Pet Care & You (Articles from DVC)
Keeping Your Cat Healthy Through Powers of Observation
In the wild, a weak or sick cat is vulnerable to predators, so cats have become masters at masking problems. So, with that in mind, actively and passively observing your cat on an ongoing basis will help detect any health problems in the early stages. Passive observation is easy to do everyday. First, you need to know how your cat behaves normally. Know how much food and water is consumed each day. Know your cats sleeping habits and litter box habits. Monitor about how much urine is normally passed and the frequency and type of stool left in the box. Through passive observation, you can now detect immediately if your cat is eating, drinking, or urinating excessively. OR, most importantly, not eating, drinking or urinating at all. Anything that is observed that is not your cat’s normal behavior is worthy of mention to your veterinarian.
One way to conduct active observation is to do a “mini physical” on your cat on a monthly basis. Make this non- threatening and fun for your cat. When your cat is in a sleepy or mellow mood, do an all over “massage” and feel for any lumps or bumps. Fluff the hair and look for any flea dirt. Scratch his head and check the eyes and nose for discharge. Check the ears for debris or odor. Lift his lips and examine the teeth and look for healthy pink gums. Finally examine your cat’s footpads, and nails, making sure there are no ingrown nails.
Regular monitoring of your cat’s health is a sure way to make it more difficult for your cat to mask problems. Observation is the key to finding injury or disease before it becomes advanced. Observation will help keep your cat healthy!
Durham Veterinary Clinic