Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Healthy Cats

Font Size

Swollen Head, Neck, or Face in Cats

Sudden swelling of the face, lips, ears, and eyelids can be caused by a hivelike allergic reaction called urticaria. The cat’s head may appear strangely out of proportion to her body, and the eyes may be swollen shut. Common causes are food allergy, contact and inhalation allergy, and the bites and stings of insects. Swelling may appear as much as 20 minutes after exposure to the allergen.

Treatment: Most reactions subside in three to four hours. Cool compresses may relieve some discomfort. Your veterinarian may choose to administer adrenaline or an antihistamine. You should try to find out what caused the allergic reaction so you can prevent your cat from coming into contact with that allergen again.

Recommended Related to Cats

Bladder Stones in Cats

Bladder stones are rock-like deposits of minerals, crystals and organic material that are found in a cat’s bladder. They can remain small in size or grow to be several millimeters in diameter, and may rub against the bladder walls, causing inflammation. Bladder stones can also lead to blockage of the urethra and can interfere with a cat’s ability to urinate. There are several types of minerals that form stones under different conditions in a cat’s urinary tract. The two most common are struvite...

Read the Bladder Stones in Cats article > >

The addition of wheezing, respiratory distress, vomiting, or diarrhea indicates a potentially serious allergic reaction. Snakebite is another possibility. Seek immediate veterinary attention.

Head and Neck Abscesses

Head and neck abscesses appear suddenly and are accompanied by fever. They are extremely tender and may give a lopsided look to the head, face, or neck. Opening the mouth causes extreme pain in some cases. These cats refuse to eat or drink. Many have a high fever.

WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

Today on WebMD

cat at table
What's safe for them to eat?
Maine Coon cat breed
What they do and why cats have them.
 
Kitten in litterbox
How to solve them.
cat meowing
Why some cats are so talkative
 
cat on couch
Evaluator
Kitten using litter box
Quiz
 
sleeping kitten
Slideshow
sad kitten looking at milk glass
Slideshow
 

Love your pets, hate your allergies?

Get tips for relief.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

cat at table
Slideshow
muddy dog on white sofa
Quiz
 
Maine Coon cat breed
Article
Pets: Behavior Problems in Cats
Slideshow