Eartip: The removal of approximately 1/4” of the top of the ear flap is the universally recognized sign of a spayed or neutered cat, which is standard in most Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs

Ectoparasite (ek-toh-par-uh-sahyt): An external parasite, such as a flea and tick

Edema (ih-dee-muh): The swelling caused by increased fluid moving from blood vessels into tissues or insufficient fluid moving from tissues back into blood vessels

Effusion (ih-fyoo-zhuhn): The accumulation of fluid in the thoracic, pericardial or abdominal cavities due to its movement from its normal location in the body

Electrolytes: Elements in the blood which are critically important to life, including sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, and phosphorous

Emesis (em-uh-sis): The ejection of the contents of the stomach or upper intestines through the mouth, which is also known as vomiting

Emetic (uh-met-ik): An agent used to cause vomiting, such as xylazine hydrochloride, particularly when given subcutaneously or intramuscularly to eliminate a toxic substance

Endoparasite (en-doh-par-uh-sahyt): An internal parasite, such as roundworms and coccidia

Enteritis (en-tuh-rahy-tis): Inflammation of the intestines, especially, the small intestines, which may occur with Feline infectious enteritis (FIE), a disease caused by infection feline panleukopenia virus

Entropion (uhn-trow-pee-aan): The abnormal rolling inward of the eyelids, which may allow eyelashes to irritate the cornea and cause pain and swelling of the eye

Enucleation (ih-noo-klee-ey-shuhn): The surgical removal of an eyeball, which may be necessary in severe cases of feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV-1) that cause pain and limit eyesight

Epiphora (ih-pif-er-uh): An overflow of tears due to excessive secretion of the lacrimal (tear) glands or obstruction of the lacrimal ducts

Epistaxis (ep-uh-stak-sis): An acute hemorrhage (bleeding) from the nostril, nasal cavity, or nasopharynx (upper part of the throat that lies behind the nose, just above the soft part of the roof of the mouth and just behind the nasal passages). It is commonly referred to as a nosebleed.

Erythema (er-uhthee-muh): Abnormal redness of the skin, due to irritation, injury, or inflammation, caused by dilation of superficial blood vessels in the skin

Erythrolysis (ih-rith-ruhl-ahy-sis): The destruction or dissolution of red blood cells, which causes the release of hemoglobin

Eructation (ih-ruhk-tey-shuhn): The act of burping or bringing up gas from the stomach


Facultatively social: Displaying flexible social behavior depending on environment and upbringing, as in cats who can live socially or solitarily

Failure to Thrive: This condition, aka Fading Kitten Syndrome (FKS), may cause sudden death or within a few days between birth and weaning

Feces (fee-seez): The solid waste from an animal that ideally is brown, firm and log or nugget shaped

Fever coat: A condition of a kitten being born with a grey or silver coat which changes color after a couple of weeks, which may be due to the queen being ill or stressed during pregnancy

Feline audiogenic reflex seizure (FARS): A seizure caused by loud sounds, such as crinkling tin foil and tapping a metal utensil against a ceramic bowl, resulting in brief muscle spasms without loss of consciousness

Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome (hahy-per-uhs-thee-zee-uh): An extreme sensitivity in a cat’s skin, almost always on the back and often in the area right in front of the tail, which may lead to self mutilation

Flehmen response (fley-muhn): A behavior in which the animal inhales with the mouth open and upper lip curled to facilitate exposure of the vomeronasal (Jacobson’s) organ to a scent or pheromone for analysis

Focal infection: A very rare condition of FeLV-positive cats in which infection is restricted to certain tissue (eg, spleen, lymph nodes, small intestine, mammary glands) ad FeLV test results are discordant (positive and negative)

Focal seizure: The most common type of seizure in cats occurs as the result of inappropriate electrical activity on one side of the brain; may be a symptom of feline infectious peritonitis, feline leukemia virus, feline immunodeficiency virus and toxoplasmosis

Fomite (foh-mite): An inanimate object, such as clothing, that carries and spreads disease and infection

Frank blood: The fresh, bright-red blood visible in feces that indicates bleeding in the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract

Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs): Also known as zoomies and may occur to release pent-up energy, after defecating and as a symptom of hyperthyroidism