When emailing a friend this evening I noted that while Gorgeous has a worrisome spot on his nose he is in great overall health, and I started listing the ways in which he is doing well. As I went through the mental checklist I realized I should post a basic health checklist here.
This is the stuff you should be keeping in the back of your mind at all times, just general awareness of your cat’s health, and some of it is stuff you should be prepared to be asked about if you call to make a vet appointment. And if the receptionist fails to ask, you should volunteer anything unusual on the list.
- Weight – up or down
- Coat – glossy vs dull, matted, thinning, etc
- Eyes – “look in the eye”, discharge, dilated pupils
- Nasal discharge, if any – consistency and color
- Appetite & any change in eating habits
- Drinking water – any change
- Poop – consistency, color, frequency, volume
- Urination – frequency, volume, color
- Activity level – playing, jumping, sleeping, hiding
- Normal interaction vs. withdrawal, shyness, fear or skittishness, unusual aggression or irritability
- Body movement & posture
- Grooming – less or more in general, focusing on spots, pulling hair out
- Unusual lip smacking, drooling, or foaming at the mouth
- Maintaining normal routine