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The Healthy Cat

Always remember - your cat's health is your responsibility. It's your job to make sure she stays in good health and lives a long, happy life.

Vaccination is essential
A health check-list

Vaccination is essential
Vaccination helps to protect your cat against potentially fatal diseases such as feline enteritis and cat flu. Kittens should be inoculated as soon as they reach a few weeks of age because they are particularly vulnerable. Adult cats should have a vaccination certificate - if you are in doubt about your adult cat's vaccination history, consult your veterinarian about further vaccinations. Remember to keep up the booster shots, too.

A health check-list
Your cat should have regular check-ups, of course, but you can also keep an eye on her general condition - and if something seems "not quite right," you can take her to your veterinarian for advice. (When you get a new cat, take her to the vet for a general check-up in any case.) Here is a list to help you check her condition:

  • Body
    Her body should be firm, fleshed but not skinny or overweight.
  • Ears
    Her ears should be clean, with no wax or discharge. They should be pricked and alert to catch sounds. Just check the visible parts of her ears to avoid harming your cat.
  • Eyes
    Her eyes should be clear and bright, not bloodshot, and with no discharge. The inside of the eyelids should be pink. The third eyelid - a white film - should not be evident.
  • Nose
    Her nose should be clean, with no discharge or mucus.
  • Coat
    Her coat should be clean and well-groomed, with sleek fur. Look for parasites, or evidence of them - their eggs or droppings - on her body, and for bald patches, spots, sores, or scabs.
  • Abdomen
    Her abdomen should not be distended or look like a pot belly. Look for wounds, growths, or sores in this area.
  • Anus
    The hair around her anus should be clean, and not fouled with loose droppings. There shouldn't be signs of diarrhea or constipation. Check her litter box as well, to make sure there are no extra feces or that there are no feces at all.
  • Paws
    Check her paws for tears, thorns, splinters, or damaged pads. Her claws should be unbroken.
  • Appetite
    Her appetite should be good. When you get a new cat, find out what she's been eating up to this point, and feed her that. If you want to introduce a new diet, do it gradually.
  • Behavior
    She should be alert and interested in her surroundings, not overly timid.
  • Breathing
    Her breathing should be quiet and normal. Check for coughing, sneezing, or wheezing.
  • Movement
    She should be lively, not limping, and not showing any evidence of pain when touched. Her head should be held straight. She should be able to spring easily from the ground to table height. She shouldn't scratch herself excessively.
  • Blood
    There should be no trace of blood from any part of her body, or in her feces.

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