Nose: This should be warm to the touch, and free of discharge or other noticeable irritation.
Mouth and teeth: If your cat allows you to look inside of their mouth, you are looking for nice pink gums, clean teeth, and your usual expectation of “cat breath” LOL. If your cat has unsightly teeth, redness around the gums, or smelly breath, you should take your cat to the veterinarian soon. If your cat has very pale pink or borderline white gums, or gums tending towards blue in any way, please seek veterinary advice as soon as you notice it.
Paws and claws: The paws should be smooth, have no visible wounds, appear to cause them no pain, and be without foreign bodies such as grass seeds or worse. Their claws should not be cracked, and shouldn’t be too long.
Bottom: Yes, I know; you don’t want to look, but you really should. Your cat’s bottom should be clear of any poop, inflammation, or matted fur.
Toileting: Their toileting should be free of discomfort. Their urine should be free of discoloration, smell, or blood. Stools should be well formed and free of blood.
Breathing: Your cat should have even breathing, and they should not remain out of breath for an extended period after exercise.
Appetite: Though this will vary between individuals, you know what is normal for your cat. If your pet is unusually hungry, or unusually in appetent, this could indicate some form of health issue that should be addressed. Likewise, if your cat is drinking considerably more or less than usual, please contact their health care provider.
The fact is, though our cats may behave as though they are Mister or Missus Independent, they depend on us to notice when they’re not feeling their best. You are your pet’s best chance at early detection of health issues. So please, add these simple observations to your daily routine, and you and your pet will enjoy a long and happy relationship.
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