Cat Anatomy 101: Basic Healthcare
Observe your cat and do a perfunctory examination each month to recognize health problems early and add to your cat's longevity. The extra attention will benefit your cat and you!
The following is a very simple at-home assessment you can do yourself. Report any problems to your veterinarian.
General Appearance: Watch your cat walk around. Note any limping, check weight status. (Is she gaining or losing weight?) Is she alert? Is her disposition normal?
Eyes: Any discharge, redness or inflammation? Any cloudiness? Have you noticed any signs of sight impairment such as not seeing toys, bumping into things?
Nose: Any nasal discharge? Is her breathing congested? If so, she may have an upper respiratory infection. See your veterinarian.
Mouth and Throat: Lift up the lips and look at the gums. Are they inflamed? Are any teeth broken or missing? Any tartar buildup on the teeth? Any facial swelling? Any swelling on the throat? A regular dental hygiene program can really make a difference.
Abdomen: Run your hands over your cat's abdomen. Is she in pain? Does the abdomen seem distended? Here's another opportunity to check weight status. Any unusual lumps or bumps? Is your cat using the litter box regularly and normally?
Neck and Spine: Run your hands down her back from the neck to the end of the tail. Any obvious pain? Any obvious limitations of movement? Does your cat have difficulty jumping to her favorite Perch? If you think your cat has neck and spinal problems, contact your veterinarian.
Skin and Coat: Is your cat grooming herself properly? If she has long hair, are you helping prevent mats or dander buildup by brushing her? Is there any hair loss? Is the skin dry or greasy? Does she have external parasites like fleas? Note any lumps and bumps on the skin. Dry skin and coat can be alleviated with an Omega-3 fatty acid enriched product.
Simple At-Home Cat Care Essentials... for Happy, Healthy Living