10 Tips on Giving Your Cat a Health Check

A weekly health check is a great time to show attention and bond with your cat. The more familiar you become with his body the more likely it is you’ll notice if anything is wrong. For that reason the same person should carry out the health check.

1. Ears 

Open the flaps of each ear and check inside and outside of the ear. Check for signs of bleeding, dirt or wax. You may notice a small amount of wax which is normal. Look for lumps, bumps or any swellings on the ear.

2. Eyes

Open each eye and these should be bright and clear with no weeping or discharge.

3. Nose

Check the nostrils making sure they are clean and dry.

4. Mouth, teeth and gums

The teeth should be white with no signs of chips. Gums healthy looking and pink without bleeding or swelling. Check his teeth are clean and his gums and tongue look healthy. Check his breath. It probably isn’t ever the sweetest smelling but if it’s worse than usual it may be a sign of infection.

5. Respiration

Observe your cat’s breathing. This should be even and appear to be easy and effortless. Increased respiration and or effort should not be observed. Also check for panting, wheezing, coughing, suffering shortness of breath.

6. Skin and Coat

This should be healthy looking, fur should be shiny. Cats generally groom themselves however you can brush them to get rid of any mats and tangles and check for fleas and ticks.

7. Claws and paw pads

Check the length of your cat’s claws, if they are too long give them a trim. Check the paw pads for any damage.

8. Body

Run your hands along the head, body, limbs and tail checking for lumps, bumps and signs of pain.

9. Mobility

Put your cat down and observe it’s movements. Does it appear stiff or uncomfortable?

10. Weight

Keeping a record of your cat’s weight is a good idea. Run your hands along the cat’s ribs. You should be just able to feel the ribs. If they can be easily felt, your cat may be underweight, if you can’t feel them at all, he may be overweight.

Visit the PFMA website for your cats size o meter.

For further information on looking after your cat, see our Cat Behaviours page to learn about what your cat’s behaviour really means.