Senior Cat Health Check
Hints & Tips
Cat owners spend so much time with their animals, either grooming, stroking or observing their movements. So often, if something is wrong with your cat, you will be the first to know if their health is suffering. Especially if you have had your cat for sometime and they are now a senior cat.
Very often, merely looking at your senior cat will tell you quite a lot about their overall health. If you are taking on a mature cat for the first time, e.g. from a rescue centre. It is important to be aware of a cats history and health. On the surface the senior cat may look in full health, but this may not actually be the case.
Once you bring your senior cat home, it is important to keep an eye on its health and to pay attention to changes in its condition. Cats cannot speak and tell us when something hurts or annoys them, and it is our duty to be alert. When a medical problem is suspected, do not hesitate. The veterinarian should be called and consulted at once. Do not wait to see if your cat gets well on its own. Many medical problems can be treated easily early on, while postponing treatment causes suffering to the animal and higher treatment costs. Taking out senior cat insurance for cats aged over 8 years will protect you financially should you need to take the cat to the vet's for treatment.
Here are some things to look for when trying to assess your pet's health.
After keeping your cat for some time and coming to know its nature, you can identify with relative ease any significant change in the way they behave.
Your cat's coat directly reflects its state of health. The fur of a healthy animal is smooth and pleasant to touch, and does not show bald patches, wounds, or fleas. A dry and coarse coat may be a sign of unbalanced nutrition. The presence of fleas usually indicates the presence of worms in the animal's intestines, as well as possible skin problems that might be directly caused by fleabites. Having had your cat for some time, you will be well aware as to what their coat should look and feel like, observing any changes will help you identify any potential problems.
Your cat's ears should be pink and clean. If you see a waxy brownish-black secretion in the ears, check for the presence of ear mites (a miniscule ear parasite common among cats and dogs). Very often, an animal infected with ear mites will also scratch its ears and shake its head. A vet needs to give the final diagnosis and will also guide you about the treatment.
A healthy cat's eyes are shiny and clear, and lacking any secretion. Cats have a third, inner eyelid, which is usually wide open and not exposed. If the third eyelid is not fully open, it can be seen covering a part of the eye. This situation can indicate a health problem, since it is often a sign of physical or emotional stress.
The nose of a healthy cat should be velvety and pleasant in texture, and without any discharge. The nose can be moist to varying degrees, but never very wet.
Your cat's mouth should be pink, clean, and without any bad breath. The teeth should be whole, white, and without excess tartar. It is recommended to have your cat's teeth regularly examined, and teeth problems dealt with in a timely fashion. Cat's that suffer from infections in the mouth area often avoid self-grooming. There are many light bites and chews that can be bought for cat's for all ages to help with tooth and gum maintenance.
Your cat's rear end and genitals should be clean - dirt in that area might indicate a problem of diarrhoea. Diarrhoea may be a sign of poor nutrition, worms or even some form of disease.