Free Day!
Free Night!

Pet Resources - Cat Glossary

Back to Article Index

Cat Glossary – H

Glossary of Cat Terms:


Habit: A recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition.

Half-Pedigree: A term referring to a cat with one pedigree parent. In the strictest terms, however, a half-pedigree is still considered a mixed breed.

Hand-Feed: The process of feeding a cat periodically throughout the day and for a limited time.

Havana Brown Cat: A moderately sized, muscular shorthair cat with a brown or reddish-brown coat and green eyes.

Haw: A nictitating membrane, especially of a domesticated animal.

Heartworm: A filarial worm (Dirofilaria immitis) transmitted by mosquitoes and parasitic in the heart and associated blood vessels of dogs and other canids.

Heat: Seasonal period of the female. Estrus, in season.

Hemorrhage: Excessive discharge of blood from the blood vessels; profuse bleeding.

Hepatic Lipidosis: A disease of the liver which can be fatal. Most commonly found in obese cats that are anorexic and have rapidly lost weight.

Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, caused by infectious or toxic agents and characterized by jaundice, fever, liver enlargement, and abdominal pain.

Hereditary: Transmitted or capable of being transmitted genetically from parent to offspring: a hereditary disease.

Herpes Virus: A highly contagious viral disease causing upper respiratory disease (URIs) in cats.

Himalayan Cat: A breed with extremely long, fluffy fur and the points of a Siamese cat.

Hip Dysplasia: Abnormal formation of the hip joint. Although long recognized in dogs, hip dysplasia has only recently been studied in cats, and certain breeds may be more prone to the condition.

Histamine: A physiologically active amine, C5H9N3, found in plant and animal tissue and released from mast cells as part of an allergic reaction in humans. It stimulates gastric secretion and causes dilation of capillaries, constriction of bronchial smooth muscle, and decreased blood pressure.

Hock: Term for the ankle of a cat’s hind leg.

Holistic: An alternative form of veterinary care which, rather than focusing on a singular disease, takes into account the whole of the patient.

HomeAgain: Brand name for microchips sold by Schering Plough to veterinarians for permanent identification of companion animals.

Homeopathic: A system of veterinary practice that treats a disease by the administration of very minute doses of a remedy that in a healthy animal would produce the symptoms of the disease that is being treated.

Honey Mink: Term referring to the intermediate brown color of Tonkinese, corresponding to chocolate.

Hookworm: Any of numerous small parasitic nematode worms of the family Ancylostomatidae, having hooked mouthparts with which they fasten themselves to the intestinal walls of various hosts, including humans, causing ancylostomiasis. Also called uncinaria.

Hormone: A substance, usually a peptide or steroid, produced by one tissue and conveyed by the bloodstream to another to effect physiological activity, such as growth or metabolism.

Host: The animal on which a parasite lives .

Household Pet: In cat show terms, a cat not registered for breeding or exhibition.

Housetraining: The process of training a pet to live cleanly in a house. For cats, litter box training.

Humane Societies: Groups that aims to stop animal and human suffering due to cruelty or other reasons.

Hybrid: A cat resulting from the crossbreeding of two different breeds of cats.

Hyperglycemia: The presence of an abnormally high concentration of glucose in the blood.

Hypoglycemia: An abnormally low level of glucose in the blood.

Hysterectomy: Surgical removal of part or all of the uterus.