A cat on the couch.

Cats can be pretty easy to care for, a fact that partially explains their popularity. They aren’t as demanding as, say, other kinds of household pets. Despite their independence, cats have specific health requirements that, if met, help them achieve vitality and longevity. Yearly or biannual wellness exams can steer a cat’s overall physical and mental fitness, but a big part of an owner’s approach to cat health is to maintain daily check-ins regarding appearance and behavior.

Where to Start

You know your cat better than anyone. Based on their general mood and behavioral habits, create a sort of baseline of normal. Keep track of things that interest or trigger them. If they ever start to act differently you are better equipped to intervene swiftly. 

Symptoms that indicate sub-par cat health include:

  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Lethargy or disinterest in activities previously enjoyed
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Straining in the litter
  • Increased vocalization
  • Sudden clinginess or withdrawal
  • Respiratory distress
  • Dilated or constricted pupils

If you notice any of the above, all us at (630) 665-1500 for an appointment or information for emergency services.

All the Good Stuff

In addition to your cat’s behavior, you can always tell how good they feel if they are well-groomed. Since a healthy cat self-grooms a majority of their waking hours, they should look pretty phenomenal. A brilliant-looking coat is always preferred to a dull or flat-looking one full of dandruff, tangles, mats or debris. 

A cat that is in pain or overweight may not be able to complete their task of self-grooming. This is an important marker of cat health, and should also include observations of their eyes, ears, and nose. Look for clarity and cleanliness when sizing up these parts of your cat, and make notes about redness, swelling, itchy skin, inflammation, or injury.

A Look in the Mouth

Many cats dislike having fingers in their mouths, but it’s essential to take regular peeks at their teeth and gums. A majority of adult and senior cats suffer the symptoms of periodontal disease, such as bad breath, painful, receding gums, and cracked/broken teeth. This is entirely preventable by routine professional cleanings and at home dental care. Keep an eye out for yellow or brown coating on the teeth, and call us for more information about the connection between your cat’s dental health and the overall condition of their whole body.

Food and Cat Health

Cat obesity can lead to the development of diabetes, arthritis, and more. We recommend keeping your cat as trim as possible by offering high-value, age-appropropriate food that fits their lifestyle. If you need help finding the right product for your cat’s meals, please let us know. 

While we weigh your cat every time they visit us, you can be sure they’re staying on track by measuring their proportions at home. Restrict extra calories and be sure to give them opportunities to exercise every day.

Always Here For You!

Please call us at (630) 665-1500 with any questions or concerns about cat health. Our cat-friendly practice looks forward to welcoming you and your cat!