If you have a cat, you’ve probably already realised that it can be hard to tell what your feline friend is thinking. Unlike their canine counterparts, cats aren’t as expressive with pain or their health issues. This can sometimes spell trouble, but there are a few things you can do to monitor your furry friend’s wellbeing!
Here are 5 essential tips for monitoring your cat’s health!
#1 Get Up In Their Face
Whenever you get a chance to get up close and personal with your cat, take it! Important organs like their eyes and ears are a great indicator of their general health. All you need to do is check the following:
Ears - Should be clean, with no bad odor, inflammation or waxy build up
Eyes - Should be bright and shiny with no discharge or light sensitivity
Nose - Should appear clean, moist and smooth with no discharge and no sneezing, coughing or wheezing
Mouth - No buildup of tartar or plaque which can be identified by yellow teeth. Gums should not be inflamed and there should not be an excessive bad odour from their mouth or lips.
Take care of your cat’s health through supplements and treats like Greenie’s excellent selection of tasty dental treats!
#2 Monitor Their Faeces
Other than checking their face regularly, you should also monitor your cat’s faeces. Their stomach health is a great indicator of their overall wellbeing, as well as an indicator of the suitability of their current diet!
Watching out for unusual changes in your cat’s faeces, like diarrhoea, mucous or blood. The amount of faeces and flatulence may also be signs of a healthy or unhealthy digestive system. If you notice anything abnormal, check to see if it happens over 1-2 days. If it does, make sure to send your cat to the vet for a check up.
The coats on our beloved feline friends can tell us all about how they’re doing.
If you notice any excessive thinning, patchiness or inflammation on the skin, you may need to adjust your cat’s diet or introduce some additional supplements to their diet. Curious Cat People’s large selection of cat supplements may be just what you need to find a suitable supplement for your cat’s coat health, such as NaturVet’s Ultimate Skin & Coat Powder Cat Supplement.
If these changes are prolonged, you should also definitely bring your cat to a vet.
Other than their coat health, make sure to also monitor your cat regularly for fleas and ticks, especially if they are allowed to travel outside your home.
#4 Watch Their Weight
The biggest contributor to a pet’s health is their diet - and understanding your cat’s weight is the biggest way of ensuring they’re eating the right food.
To check for an overweight cat, place your thumb on their backbone and run your fingers along their ribs. If you’re unable to feel their ribcage easily, they may be overweight. To confirm this, you can also view them from the top and side. There should be a slight tuck at her waist from above, and at her abdomen when viewed from the side.
If her ribcage is very easily felt or seen, your cat may be underweight. In these cases, it’s important to adjust their diet accordingly. If your cat is underweight, they may need more help eating their food.
Finding the proper diet for your cat can improve their overall health and demeanor! Most importantly, it should be of good quality with no or little fillers. IAMS carries a great range of dry food tailored to different cat's specific needs, including weight management, multi-cat households and age specific foods. And don't forget your cat should have access to clean water throughout the day, especially if they are on a dry kibble diet.
#5 Behavioural Changes
If your cat is in pain or not feeling well, they could be hiding their symptoms. This may make it hard for you to tell if they’re doing alright - but just make sure to always monitor their behaviour and you’ll be able to tell if something is amiss.
Here are some signs you should look out for:
Excessive Lethargy and Decreased interest in playing, socialising or exploration
Hiding or acting withdrawn
Changes in behaviour e.g. avoiding things they used to do like jumping onto beds, etc
More easily irritable or in a poor mood
More aggressive when touched or approached
If your cat exhibits any of the above signs, make sure to check them for any visible wounds. If they’re okay with it, gently move your cat’s joints to check for any pain. If you’re unsure if your cat has any health issues, it’s always safer to bring them to a vet for a check up anyway.
Owning a cat comes with all sorts of problems - maintaining your cat’s well being is one of them. But it also comes with a whole bunch of benefits! If you ever notice any major changes in your cat, it’s always a good idea to send them to a veterinarian if you’re not able to see what’s wrong.
Tammi is an avid writer, but especially loves learning and writing about animals! She spends her free time visiting cat cafes, playing video games and having plenty of cuddle time with her pup.