In detail

Causes of hydrocephalus in cats


Hydrocephalus in cats is a serious malformation in the head. The causes of the disease, also known colloquially as water head, have not been fully researched. Find out more about the rare disease here. In contrast to this healthy Manx cat, cats with hydrocephalus usually have bigger heads - Shutterstock / esdeem

Hydrocephalus can be congenital in cats as well as later caused by various causes. Congenital hydrocephalus manifests itself, among other things, by bulging or enlarging the skull outwards. The eyes are often pushed outwards, which often causes the velvet paws to squint.

Genetic causes possible

The brain is surrounded by brain fluid that protects the organ. In cats with hydrocephalus, the relationship between the production and intake of this liquid, also known as cerebrospinal fluid, is disturbed. The cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain ventricles, causing them to expand under the pressure that arises.

Hydrocephalus is innate in most cases, so it can be due to genetic causes, and therefore often occurs in the first months of life. It can happen that the cat's head enlarges in the womb. With kittens, the skull mass is not yet as firm and can be shifted and changed if the brain swells up inside. Hence the symptom of the enlarged skull.

Hydrocephalus: Rare cat disease water head

The term hydrocephalus comes from the Greek and can be translated as water head. Here ...

Other causes of hydrocephalus in cats

The water head can also be attributed to other reasons. For example, parasites, viruses and tumors can cause the disease later in life. Cysts, fungi and bacteria can also be used as triggers. Since the skull cap no longer changes in older cats, the swollen brain presses against the skull from the inside. This can have serious consequences such as seizures, dizziness, fainting or epilepsy.