The Signs of a Healthy Cat

Reasonably healthy stray cat
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.

Criteria Sign
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)

Note:

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).

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