What you need to know about cat health? Self-monitoring and routine inspection
For the loving owner of a domestic cat, there is nothing more important than her health. Often the owners perceive the pet as a full member of the family and are ready to make every effort to maintain its well-being. To prevent possible troubles and reduce your health risk, it is important to adhere to a few rules, which we will outline below.
HOW TO CARE FOR CAT’S HEALTH?
At least once a year, you must visit a veterinarian whom you trust. If there are no problems with the pet’s health, it is necessary to conduct an annual vaccination at the same visit, the marks of which are entered in the cat’s veterinary passport. This frequency will help prevent many diseases, protect the pet from infections over the next year, and also allow you to monitor the frequency of visits to the veterinary clinic.
Do not use any additives, preparations or goodies without consulting a veterinarian. You should not trust the opinion of “authorities” from among friends and even from the best motives to buy unknown dietary supplements and medicines. The same applies to antiparasitic drugs and vaccines, unfamiliar feeds and treats. To protect your pet, discuss with your veterinarian any significant interference with her normal lifestyle.
Be sure to take care of the safety of your home: do not leave poisonous and toxic substances in the public domain, use special nets on the windows.
A cat should be examined at least once a month to notice any changes in its physical condition in advance. It is most convenient to combine such examinations with routine hygiene procedures: clipping, combing, flea and tick treatment, etc.
WHAT INDICATORS DO I NEED TO PAY ATTENTION?
Appetite and thirst. You should pay attention to any change in your pet’s habits. So, a sharp increase in water consumption can be a symptom of serious diseases: diabetes or kidney disease. Refusing water for more than 2 days can directly threaten the life of your cat. In this case, a complete or partial refusal of food for more than a day is a reason to beware, and more than 48 hours is the reason to consult a veterinarian.
Body temperature. Normally, cats have a body temperature of 38.0-39.0 ° C. Deviation of a degree or more in any direction is an occasion to immediately contact a veterinarian.
Respiratory rate at rest. An important indicator of the respiratory and cardiovascular system of your cat. It is important to remember that breathing rate should be considered at rest, not after a game or stress. In an adult cat, this figure should be between 20 and 30 breaths per minute.
The condition of the coat and skin. The coat should evenly cover the body, bald spots are unacceptable. Shedding, even the most intense, is always accompanied by a renewal of the coat: instead of the old coat, a new one grows without the formation of bald areas.
The skin should be smooth and supple. Pushing the hair apart, forming a parting, you can assess the condition of the skin for inflammation. The presence of scratches and rashes, and especially ulcers and non-healing wounds, is an occasion to consult a veterinarian. Also look for dandruff and parasites (such as fleas).
Eye, ear and mouth condition. First of all, look at the face of the pet. Eyes and nose should be clean, with no discharge, redness or dried crusts. Alternately, on the left and on the right side, lift the upper lip and pay attention to the condition of the gums: they should be pink, moderately moist and without erosion. Saliva should not leak from the mouth, and the cat’s teeth should be white and without plaque. Bad smell from the mouth (halitosis), severe plaque on the teeth, erosion on the gums themselves are an indicator of ill health and require action. Then look into the cat’s ears. The auditory canals should be clean, without brown discharge, redness, swelling and traces of scratching. If the pet often scratches the ears, this may indicate an itch, often resulting from allergies or external parasites (fleas, ear mites).
Soreness when feeling. Unfortunately, the owners usually do not pay enough attention to this item, but a careful examination once a month reveals whether the animal feels severe pain when feeling any areas (abdomen, ribs, limbs). If you find such abnormal pain, then contact your veterinarian immediately.
The quality and regularity of the chair. Relaxed stools for 2 or more days, blood in the stool, a sharp change in the color of feces, as well as a delay in the stool for more than 3 days, is an occasion to consult a veterinarian.
Frequency of urination and behavior when visiting the toilet. Another point that owners often do not pay due attention to. However, it is precisely the control of the frequency of urination and the closer attention of the owners to the behavior of the animal during visits to the toilet that would allow more rapid correction of the condition of cats.