How to do a Weekly Health Check on your Kitty
Although you don’t need to take your kitty to the vet more than once a year – unless of course she gets sick or injured – there are steps you can take in order to ensure that your cat is in good health.
On a weekly basis, set aside about 5-10 minutes to take a look at your kitty – not to congratulate yourself on picking the best of the litter – but rather in an objective light to examine various parts of the cat that can highlight the start of any health issue.
Call kitty to you. Watch how she moves. Is her weight distributing evenly on all legs or is she trying to avoid putting weight on any of them?
Pick her up and look her direct in the eyes. Her eyes should be clear and not clouded. There should be no discharge around the eyes. If there is, once your examination is over, clean these and check them the next day – if it’s back, then you should ring your veterinary clinic for advice. The same goes for kitty’s nose. This should be moist but with no discharge. Her ears should be clean and also discharge free. Discharge is a sign of possible infection. If you carefully clear it (no cotton buds/q-tips!) and it returns, then it’s time for the vet to take a look.
Gently open her mouth and check that she hasn’t lost any teeth since the week before and that her teeth are white without looking as if she’s got any problems there.
Run your hand down her tummy and back. Are there any lumps or bumps that don’t belong? You’ll get to know what’s “normal” for your cat! Lumps and bumps are another reason to call the veterinary clinic for advice. They are not always cause for concern, but they should always be checked out.
Check out the quality of her fur – is it sleek and healthy looking, or is it looking as if it’s falling out in places, or is a bit greasy/dull in appearance. This could be a grooming or nutritional issue. Fur falling out is more likely to be something associated with an allergy or even fleas, and a word with your veterinary nurse could start you monitoring possible causes for this. If it’s a greasy/dull coat issue, then try bathing your cat and doing a nightly brush of her fur to see if you can improve the condition. If it doesn’t improve after a couple of weeks, it’s time to seek the advice of the veterinary clinic.
The weekly check-up that you give will take only a few minutes and she’ll get used to it and will let you do whatever you need to do – and the main thing is that because you do this same routine every week, you’ll soon know when something’s not right and can get it looked at by the professionals before it gets too bad and therefore becomes more severe and expensive!