Keeping an Eye on Your Cat's Health
Cats can be fulfilling companions for a long time, and while they are generally low maintenance and independent, there are a few things that you can do to keep your friend's health in check so that they can be with you for a long time.
Vaccinations. The most important thing you can do for your cat's health is to make sure they are up to date on all their vaccinations from the veterinarian. This will completely eliminate many common deadly cat diseases, and save the possible heartache of losing your pet to a preventable disease.
Coat. A cat's coat is usually a really good indicator of their overall health. The cat's fur should be shiny and soft. You should be able to run a brush through the cat's fur easily. Problems to look out for include matted fur, irritated skin, bald patches, and a dull or dirty looking coat. These problems could result directly from a disease, not getting enough nutrients, or a lack of care on your kitties part. Occasionally an older cat may not take care of themselves as much without an underlying problem, but it is still better to get this confirmed by a veterinarian.
Behavior. You should know how your cat normally acts. Cats being big sleepers, its hard to tell when they are sleeping more than usual. Any change in behavior could indicate an issue. When cats are really sick, it is in their instincts to hide from predators, so if you notice your cat not moving often and hiding more than usual, it is a good idea to get them checked out.
Litterbox. Without getting into too many details, if you notice any changes in your cats litterbox use, it can be a concern. Make sure to clean the litterbox to avoid exposing your cat to any bacteria and keep a pleasant environment. A cat will hold it unhealthily or find somewhere else to go if a litterbox is too dirty.
Diet. Cats can be particularly picky eaters. Sometimes they will decide they do not like their food overnight, and starve themselves. They can also become upset if you change their food all of the sudden. It is a good idea to gradually change their food over a few days so they can become accustomed it it, and watch to make sure they are eating the right amount on a regular basis.
Physical. Physical changes can also be a big indicator that something is wrong with kitty. A good rub all over can relax your cat and point out any potential problems. When petting them, check for any lumps or areas that seem tender to the cat. It is also good to weigh your cat on a regular basis, an easy way to do this is to stand on a scale and weigh yourself, then weigh yourself holding your cat, and subtract the difference.
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All of these are things to keep an eye on for your cat's health and longevity. Having a healthy cat can lead to a long and loving friendship. If you notice any change in your cat's health, take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible, even if it is to be on the safe side.
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