Being cat parents is no less than a full-time job, and parenting a feline munchkin often involves being responsible for their general health, making sure they are able to keep up their everyday fun-filled adventures. Although cats are extremely enduring and resilient to most diseases, they are often exposed to certain cat-specific diseases. So, as a responsible parent to an adorable kitty, it is important to conduct frequent health checks to ensure they have a longer, healthy life.
It is easy for cat parents to constantly worry about the health of their furry munchkin. So, this article discusses some of the important health checks that can be carried out at home to establish general well-being and increase your cat’s life span. In addition to the weight check, this article lets you look for warning signs based on the cat tail body language, adult cat teeth, coat and skin quality, and eye in cats.
The ideal weight in cats is dependent on factors such as their age and breed. However, adult housecats should generally maintain an average cat weight ranging between 4 to 5 kgs instead of being underweight cats. Larger breeds, such as the Maine Coon can have an average cat weight reaching up to 8 kgs!
If you are trying to figure out if your cat has an ideal weight or are obese cats, you can easily tell by a manual examination. Obese cats and overweight cats do not have visible ribs, which cannot be felt under the layer of fat. The ribs in cats with an ideal healthy cat weight are distinctly visible and can be felt easily.
Yes, breed is a major determining factor when it comes to the average cat weight in healthy felines. While smaller cats can have lower average cat weights, larger cat breeds, such as the Maine Coon, Savannah, and Norwegian Forest Cat can have a much higher adult cat weight instead of being underweight cats.
Age is also a crucial factor when determining ideal cat weights. Since the fat ratio in cats is largely dependent on their lifestyle and metabolic rates, the ideal cat weights can also change depending on their age.
Here are a few tips to maintain a healthy weight in cats.
Free-feeding encourages cats to overeat, resulting in weight gain and obese cats.
Cats are usually energetic and playful. However, overeating can cause cats to gain cat weight, making them lethargic. Encouraging your cat to move and play allows them to burn excess calories.
Be mindful of the amount of threat your cats are consuming. This is because cat treats have a high caloric content and can cause overweight cats and feline obesity if not given in controlled portions.
Cats have different types of cat coat depending on their specific breeds. Based on the type of their cat fur, cats are mostly -
Breeds such as the Norwegian Forest Cat, Ragdoll, Maine Coon, and Persian Cats have an exquisite long haired cat fur coat.
Short haired cat breeds are notable for their short, dense cat fur. Short haired cat breeds include British Shorthair, Bengal cats, Abyssinian cats, Siamese cats, and Scottish Folds.
Although considerably rare, curly haired cats, such as the Devon Rex, American Wirehair, LaPerm, Skookum, and the German Rex have been winning our hearts for a long time.
Nutrients such as Biotin, Vitamin C and E and Riboflavin are important for maintaining skin elasticity and pristine cat fur and coat health.
Cats are excellent groomers and spend a considerable amount of time grooming their cat fur. Not only is grooming a crucial part of feline interaction, it helps in getting rid of loose fur and matted hair, ticks, worms and pests, and also exfoliating dead skin cells that would otherwise attract bacterial infestation.
It is important to get your cat to take a bath at least once a month with cat-specific shampoos to get rid of accumulated dirt, grime, and skin oils, as well as remove matted and tangled cat fur, ticks, fleas, and worms.
Some common types of cat's skin diseases include:
You might be surprised to know that in addition to their trademarked 'meow,' cats are able to express themselves through several other modes of communication, such as the cat eye language.
Learning about the various cat eye languages mentioned below can help you to have a deeper understanding and appreciation for your fabulous feline friend.
Cats rely on eye language to express strong emotions, such as excitement, fear, anger, and pleasure. Any sudden dilation of the pupil of the eye can indicate an arousal or triggering of strong emotions, where the pupil grows large, appearing black.
A submissive body posture accompanied with open, relaxed eyes is an expression of trust within the feline community.
Additionally, cats often tend to gently head-butt or rub their cheeks against their favourite humans, expressing trust, confidence, and love. Gentle blinking is also a sign of trust, where your kitty allows itself to be vulnerable around you.
Dominance is usually expressed through intense, unblinking stares. Although cats rarely feel the need to assert dominance over their human parents, the unblinking stare is still a commonly used mode of communication in multi-cat households to indicate control, dominance, and aggression.
Cats also use the unblinking stare as a possible form of warning to ward away competition from food bowls, litter boxes, and personal territories.
