Feline Cutaneous Asthenia All you need to know about FCA.

BY | January 04 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
Feline Cutaneous Asthenia

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Feline cutaneous asthenia (FCA) is a rare genetic disorder that affects the cat's skin and connective tissue. It occurs in Abyssinian cats but also has been found in Cornish Rex and British Shorthair cats as well.

Feline cutaneous asthenia (FCA) is a rare genetic disorder that affects the cat's skin and connective tissue. FCA is most common in Abyssinian cats but has also been found in Cornish Rex and British Shorthair cats. FCA causes the cat's skin to be fragile and easily damaged, leading to wounds that are slow to heal. It also makes normal growth of the fur impossible. There is no cure for FCA, but affected cats can live long, happy lives with proper management. For example, they should be supervised around other pets; a soft collar is used to prevent post-op cats from removing their bandages.

FCA causes your cat's skin to be fragile and easily damaged by trauma or even simple physical contact such as petting or brushing using a cat and dog brush. The skin is also very elastic, which can be distressing for both you and your pet if he or she experiences pain from the condition.

The degree of severity varies from cat to cat, with some showing no signs of FCA at all while others experience severe symptoms throughout their lives.

FCA Is Most Common In Abyssinian Cats

FCA is most common in Abyssinian cats but has also been found in Cornish Rex and British Shorthair cats. In the case of the FCA gene, a non-dominant allele (abnormal gene) causes abnormal skin to form. This abnormal skin affects the cat's connective tissue, which allows for a weakened immune response. The disorder can be diagnosed by a veterinarian by observing clinical symptoms such as:

  • excessive hair loss or thinning;

  • inflamed areas around the mouth and feet;

  • scabs on various parts of your pet’s body;

  • inflammation on its paws and joints; and

  • thickened patches of skin under its ear flaps or neckline.

FCA Causes The Cat's Skin To Be Fragile

FCA causes the cat's skin to be fragile and easily damaged, leading to wounds that are slow to heal. Scabs and scars may form. Hair grows at a slower rate than usual or in patches instead of uniformly over the body.

Because of these problems with skin integrity, cats with FCA have a higher risk of developing secondary bacterial infections on top of their primary disease process. For example, if your cat has FCA but also has mites (as many cats do), the scabies mite can burrow into your pet's skin more easily due to weakened defenses against invasion.

FCA Renders Normal Fur Growth Impossible

The lack of growth also means that the fur is brittle and easily damaged. The cat's fur may look like it's growing normally, but if you look closely, you may see that the hair is sparse in certain areas of the body. This can be seen on the face, ears, legs, and tail. You might even notice some patches of hairless skin where there should be hair.

Cats Can Live Happily With Proper Care

You may be wondering if there is a cure for FCA, but the answer is no. The good news is that affected cats can still lead long, happy lives with proper management. They can groom themselves just fine, and the condition doesn’t affect their quality of life in any other way. In fact, many people who have FCA-affected cats say they are some of their most loving companions.

For example, they should be supervised around other pets; soft collars and pet medications used to prevent post-op cats from removing their bandages may be needed long term.

Feline cutaneous asthenia can be managed with proper care and management. For example, they should be supervised around other pets; soft collars used to prevent post-op cats from removing their bandages may be needed long term.

The goal of treatment is to decrease the irritation caused by frequent grooming and reduce inflammation on the skin surface. In some cases, it may help to give your pet a bath every week with a gentle cat shampoo that contains an antiseptic ingredient such as chlorhexidine (Nolvasan), which is used in hospital settings for cleaning wounds or applying ointments before surgery. If this does not improve symptoms, you can try an antifungal cream instead of an antibiotic for cats until your vet rules out ringworm infection or another type of bacterial infection that needs antibiotics for cats for treatment.

Conclusion

Cats with feline cutaneous asthenia can live normal lives with proper management. Cats with FCA should be supervised around other pets, and soft collars may be needed long term.

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