If your feline friend is feeling under the weather, they’ll try and let you know - you’ll be the first person they turn to.
Here are some top tips on spotting the difference between a healthy and unhealthy cat – and knowing when they need extra care.
Cats are very particular about cleanliness and this will show itself in their personal grooming. Generally, your cat’s coat should be clean, shiny and soft as they will spend hours grooming themselves.
If it becomes clumpy, matted and dull, this is cause for concern. If this is combined with dry, flaky skin and hair loss, it’s a sign that your cat is unwell.
As you’ve probably noticed, your cat will rarely turn down a meal. Cats are known for their good appetite. As a result, one of the most common symptoms of illness or injury is a reduced appetite.
If your cat hasn’t eaten anything for 24 hours, or has had a reduced appetite for a period of two or three day, this should be a cause for concern.
It’s also important to make sure your cat doesn’t put on too much weight, as it can lead to more serious conditions in the future. You can help keep their weight under control by spending time playing with them.
Following on from eating, next up is your cat’s mouth. If your cat is healthy, its gums should be salmon pink, its teeth clean and its breath fresh.
You can play a major role in keeping your cat in good shape by brushing your cat’s teeth three times a week to prevent the build-up of tartar. This can be a bigger problem in older cats.
While it’s usually pretty easy to spot bad breath, you might not realise that it’s a cause for concern. It can suggest that your cat is suffering from any number of things, including gingivitis and digestive problems.
When healthy, a cat’s eyes are bright and clear, hence why they have given their name to the reflective safety devices found on the road.
If you spot any cloudiness, discharge or redness – or your cat is pawing and rubbing them, that could mean an illness.
Ear infections are quite common in cats, and other domestic animals. The most obvious symptom is scratching of the ears and shaking of the head, but this could also be a mite infestation.
Don’t forget to insure your cat. This can help pay for the treatment they need if they fall ill. You’ll find lots of handy advice at Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance.
This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.