Cleft palates may be present at birth in cats. Cleft-palate cats, however, may have fulfilling lives despite their condition.
Cats are susceptible to many of the same diseases that afflict humans. I bet you didn’t realise that cleft palates in cats are as common as they are in people at birth. That’s right! You may have even encountered a feline with a cleft palate before, especially if you’ve worked with cats before via a rescue organisation.
When a cat has a cleft palate, what does that indicate? Is this a major problem? Could you tell me whether there are any therapies out there? And how about a cleft-palate cat’s quality of life? These are just a few of the many concerns you may have about this issue.
If you have a pet with a cleft palate and would want to learn more about the issue and how to care for it properly, keep reading. Proper treatment may make a huge impact.
A Cleft Palate: What Is It?
Kittens may be born with cleft palates because the condition is sometimes congenital. Cats may have normal palates at birth, however sometimes trauma can cause damage to the palate.
This is essentially a hole in the palate (a.k.a. the palate). It happens when the palate doesn’t completely join during foetal development. The kitten will have some kind of opening between its mouth and its nasal passages.
The cleft could be little or it might spread over the whole palate. The hard palate, the soft palate, or both may be affected. That’s why it’s crucial to team up with a vet with experience fixing cleft palates. The severity of the condition and the steps that must be taken to help a kitten live until the palate can be repaired may be determined with an accurate diagnosis.
When Does a Cleft Palate Show Up?
When the damage to a cat’s mouth is located farther back, as it is in the case of a cleft palate, the symptoms may not be as visible as they are when the cleft is located towards the front of the palate and the lip, dividing the teeth, nose, and lips.
In light of this, it is crucial to monitor a kitten for any signs of illness. If you see a concern, you may get in touch with a vet right away, before it becomes worse.
Potential side effects of a cleft palate include:
- Runny nose
- Respiratory difficulty
- Difficulty swallowing
- Abnormal breathing sounds
- Difficulty nursing
- Milk, or milky bubbles, passing through and out of the nose while nursing
- Aspiration pneumonia
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss
- Chronic sinus infections
- Slow growth or failure to thrive
You may not immediately attribute these problems to a cleft palate since they might be be caused by a number of other disorders that can afflict a cat. Once again, consulting with a vet and getting your cat checked out as quickly as possible will help you receive the answers you need.
In addition, if the aperture in the kitten’s palate is very big, she may have trouble eating. The pet, as you would expect, runs the danger of not only not growing and thriving, but also of getting additional ailments, including pneumonia or sinus infections, if it is not given the right nutrients.
What Causes a Cleft Palate, and How Common Is It?
It is unusual to hear about a cat with a cleft palate. However, cleft palate is more common in cats of a specific breed. Such cats include the Persian, Ragdoll, Siamese, Savannah, Ocicat, and Norwegian Forest. More female kittens than males are often affected.
Experts have speculated that a combination of environmental and genetic variables may be at play. A cleft palate, for instance, might be caused by a pregnant cat’s exposure to teratogenic chemicals, which can disrupt embryonic development, or by an overabundance of vitamins A and D.
How Can a Cleft Palate Be Treated?
A kitten with a cleft palate may be diagnosed by a vet by looking in its mouth. If a thorough examination of the mouth and teeth is to be performed under anaesthetic, then x-rays may also be utilised to detect the presence of pneumonia. Your veterinarian will be able to prescribe a course of action once they have a better understanding of the full scope of the problem, and you may discover that it is easier to resolve than you first anticipated.
Even if surgery is a possibility, it may be tricky to do on a kitten of such a little size. To assist a kitten acquire the nourishment it needs to develop and live in the meanwhile, a long nipple or an oral feeding tube may be suggested. To maintain proper nourishment for a cat with a cleft palate, a veterinarian may also suggest placing an esophagostomy tube. The proper and safe use of a feeding tube requires some training, so don’t be shy about asking questions.
By the time a kitten is 3-4 months old, the cleft may have closed, the mouth cavity may have grown, and surgery may be simpler. However, the palate may need more than one surgical procedure to correct.
If a cleft palate is so severe and cannot be repaired, death may be the only choice. However, there are some incredible success stories regarding kittens with specific requirements, so it may be worthwhile to get several views from veterinarians with expertise caring for cats with cleft palates.
Don’t Give Up on a Kitten with a Cleft Palate
Caring for a kitten with a cleft palate might seem daunting, but help is available. The first step in caring for a cat with this issue is locating a veterinarian who can guide you through the process of caring for a cat with this issue.
In order to ensure that you can offer your pet with the best possible care, nutrition, and therapies, it is important to work closely with your chosen veterinarian team. Adopting the appropriate approach may increase the odds that your kitten will grow up healthy and normal.