Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Healthy Cats

Font Size
A
A
A

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

Shedding in Cats

  Shedding is a cat’s natural process of losing dead hair. Outdoor cats may lose more hair in the spring and fall and retain more fur in the winter, while indoor cats can shed all year round. Regularly grooming your cat and vacuuming hair from your house should minimize the inconvenience of shedding. However, if you see bald patches in your cat’s fur or notice a significant loss of hair, the underlying cause may be a health-related problem and should be investigated by a veterinar...

Read the Shedding 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

kitten with onions
Slideshow
Night stalking cat
Slideshow
 
Young woman holding Papillon
Slideshow
Kitten playing
Quiz
 
cat on couch
Slideshow
Kitten using litter box
Quiz
 
sleeping kitten
Slideshow
sad kitten looking at milk glass
Slideshow
 
Cat looking at fish
Slideshow
muddy dog on white sofa
Quiz
 
Maine Coon cat breed
Article
Pets: Behavior Problems in Cats
Slideshow