How To Do A Health Check On Your Cat
As a cat owner you are responsible for checking your cat is in good health. If you detect any issues it is important you don’t delay taking them to the vet. It’s useful to do regular health checks to identify any issues early. Here are the key areas you need to check when doing a health check on your cat.
Check your cat’s eyes, they should look clear, bright and healthy. Things to look out for include any unusual discharge, redness, swelling, growths. Some breeds of cat are more likely to suffer from eye issues and discharge, such as Persians for example. If you cat shows any signs of an eye infection take them to the vet straight away. Other things to look out for include if your cat becomes sensitive to light or starts bumping into things, get their eyes checked if you notice anything unusual.
Your cat will probably have a bit of wax in their ears but there shouldn’t be a substantial amount. Check their ears aren’t red or sore at all. If they seem in pain when you touch their ears they could have an infection. Check their ears for any lumps, cuts or sores. Although their ears probably won’t smell fantastic they shouldn’t have a foul odour. Their ears should generally look clean, try and clean your cat’s ears regularly with an ear cleaning solution. Look out for any parasites such as mites. If your cat starts shaking their head and scratching their ears a lot then they may be infected.
Keep an eye on your cat’s teeth, they should be clean and white. Their gums should be a pale pink colour and shouldn’t have any swelling or redness. Check their teeth for tartar and try and clean their teeth on a regular basis to keep them in good condition. Particularly bad breath could indicate health issues such as gingivitis and bacterial infections.
Try and get your cat weighed on a regular basis to keep track of their weight. Not only is this helpful for making sure they remain at the right weight, any sudden drops in weight due to health issues will be noticed more quickly. To check their weight by hand, feel down the side of their body, you should just about be able to feel their ribs. Your cat should also have a healthy appetite, if this changes and they stop eating take them to the vet immediately.
A cat’s coat should be clean, shiny and their skin should look healthy. Make sure you regularly check their skin beneath their fur to see if they have any rashes or skin irritations that need treatment. Cats with very greasy coats could have a skin infection, or they might just need a good wash. It’s important to groom your cat on a regular basis to prevent their coat from matting. Check their coat for any bald spots or itchy patches.
When doing a health check make sure you include your cat’s body. You can do this by simply feeling all over the body to check for any unusual lumps, bumps or cuts. Be sure to check hard to reach areas such as armpits and behind the ears.
Behaviour and energy levels
Pay attention to your cat’s mood. Odd behaviour could indicate health issues. If they suddenly become very lethargic, start sleeping a lot or become a lot less playful then you may want to have them checked at the vet.