Steatitis (Yellow Fat Disease) In Cats

Steatitis, or yellow fat disease, is caused by a deficiency of vitamin E. Cats who are fed a diet containing excessive amounts of unsaturated fats end up with vitamin E being destroyed in their bodies. This results in a painful inflammation in the cats body fat. The fat will turn yellow and harden greatly.

A cat who eats sufficient quantities of red meat tuna will develop this extremely painful disease as it contains high levels of unsaturated fatty acids. If not properly supplemented with vitamin E an ongoing diet consisting of fish in general will lead to Steatitis. Cats should never be fed straight canned tuna intended for humans as it is the most dangerous of all due to its lack of supplementation of vitamin E.

The beginning signs of this disease include a greasy coat with flaky skin. The cats coat may also develop a fishy odor. The cat will become reluctant to move or be handled as the disease progresses. Even just being petted will become too painful for her. She will develop a fever and her appetite will decrease.

To diagnose Steatitis, a dietary history will be taken and will be confirmed by a biopsy of the fat.

Treatment will involve correcting the cats diet by switching her to a well-balanced food and supplementing with vitamin E.

To help prevent this disease from happening in the first place by never feeding your cat any tuna, even if it is commercial cat food. It is especially important to never feed your cat tuna intended for humans. Cats can easily become addicted to tuna since it has such a strong taste and odor. She may start rejecting other foods if you start feeding it to your cat. If you do intend to feed fish-flavored cat food to your cat, limit it to very occasionally and avoid giving her tuna all together.

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Comments

  1. I had no idea tuna is harmful to cats. I know they meow and go crazy over it, even if they haven’t had it. The smell of it brings them running. Thanks for the great info. and nice looking blog!
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