Is my cat healthy?

>>  Monday, August 04, 2014

My last post about my recent kitty issues and being reported to the RSPCA made me think it was a good idea to share some information about cat health.

At our visit to Battersea Cats home we had a talk from a vet about cat health and how to tell if your cat is generally healthy.

After all, kitty may look like it's been shot but could still actually be bright as a button!

The top 4 heath indicators were teeth, fat, coat and drinking.

Teeth are a great indicator of a cats general health and bad teeth and gums can directly affect your cat's health.  If your cat won't let you look into it's mouth, try just touching it's lip then offering a treat and keep going with this every day over what can be a long period of time until it associates lip lifting with a treat and Bob's your gum examination!  Cat's should not have bad plaque or red gums.  Gum disease, if left untreated, can lead to the bacteria going into the kidneys and making the cat very ill indeed.  Don't leave it until an animal is drooling and in pain before seeking help, if it's got that far it could be too late.

Excess weight is as big a health hazard for cats as it is in humans.  You are shortening their life span and potentially adding to your vets bills by over feeding them.  Cats are natural grazers and will ask for food long past their full time.  Don't listen to those begging yowls if you know they've been well fed already.  If your cat is overweight, it's not hard to tell, some cats are bigger than others but when that fat belly is swinging - it's time to start the diet!  Try replacing cheesy fatty treats with something a bit healthier like sardine or chicken. But mostly they don't need masses of treats, it's about owner discipline!

I mostly fail with this and have owned fat cat after fat cat.  I must try harder.

 A coat should be sleek and clean with no mats.  Also a cat should not have ear wax, this could be a sign of mites. And whilst you are looking in this area, check an old cat's nails.  Sometimes they can need a clip and pads will get very painful if nails get too long and curl around.
As they get older they can still have that lovely fluffy coat, even if they don't manage to look quite so cute.

Be aware of how much your cat drinks, a sudden increase can indicate problems. A 4kg cat will probably drink about 200ml over a 24 hour period.  Cats fed on a solely dry diet will drink more than those fed on wet food, so try to have a feel for what is normal for your pet and watch out for changes.

It can be hard though, one of my cats mostly drinks out of a metal drain cover on our drive, what she does in dry weather I really don't know - I never see her drinking the water I put down.  Whereas my other cat is always clinking her collar bell on the drinking bowl - ching, ching ching with the lap, lap, lap!

Of course pets should have regular check ups and your vet will do this as a matter of course at annual injection time, assuming you get them vaccinated - it is a good idea for their health and protection but also an absolute must if you plan on using a cattery whilst you are away on holiday.

If you can't afford the standard vets bills check out your local Blue Cross or RSPCA vetcare to see if you qualify for help from them.

This is Flossy, the latest kitty in our family.  She lives at Cog's father's house.  She is a cutey.  Although a few weeks ago we spent a very wet day trying to help her down a 40 foot tree.  We got her out with a fishing next in the end!!

I have mentioned it before but Bob Martins are providing Battersea cats home with 4 years worth of cat litter.  Battersea is run completely on charitable donations and a partnership like this with Bob Martins is a marvellous thing.  Look out for the Battersea logo on Felight Cat litter and buying it will help Battersea look after and rehome cats and kittens.

Thank you muchly.


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