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A Healthy Cat

A cat that is healthy, cared for by understanding people and protected against the major adversities of life, can live between 16-20 years. It is important for cat owners to be aware of the hazards to their pets' health. This way they can take the proper precautions and often prevent the worst. 
 
With the exception of a few relatively rare but serious diseases, the basic rule is that a cat that is well fed, has a thick, shiny coat, grooms itself, takes an active interest in the world around it, and responds normally to external stimuli is healthy. A cat's normal temperature is between 100 to 102.5 degrees F and has a pulse per minute of between 80-150.  Normal breathing rate is around 20-30 breaths per minute.Feces should be moist and soft, dark gray to brown and urine clear and yellow, with an unpleasant odor in the case of mature male cats that haven't been neutered.
 
In order to keep your cat healthy it is important to make sure that you take your pet to a veterinarian for regular checkups and vaccinations.  Here is a health schedule for young cats:
 
Age of cat
What you should observe or do:
9-10 days
Eyes open, watch for inflammation or pus
4-5 weeks
First deworming
7 weeks
Second deworming
8 weeks
First vaccination against distemper
10 weeks
First vaccination against upper respiratory infections.
11 weeks
Second vaccination against distemper and first one against rabies
12 weeks
Second vaccination against upper respiratory infections
 
Rabies and distemper vaccines are given again at one year and then no sooner than every three years after that.

Health Check

Being a responsible pet owner mean paying close attention to your pet, noticing any signs that you pet is unhappy or ill. Here are some things to look for in order to assess your cat's health.
 
Part of the body
Should
Should not
Eyes
Be clear, bright, open
Tear, be smeary, show discharge: third eyelid should be retracted, not pulled up over part of the eye.
Anus
Be clean
Be smeared with feces.
Breathing
Be quiet and regular
Be labored or panting.
Coat
Be smooth, shiny and clean
Be dull or greasy; fur should not stand up or be infested with parasites.
Skin
Be dry and smooth
Be fatty or have dandruff or round, red dots.
Lymph nodes
Fee normal
Feel swollen

Nose
Be cool and dry.
Be wet or have whitish or yellowish discharge.
Ears
Be absolutely clean
Show black, smeary patches (sign of mites) or be red (inflammation).
Pulse
Be regular
Be too fast or too slow.
Teeth
Be white, without plaque
Be black or have tartar on them.
Gums
Be light pink
Be too pale or too red; there should be no bad odor from the mouth.
 

 

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