Keeping a Cat Healthy

As cat carers we have to be able to identify the signs that indicate whether the cat is sick or healthy. Although it is sometimes hard to determine if the cat is unwell there are many signs that will show you a visit to the vet is necessary.

 

A well cat.

Healthy cats are generally playful even well into old age. They keep themselves well groomed and have a soft shiny coast.  Their eyes are wide open and bright with no discharge. A cat’s gums should also be pink, and the teeth should not have any tartar.  They should have good litter box habits with a firm stool and plenty of urination. They should eat their food with enthusiasm and drink plenty of water.

An unwell cat.

There are a number of signs you should watch for that will indicate your cat is unwell.

  • Any change in your cat’s normal routine should be noted and attended to right away with a visit to your veterinarian.  

  • Increases or decreases in appetite or water consumption.

  • Behavioural problems such as sudden aggression or lethargy.

  • Constipation, diarrhoea, or urination problems

  • Coughing, wheezing or difficulty breathing

  • Hair loss or itching

  • Lameness

  • Lumps, bumps or scabs

  • Sneezing, nasal or eye discharge

  • Vomiting

  • Weakness

  • Weight loss

If you notice any of these symptoms then you need to take the cat to your vet.

Maintaining good health.

Regular vet care is essential to good health. If your cat is unwell it is better to take it to the vet immediately rather than wait to see if it recovers on its own.

A long healthy life for cats depends on genetics, nutrition, environment, and vaccinations.  Cats should receive a physical exam yearly until the age of eight and then bi-annual exams should be done.

Good nutrition is the foundation for a long and healthy life. Choosing a type of food for your cat can be confusing, consult with your vet and let your cat “tell you” what it likes.  Wet or dry, brands and flavours - you cat will have a preferred meal type.  Monitor if the cat is vomiting or has diarrhoea or constipation.  This can often be an indicator that the cat is allergic to something in that brand of food.

 

Desex your cat. They will be less likely to urine mark or fight with other cats. Heat cycles in female cats are eliminated and the urge to roam in male cats is reduced. The chance of developing reproductive organ and mammary cancer is lessened or eliminated. And a desexed cat will not contribute to the pet overpopulation problem.

© 2013 PFL Inc