Compared to dogs, cats can be a little more challenging to care for andmonitor due to their tendency to be so independent. They tend to keep tothemselves more than dogs, and so a change in demeanour might not be asobvious when cats begin to feel unwell.

There are many obvious signs that your cat is unwell, for example you might beable to clearly see that they are not eating, not drinking, or are nottoileting as usual. In many cases, it may be so subtle that you are unsure ifthey are unwell or not.

Regularly checking your cat all over will give you a better idea of any subtlechanges, and help you monitor their health and wellbeing.

Choose a time that your cat is relaxed and happy to be petted. While you arepetting them, feel their chest and try to get an idea of what their normalbreathing pattern feels like. Leave your hand on their chest to feel theirheartbeat. Doing this regularly will mean that you know when their breathingchanges and you should be concerned, for example if their breathing seems morelaboured than usual or their heartbeat seems to be racing.

When you pet your cat around their head and under their chin, get them used toyou having a look in their mouth at their gums. Check to make sure they are ahealthy pink colour so that you can recognise a change to this if they arevery unwell.

Weigh your cat regularly. This will give you a great indication of theirhealth and wellbeing, and also help you to make sure their waistline is keptwithin a healthy range.

If you ever need to leave your cat with your local cattery, doing theseregular health checks at home with them will make it much easier for the staffto be able to check your cat’s physical signs. It also makes it more likelythat you cat will allow strangers to handle them, making it easier for yourvet during routine health checks and more likely that staff at a cattery canhandle them to show them the affection and love they deserve while you areaway.

Sponsored article provided by Australian Pet Care Association (APCA).

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