|Reasonably healthy stray cat – photo: Jason Armstrong (Flickr)|
What are the signs of a healthy cat? Good cat caretakers will know when their cat is not right and possibly ill but it can be a bit tricky as cats conceal illness and compensate. I have kept this concise and a summary.
The major reference source for this article is the excellent: The Cat: Its Behavior, Nutrition and Health by Linda P Case.
|Skin and fur||We know that a healthy cat that is not overweight has a nice shiny well groomed coat. The skin should be pliable and elastic and free from any abnormaliities. See e.g. Symptoms of Feline Diabetes (new window)|
|Mucous membrane (mucosa1)||Not pigmented these should be light pink and glistening. See e.g. Conjunctivitis in a Kitten and Feline Anemia (new window).|
|Eating||Normal and regular. See e.g. My Cat Has Lost Appetite and Weight with Labored Breathing and Feline Weight Loss (new window).|
|Body condition/weight||Correct weight range
for cat of certain type and age. Healthy Cat Weight
|Body temperature||Correct – see cat temperature|
|Pulse||Correct – see normal cat pulse|
|Respiration||Correct – approx. 20 – 40 inhalations per minute. See e.g. Himalayan Cat With Heavy Breathing and My Cat Has Rapid Breathing|
|Elimination||Urine elimination is regular and stool good. See e.g. Blood in Cat Stool and Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC)|
1. Mucosa: “the inner layer of mucus producing cells that lines the respiratory, gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts.” (Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook – glossary of terms page 585). They are at several places contiguous with skin: at the nostrils, the mouth, the lips, the eyelids, the ears, the genital area, and the anus. (Wikipedia authors).