Locking eyes without blinking is not just a strong warning in the feline community, but it also indicates aggression. Triggers of aggression or fear in cats can also result in a slit-eye or an instinctive reaction to protect the eyes from incoming attacks from the opponent.
Not all cat eye or cat's body language is an indication of aggression or fear. Droopy, or sleepy eyelids in cats can indicate that your kitty feels comfortable and relaxed in your presence.
Relaxed gaze, followed by slow, gentle blinking is an obvious indication of love and is the feline equivalent of kisses.
As a kitten during cat teething, cats usually start with 26 milk teeth, which are later replaced by a set of permanent teeth.
The milk teeth generally fall out when kittens are about 11 weeks of age and stop cat teething. The permanent teeth usually last till their seniority.
Whether deciduous or permanent, a cat's teeth consist of 12 incisors, 4 canine teeth, 10 pre-molar, and 2 molar teeth.
The small incisor teeth are responsible for cutting or snipping food.
The canine teeth in cats take the shape of longer cat fangs and the cat fangs are used for biting and holding on to prey.
The pre-molar teeth in cats are responsible for biting down into the prey and breaking down harder food particles.
The molar teeth serve the purpose of breaking down and grinding harder food particles.
Cats can still eat solid food if it loses teeth and cat fangs due cat gum diseases since they break down the food into pieces small enough to swallow.
Unlike humans, cats do not have any horizontal surface on their teeth. Hence, sugar-eating bacteria are unable to stick to a cat's teeth, which prevents cat gum diseases like cavities.
Some dental diseases in cats are as follows:
Gingivitis is caused by a build-up of plaque or tartar and results in swollen, inflamed cat gums, and bleeding cat gums.
Periodontitis has limited treatment options and in severe conditions the bones and gum tissues under the cat's teeth are weakened.
Tooth resorption breaks the tooth structure and can cause pain and discomfort. Tooth resorption usually starts on the inside of cat's teeth.
Did you know? Oral hygiene plays an important role in increasing your cat’s life span. Hence, it’s important to take care of your cat's teeth, which will also lead to healthy gums.
Cats also express a lot through different cat body languages, such as:
Tails held high or twisted in a little curve towards the end indicated happiness.
Relaxed and sleepy gaze express comfort and trust.
Slow blinking is an expression of love and affection through cat's body language.
Rolling on their back means your kitty feels secure and safe with you.
Hop-up to rub their cheeks or gentle nudges show affection. The hop gesture also expressed happiness and excitement.
It is a defensive stance adopted by cats when they feel danger and prepare for an incoming attack.
Flattened ears indicate anxiety and stress.
Wide eyes and unblinking stares mean arousal of anger and aggression.
Arched back is a defensive stance that helps create the appearance of cats being physically bigger and more powerful.
A tense tail, tucked between hind legs, is a sign of being afraid.
Fluffed up whiskers and fur also create the appearance of cats being physically bigger and more intimidating.
Mentioned below are some ways to understand your cat's body languages better:
Cats are extremely affectionate and loving, and rarely do they shy away from expressing their affection for their loved humans. Gentle headbutting, rubbing their cheeks against you, and slow blinking are telltale signs that a cat likes you.
The cat body language can be used to express a vast network of meaning, ranging from positive to negative. The positive cat body language includes relaxed and comfortable postures, slow blinking, tail held up high, hop-ups, rolling onto their back, and more.
In addition to vocal communication, cats are also reliant on cat body languages for expressing strong emotions, and a vast other range of expressions. The cat body language includes their posture, movement of tail, ears, and eyes.
Cats have a lining of fur over their cat's skin which not only helps protect their delicate skin, but also for insulation and protection against cold and harsh climates, and other environmental hazards. The fur lining in cat is known as a coat.
Cats generally have two coats covering their cat's skin. The inner layer, known as the undercoat is comprised of fur, the outer layer, or the topcoat has long, visible hair. The length of the topcoat varies depending on the breed.
Although the fur lining in cats is known as a cat coat because of its primary responsibility of regulating the body temperature and insulating against cold climates, cat fur is not really used for coats meant for humans.
Cats can have different fur depending on their breed. Cats like Maine Coon and Norwegian forest cat have longhaired cat coats and fluffier fur, shorthair cats have shorter, more dense fur, while the Sphynx cat is covered in a layer of fuzz.
Generally, an indoor cat’s life span can go from 10 – 15 years, however some also live up to the age of 20.