How do you know a cat is healthy?
It goes without saying that you want your cat to stay healthy for as long as possible. You can’t control everything, but your contribution to your animal’s healthy lifestyle is vital. This includes vaccinations, good food, proper care, etc. In order to determine whether your cat is healthy, you need to be able to recognise the features of a healthy cat. Here are some facts about the health of your cat.
Inspect the skin and coat
The skin and coat of your cat make for good indicators of its health: a healthy coat is clean and untangled. The skin has to be clean and smooth. A flaky skin, bald spots or damaged skin are indications of problems. The latter may be caused by scratching if your cat has fleas, but food intolerance can play a part as well. Is your cat wearing a collar? Always make sure it isn’t on too tight, whether it can break if it gets your cat stuck somewhere and whether it isn’t causing any bald spots.
How do I know whether my cat has fleas?
If you find black dots while inspecting or grooming a cat’s coat, odds are you are looking at flea droppings. You can make sure by making the black dots wet. Do they turn red? Then they are flea droppings which means your cat has fleas. Read more about what to do in case of fleas here.
If you cat is healthy, its body temperature remains between 38 and 39 degrees Celsius. It may fluctuate a bit throughout the day. You can take its temperature yourself using a thermometer, but it is safer and better to take it to a vet if you suspect a fever.
Clean eyes, nose, ears, nails and teeth
In order to make sure that your cat is healthy, it is important to check its eyes, nose, ears, nails and teeth.
Some moisture in the corners of the eyes is OK, but excessive tearing or puss is not a good sign.
Cats should have a clean nose; a dirty nose may be a sign of cat flu.
The ears must be clean on the inside. Excessive earwax may be a sign of ear mite or cause ear inflammation. Is your cat scratching its ears a lot? Keep a close eye on the situation and visit a vet if you need to.
Cats need nails to climb. They should be sharp but not too long. A cat that has the opportunity to sharpen its nails (i.e. a scratch post or a tree outside) doesn’t need its nails cut. If the nails become too sharp and inconveniently long, special scissors are available or you can ask your vet to help.
Inspecting the teeth can be a difficult task. Still, it is good to check whether the teeth are clean. discolouration may indicate plaque or dental tartar which may lead to annoying inflammations and serious associated afflictions.
A kitten may experience some discomfort from shedding its baby teeth. Kittens may get agitated and will experience diarrhoea more often during this stressful time. Give them a hand with our organic Mini Snack: the snacks are tough enough to remove loose teeth and offer your kitten alleviation while their adult teeth and molars come in.
A healthy cat is energetic, active and flexible: no tree or table is too high for a cat. Is your cat having trouble walking, running, climbing or jumping? Contact a vet.
The faeces of a healthy cat are firm. Diarrhoea may be caused by a poor diet, teeth coming in, intestinal issues, food intolerance or worms. Keep a close eye on your cat’s faeces.
Cats are relatively susceptible to urinary tract issues such as bladder inflammation or cystitis. This is because cats are sensitive to stress but it is also related to the fact that they often don’t drink enough. Indications of problems may be blood in the urine, low quantities of urine, urinating anywhere but the litter box, or difficulty walking. Giving it wet food in addition to dry food helps keep your cat’s fluid levels up.
A healthy cat has appetite
Cats eat a lot of small portions throughout the day if they can. Is your cat lacking an appetite or is it very picky? Make sure it isn’t suffering from any of the above. When in doubt, contact a vet.
Kittens get all kinds of antibodies in the womb and through their mother’s milk. But, their numbers decline within a few weeks after birth which means they need to fend for themselves. This requires them to be vaccinated by a vet. This will ensure your cat is always protected against contagious diseases. You can begin deworming your kitten starting at the age of four weeks.
Titration involves drawing blood to see how many antibodies your cat’s blood contains. The objective of vaccination is to have the immune system respond by producing antibodies. But the success rate is not 100%. Vaccinations may cause side-effects which you want to prevent. Titration and checking the body of your cat for antibodies allows for prevention of unnecessary vaccinations.