Celebrate National Cat Health Month With This Cat Health Checklist!

National Cat Health Month is here! February is the perfect time for pet parents to focus on their cats' well-being. And as we celebrate this month-long affair, we will share some tips to help your kitty live a happy and healthy life!

As loving cat parents, we are bound to want the best and most adequate care for our cats. This all begins with ensuring that they are as happy and as healthy as they can be!

From time to time, be sure to conduct a mindful look into your cat to ensure that they are in tip-top health! And KittyNook will help you in this! By following our checklist and recommendations, you will have the chance to find early signs of illness, which means you can look for treatment as soon as possible, if necessary. This blog will not assist you in maintaining your cat in good shape. Plus, it will allow you to have more hands-on high-quality time with your feline friend!

Let's tick the list together, shall we?

1. Ears

cat health checklist

Cats' ears are very delicate, so they should be treated with care. Your pet's ears need to be always clean, without any thick or waxy discharge; there shouldn't be any inflammation or foul odor. If your feline has short hair or white-tipped ears, consider rubbing in a small amount of sunblock to safeguard against sunburn (which can cause skin cancer) on hot or sunny days.

If your cat is always shaking its head or is rubbing its face more often than usual, take them to the veterinarian for an extensive ear examination.

2. Eyes

cat health checklist

Your feline's eyes should be intense and clear with no indicators of wateriness, soreness, or discomfort. Your pet should not be scrunching up its eyes or shying away from the light. If you notice that they begin to bump into objects suddenly, take them to the veterinarian for an exam.

3. Nose

cat health checklist

Your feline's nose should be soft and a little damp to the touch. Bleeding, discharge, crusting, or excess sneezing are all indicators that something's not quite right. This is particularly crucial if their eyes are additionally a little dripping, as felines are susceptible to influenza. Take the cat to your veterinarian for a medical and physical examination. 

4. Mouth

cat health checklist

Cats with foul-smelling breath are not just icky but can also indicate a hidden digestive or kidney problem. More commonly, however, it suggests microbial overgrowth or plaque on their teeth and gums. If left neglected, this can bring about gum or dental disease and, in some extreme cases, organ troubles.

The teeth need to be white or cream without excess tartar, which looks thick and brown. Gums should be in a healthy pink color (or black, depending on your cat's skin coloring) and not red, puffy, or pale. Keep a nose out for foul breath, drooling, an unwillingness to eat, clawing at the mouth, and dropping food--these can all indicate that something's wrong. Ask your vet to brush your feline's teeth every single time you see them. Ideally, you should brush your cat's teeth twice a day with a special cat toothpaste. Ask your veterinarian what brand to use and how to do it.

5. Skin and Coat

cat health checklist

Depending on your cat's coloring, their skin will be pink or black and should not show any indications of crusting, itching, scaling, infection, or swelling. Their coat must be thick (although some breeds will have thinner layers than others) and shiny, without broken hairs, bald spots, dandruff, or fleas. Cats can likewise struggle with cat acne--it can be alluring for you or your cat to pick at it, but stop yourself and talk with your veterinarian instead.

Your feline will shed hair all year round. However, it is more usual in the summertime and fall. Cat fleas and ticks can be a typical issue for cats. Ensure that you do parasite control on your cat and in the home.

6. Claws

cat health checklist

Your cat's claws can be black or white and need to be smooth. Rough or flaky nails may require a check out to the veterinarian. To examine your pet cat's claws, carefully squeeze on the pads of their paws so the nails emerge entirely. Do not forget to check their dew-claws, which can be found on the inside of their leg, just above the paw. Some pet cats have them on only their front legs, and some on the front and the back, and some do not have any at all!

If you have an exterior cat, you need to continually wash their paws, specifically in the winter season, as antifreeze can be hazardous to pet cats if they step on it and later eat it as they groom themselves.

7. Thirst

cat health checklist

Felines are creative creatures, so they'll find means to satiate their thirst from some unusual sources, such as a dripping faucet and even a pool. So don't stress too much if you otherwise healthy and the cat does not appear to consume water that much.

Nevertheless, whether your cat is an interior or outdoor cat, always make sure you have a dish. If your feline suddenly starts drinking greater than usual without extra physical activities, it could be a sign of underlying clinical trouble. In this case, you must speak with your veterinarian.

8. Digestion

cat health checklist

Felines can be picky eaters--this is because being sick takes a great deal of energy from them, so they will certainly try to prevent being sick at all costs! It's relatively normal for felines to regurgitate food or divulge a hairball periodically. However, typically, there shouldn't be any throwing up or reluctance to eat.

If you're taking care of cats, keep an eye on their hunger and also know what you--as well as everyone else in the family--feeds them. If you make any dietary modifications, do it progressively over 7-10 days. During this period, take notice of any changes in your feline's poo. It must be a regular brownish color, firm, and without blood or mucus. Modifications in food digestion can be entirely typical, but they can also be a sign of intestinal parasites or other issues. Never think your pet cat is merely being fussy--make that vet visit to make sure.

9. Respiration

cat health checklist

Cats don't open-mouth breathe as dogs do, so any panting or coughing indicator ought to be looked at by a veterinarian immediately.

10. Body condition

cat health checklist

When you're caring for cats, you must regularly examine their body condition. When your turn over your feline, you need to be able to feel and--depending on their type or coat length-- often see their ribs reasonably quickly, with just a minor covering of fat. They also ought to have a soft pad of fat on their belly. If you have any concerns, talk to your vet immediately.

By following this list, you will have the ability to keep a close eye on your pet cat to see if they're in good health to make sure that your cat (and you!) can be as happy as possible!

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