Home health care for your cat

 

This article is posted as part of PGAA’s curation efforts. This was originally posted at Alley Cat

 

Of course if your cat displays any signs of illness, you should take her to your veterinarian immediately; however, there are certain things you can do for your cat at home to maintain good health. Start by taking your cat for an annual checkup, even if you have switched to a three-year vaccination cycle.

Grooming: Although cats do a good job of cleaning themselves, brushing and combing her will help to get rid of any matted fur, dander, and parasites. Plus, most cats enjoy the added attention.

Ears: Wipe her ears from time to time with a moistened tissue or cotton ball. If she is scratching her ears a lot, she may have ear mites or an ear infection. Both of these should be treated as soon as possible to prevent the condition from turning into a hematoma (swelling beneath the skin). If this occurs, then surgery is needed.

Teeth: Check her teeth as well. If the tissue of the gums is red, she could have gingivitis, an early sign of dental disease. If she is showing any signs of pain while eating, a visit to the vet should be scheduled and excessive tarter buildup should also be addressed with regular cleanings performed by a vet. As a preventative, you can regularly clean your cat’s teeth at home. Some cats enjoy having their teeth and gums cleaned and today you can get feline toothpastes that cats like!

Nails: You should learn to trim your cat’s nails. This will prevent scratches to you and furniture. Use specially-designed pet nail clippers or simply use human nail clippers. Holding the cat’s paw, gently squeeze the pads to expose the nails. Be careful to only clip the tip of each nail, and not the pink part that contains the nerves and blood vessels.

Chin: Look for blackheads on the chin, which could mean feline acne. For mild cases, apply a warm compress to the affected area.

Signs and symptoms to look for:

You should monitor you cat’s intake of water and food, as well as her use of the litter box. Note any abnormal behavior. Sudden improper urination could mean the cat has a urinary tract infection. Any straining in the litter box indicates an urgent trip to the vet, as she could have a blockage which could result in death, if not properly cared for. Blocked urethras are especially dangerous for male cats and require immediate vet attention.

Any lumps on the body could mean an abscess or even cancer, and should be evaluated by a vet as soon as possible.

Articles originally posted by AlleyCatRescue Like us on Facebook!Alley Cat Rescue (ACR) works to protect cats on several levels: locally through rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of cats and nationally through a network of Cat Action Teams, called CAT. ACR is dedicated to the health, well-being and welfare of all cats: domestic, stray, abandoned and feral. Help the ACR kitties by making a donation or shopping online! http://www.saveacat.org/donate.html