Healthcare For Your Cat – Keep It Super Simple with KISSCat Care
Cats will often hide any early signs of being unwell. This can make it difficult for owners to detect these subtle signs. However, performing a simple health check at home is the perfect way to quickly pick up any early signs of illness before they have a chance to progress. The process must be easy, stress-free and quick. This is the basis of our KISSCatCare scheme.
Why carry out health checks at home?
Monitoring your cat’s health at home can provide important information about how your cat is doing between veterinary visits. This enables any changes to your cat’s condition to be detected quickly. Often, many illnesses have a better prognosis if treatment is started early, before the condition becomes severe.
The hands-off health check
Before handling your cat, there is a lot of information about your cat’s health to be gained from just monitoring them. Even if your cat is difficult to handle, this part of the health check can still be performed, without upsetting your cat.
Detecting subtle changes in your cat’s normal routine:
- Is your cat eating normally, or has there been any change to their appetite?
- Is your cat drinking normally or has there been any change to the amount of water they are drinking?
- Is your cat passing urine normally? Is there any sign of blood in their litter tray or any signs of them struggling to urinate?
- Have they started urinating in any inappropriate places?
- Is your cat passing normal faeces?
- Has there been any change to your cat’s activity levels? Are they showing any signs of lameness or reluctance to exercise?
- Has your cat started showing any unusual behaviours?
If these questions bring up any answers that you are worried about, you should contact us for further advice.
How to handle your cat for a health check
When handling your cat for their health check, you should choose a time when your cat wants to interact with you, to help keep them calm. You might also find that your cat is more confident about being handled if you sit on the floor with them.
It will only take a few minutes to perform the complete health check but, if you have a nervous cat, you should take each stage slowly. If your cat is not happy about being handled at any stage of the examination, then stop. You can always continue the health check later when your cat is calm.
The KISSCatCare Health Check WET – Weigh, Examine, Teeth
WEIGH – How to check your cat’s weight
You should aim to check your cat’s weight every month, as this will allow you to easily see if your cat’s weight is changing. In comparison, visually assessing your cat’s weight will not enable you to pick up early changes. This is because your cat would have gained or lost a significant amount of weight by the time you can see their weight has changed.
How to weigh your cat using bathroom scales:
- Weigh yourself and record your weight.
- Pick up your cat and record the combined weight of you and your cat.
- Subtract your weight from the combined weight to get your cat’s current weight.
You can email your cat’s monthly weight to us so we can keep your file updated.
EXAMINE – The Physical Exam
This simple health check can be performed with minimal restraint but this part of the examination does require you to handle your cat so you can look for any signs of illness or injury.
What to check for
- Discharge or redness from the eyes.
- Discharge or scabs in the ears.
- Check the skin for any scabs, wounds, hair loss, or fleas and ticks. You will need to gently part the fur to do this.
- Run your hand over your cat to feel for any swellings or sore areas.
- Check the length of your cat’s nails, making sure they are not overgrown – This is most important in older housecats.
If you find anything that is worrying you about your cat, contact us for advice.
Teeth – Check inside your cat’s mouth PLUS TAKE PICURES
Cats can develop several painful problems inside their mouth, from dental issues to lumps or wounds. This means it is important to try and detect any changes inside the mouth as early as possible.
However, not all cats will tolerate their mouth being checked, so you might need to miss this part of the examination out. If your cat usually lets you check their mouth, but suddenly starts refusing, then this can indicate that there is a problem. Contact us, and we can arrange for your cat to be checked by one of our vets.
How to open your cat’s mouth
- Gently tilt your cat’s head back slightly
- At the place where your cat’s upper and lower jaw meet, place your thumb on one side of the mouth and finger on the other side
- Gently apply slight pressure, and your cat should open their mouth
Things to look for inside your cat’s mouth
- The presence of bad breath
- Tartar and plaque build-up on the teeth – This will be seen as yellow staining
- Reddened and inflamed gums
- Any cuts or wounds inside the mouth
- Any lumps or swellings – if possible check under the tongue too
If you can, take two well-lit photos of your cat’s mouth, one from each side. This will require two people. Make sure you have the molar teeth (big teeth at the back of the mouth) on each photo. You might need to gently pull the lip away to expose all of the molar teeth. Once you have your photos, email them to us for one of our nurses to check for free.
KISSCat Care – Register Online Today!
We’ve set up the KISSCatCare scheme where you can set up your own portal to keep track of your cats progress, using images and weight progress. This is run via our sister company Petstoreo and you can find out more and sign up here: kisscatcare.petstoreo.com
The importance of a regular vet check
Alongside your monthly home health check, your cat will also have a thorough vet check with one of our vets, every 6 to 12 months. It is important that you continue to bring your cat into our cat-friendly clinic for these checks, as our vets will be checking for any subtle signs of new health problems. It also gives you a chance to discuss with a vet any worries you have about your pet.
At the vet check, your vet will also make sure that all vaccinations and parasite treatments are up to date. This will help keep your cat in the best health.
Contact us for advice if you have any concerns about your cat, no matter how big or small. We are a cat only clinic, and all of our staff are knowledgeable about cats so we can answer all of your questions. We can also get your cat booked in for an appointment with one of our vets if a consultation is needed at any time.
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