, the cavity evacuated, and washed out with an antiseptic solution.
The displacement of an organ or of a bone from its normal position in the body constitutes a dislocation. Kittens are liable to have dislocation of a bone, such as the elbow joint, more especially if thin and weakly. A dislocated part is capable of being felt externally, or it may be visible ; whilst its function, for the time being, is in abeyance, but restored when it is replaced to its normal position.
An organ is said to be ruptured when it passes through a normal aperture, or one artificially made. A common form of rupture is situated at the navel (umbilical rupture), due to imperfect closure of the umbilical opening, and subsequent passage of the covering of the stomach, or bowels through it, causing a variously sized swelling to appear beneath the skin at this part.
There are numerous other forms of rupture. The treatment is purely surgical.
She-cats are occasionally operated upon to prevent them from breeding, and it is a pity that the value of this operation is not more fully recognized, as it constitutes the only method for limiting reckless feline propagation. It is really an operation of necessity for the common or garden she-cat one purely professional and costs, as a rule, about one guinea.
Tom-cats are easily rendered neuter by castration, the professional fee for which varies from half-a-crown to five shillings. It must not be done too early the best age being from four to six months, or even a little later, as this gives the animal time to develop certain masculine characteristics which do not show themselves if castration is performed too early. It can, of course, be done at any age, without increased risk, though this is always small, provided the cat is taken ordinary care of. We strongly recommend adoption of castration, as it does away with the roaming habit, and increases the size of the cat.