If you’re a cat owner, you know that British Shorthairs (BSH) are some of the most popular cats around. They’re known for being friendly and easy to care for, but like all cats, they can be prone to health problems. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the British Shorthair health problems.
So if you have a BSH, or are thinking of getting one, read on for tips on how to keep your kitty healthy!
Most Common Diseases In British Shorthairs
The most common health issues found in British Shorthairs are Hemophilia B and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. However, the British Shorthair can also be susceptible to other illnesses such as polycystic kidney disease(PKD), arthritis, and cataracts. Read on to discover even more!
1. Hemophilia B
Hemophilia B is a blood disorder that affects cats and can cause uncontrolled bleeding.
This disease is inherited, so if you have a British Shorthair, it’s important to get him or her tested for it.
There is no cure for Hemophilia B, but there are treatments available such as clotting factors and transfusions.
If your cat is diagnosed with Hemophilia B, you’ll need to work closely with your veterinarian to ensure your cat is treated properly.
Check out our other article if you’re looking for a more in-depth look at Hemophilia B in British Shorthairs.
2. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a heart condition that affects cats.
In cases of HCM, the heart muscle becomes thick and restricts the flow of blood through the heart.
This can lead to heart failure in some cats. The good news is that HCM can be treated with medication and lifestyle changes.
Further Reading: An in-depth overview of HCM in British Shorthairs.
3. Feline Aortic Thromboembolism (FATE)
Feline Aortic Thromboembolism, also known as FATE, is a condition that affects arteries in cats.
In cases of FATE, blood clots can form in the arteries and cause a blockage. This can lead to pain, heart attack, or stroke in cats.
There is no cure for FATE, but there are treatments available that can help to prevent it from happening.
Some treatments include aspirin therapy, anticoagulant therapy, and surgery.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition that affects cats and is caused by an overactive thyroid gland.
The symptoms of hyperthyroidism include weight loss, increased appetite, rapid heart rate, and excessive thirst and urination.
Hyperthyroidism can be treated with medication or surgery.
Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints.
It’s a common problem in cats, and can be caused by many different things, including age, obesity, and injury.
There is no cure for arthritis, but there are treatments available that can help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
Treatments for arthritis include anti-inflammatory drugs and joint supplements.
6. Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) – Genetic
Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is a genetic disease that affects the kidneys.
In cases of PKD, the kidneys develop many small cysts that can eventually lead to kidney failure.
There is no cure for PKD, but there are treatments available that include medications and diet changes.
Check out our post on Polycystic Kidney Disease in British Shorthairs for a more in-depth look.
7. Feline Infectious Peritonitis
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a serious, and often fatal disease caused by a virus.
The virus attacks the cat’s immune system, leading to inflammation of the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum) and chest.
Signs can include loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and labored breathing.
There is no cure for FIP and most cats die within a few weeks of diagnosis.
Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and supporting the cat’s immune system.
Cataracts are a common eye problem in cats. They occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, which can lead to vision loss.
Cataracts can be treated with surgery, but if left untreated, they can eventually cause blindness.
They are most likely to affect older British Shorthair cats as their eyesight may deteriorate with age.
9. Neonatal Isoerythrolysis (NI)/Hemolytic Icterus
Neonatal isoerythrolysis (NI) is a blood disorder that affects newborn kittens.
In cases of NI, the kitten’s red blood cells are destroyed by the mother’s antibodies. This can lead to anemia, jaundice, and death.
NI can be prevented by vaccinating the mother against her kittens’ father’s blood type.
If your British Shorthair queen has had a litter of kittens, it’s important to have them tested for NI.
There is no cure for NI, but there are treatments available that can help to save kittens who are affected by it.
Do British Shorthair Cats Have Breathing Problems?
When we talk about British Shorthair’s common health problems people often ask about breathing issues.
Some cats can be prone to breathing problems, such as asthma and bronchitis.
However, it is uncommon and only affects about 1-5% of cats.
If your cat seems to be having difficulty breathing, it’s important to take him or her to the vet for a diagnosis.
There are treatments available that can help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
British Shorthair Cat Skin Issues
BSH are known for their beautiful, glossy coats, but sometimes they can suffer from skin problems.
The most common skin problems in British Shorthairs include:
- Dry skin
If your British Shorthair is suffering from any of these skin problems, you should take him to the vet for a diagnosis and treatment.
There are many different treatments available for skin problems in BSH, so don’t hesitate to ask your vet for help. They can advise you on what’s best.
British Shorthair Ear Problems
They can also suffer from ear problems, such as infection, mites, and wax build-up.
Signs of ear problems in British Shorthairs include:
- Wax build-up
If you suspect that your cat may be having an issue with his ear, take him to the vet for a diagnosis and treatment.
There are many different treatments available for ear problems in British Shorthairs. However, the best treatment is prevention.
So make sure to always check your Shorthair’s ears and keep them clean.
British Shorthair Back Leg Issues
One of the most common causes of British Shorthair back leg problems is an injury or trauma to the area.
This can be caused by anything from a fall to being hit by a car. If your cat has suffered an injury to its back legs.
It is important to take them to the vet for treatment as soon as possible.
Arthritis is another problem commonly found in BSH. As mentioned already, Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints and can cause pain, inflammation, and stiffness.
If your cat has arthritis, there are a number of treatments that your vet may prescribe, including medication, joint supplements, and physical therapy.
Finally, BSH back leg problems can also be caused by metabolic disorders or nerve problems.
If your cat seems to be having trouble using its back legs, it is important to take them to the vet for a check-up.
There may be something wrong with their metabolism or nerves that is causing the problem.
Thankfully, for most back legs problems, there are solutions, so make sure to contact your vet if you notice anything strange.
Taking Care of Your British Shorthair at Home
They are a low-maintenance breed of cat and don’t require a lot of special care.
However, there are some cat care tips you can do to help keep your cat healthy and happy.
Here are a few tips:
- Make sure your cat has access to clean water and food at all times.
- Encourage your cat to exercise by playing with him or her regularly.
- Schedule regular vet checkups for your cat.
- Brush your cat’s coat once a week to help keep it healthy and shiny.
- Trim your cat’s nails regularly to prevent them from becoming too long.
- Check your British Shorthair’s ears regularly and clean dirt out if needed.
- Brush your kitty’s teeth at least once or twice per week.
- Keep your cat’s litter box clean and change the litter daily.
If you’re looking for a more complete caring guide, check out our article on how to care for a British Shorthair.
That’s it, now you know the British Shorthair cat health issues.
In general, this cat is a healthy and strong breed and is not susceptible to getting ill. In fact, they are regarded as one of the healthiest cat breeds.
The two most common diseases found in this cat are Hemophilia B and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.
We have listed the other illnesses and diseases in case you notice any symptoms and need a point of reference.
Always remember, if you notice anything strange or unusual with your cat, consult your vet immediately and get your cat checked.
Elliot is the owner and lead writer at Lais Lairs. He is the proud owner of a Maine Coon/Siberian Mix cat named Lai. His oldest cat lived to be 18 years old so he’s learned a thing or two about keeping pets. When he’s not writing you can find him playing video games or playing fetch with Lai.