Categories: anemia

Cat Anemia Home Treatment

Pale gums in cat with anemia

There are many possible causes of feline anemia. Therefore a diagnosis by a veterinarian is strongly advised to find and remove the cause.

My personal opinion is that a home treatment for cat anemia is only possible if the cause is a nutritional deficiency. For example iron deficiency. Some cases of feline anemia are caused by diets low in iron and other essential nutrients. If the building blocks for red blood cell production are missing there many be an underproduction of red blood cells resulting in anemia.

Accordingly if the cat is known with certainty to be entirely healthy but anæmic it may be reasonable to self diagnose and conclude that the diet is to blame. Reverting to a high quality wet cat food should resolve the problem. And there may some suitable supplements that a vet can advise. That is the only form of home treatment I can think of for this illness.

Causes of feline anemia are as follows:

  • Blood loss caused by an injury and bleeding. That will obviously require an immediate visit to your vet.
  • hookworm or coccidia infestation – required vet’s diagnosis
  • tumours – as above
  • ulceration – as above
  • external parasites such as fleas and lice – the cat’s owner can diagnose this but there may other reasons as well causing anemia so once again a vet’s visit is required.
  • hemolysis – a shortened red blood cell lifespan caused by: autoimmune hæmolytic anemias, toxic drugs, infectious microorganisms – vet’s input required.
  • inadequate blood production due to poor diet (mentioned above), feline leukaemia, feline infectious peritonitis, cancers, drugs such as chloramphenicol, kidney failure with uraemia, poisons, chemicals, chronic illness. Abyssinian and Somali (long haired Abyssinian) cats are predisposed to pyruvate kinase deficiency (genetic enzyme deficiency). You’ll need to see a vet about this obviously. It is treatable.
  • infectious agents can cause feline anemia. One, cytauxzoon felis is passed by ticks. This is usually fatal and rapid. The other infectious agent is mycoplasma hæmophilus, a blood parasite passed by ticks and fleas and sometimes cat bites. The cat’s immune system destroys red blood cells in reaction the parasites. Once again this is veterinarians work to diagnose and treat.

Anemic cats may be chronically ill. The illness may mask the anemia. The signs of anemia are: lack of appetite, weight loss, sleep a lot, weakness, pale gums and tongue, possible rapid breathing and pulse in severe cases. A vet will have to diagnose any underlying illness.

You can see that in the case of feline anemia there is not much a cat owner can do by way of home treatments because you have to diagnose accurately the cause and this means seeing a veterinarian.

Note: ‘anemia’ can be spelt in three different ways: anemia, anaemia and anæmia.

Source: Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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