Need to know if your cat is healthy? Here’s a short guide to help you determine the health status of your cat. Please check on her through the year and not just at the beginning of the year. Remember, this is just a guide, and your cat should still see the vet at least once a year for a check-up and the necessary vaccinations.
Healthy cat signs
- Glowing skin and coat Her skin is soft and she grooms herself regularly. Her skin is free of lumps, red marks and scabs, and is also itch-free.
- Parasite-free You might not see any fleas, but look out for dark brown specs (flea faeces) or white specs (flea eggs).
- Ears No discharge, swelling or redness. Also free from ear mites.
- Eyes Bright and clear, and no discharge.
- Nose No yellowish discharge.
- Mouth No sores or growths, with a fresh breath.
- Teeth and gums Gums should be pink, and teeth free from plaque and tartar.
- Temperature Ranges from 37.5 to 39.1°
- Litterbox habits Uses litterbox normally; stools are brown and firm.
- Weight Neither too thin, nor too fat. You can feel her ribs, but they are not protruding or covered in a layer of fat.
- Energetic She’s her normal, playful self.
Signs that something could be wrong:
- If she’s not using the litterbox to eliminate.
- If she faints.
- Diarrhoea and/or vomiting isn’t a good sign.
- If she loses her balance, falls down or staggers.
- A thick discharge from her ears, nose or eyes is a bad sign.
- Sneezing and/or coughing could be more than an allergy.
- Not eating for a day or more could mean that she’s not feeling well.
- Drinking too much water could be sign that something is wrong.
- If she has white gums, she should see the vet as soon as possible.
- Breathing problems should always be treated as an emergency.
- If she’s lethargic, she should see the vet.
- Restlessness and/or meowing could be a sign that she’s unwell.
- Losing weight in a short period of time is cause for concern.
Would you like to read more about your pets’ health? Get the January/February 2024 edition of Animaltalk magazine from retailers or order a digital or printed copy from www.coolmags.co.za.