From the very first day, get to know your cat’s usual physical condition and normal behavior so that you recognize good health and can quickly detect any signs of illness.
Appearance and behavior
It is normal for a cat to be shy at first, but as he gets used to you his personality will emerge. In general, your cat should look alert and happy, whether he is naturally outgoing or more reserved. Note how he moves (fast or leisurely) and what sounds he makes (meowing, chirruping). Watch how he interacts with you and your
family he should come to trust you and be happy to see you, especially once he has realized that you provide the food. Note how your cat eats and drinks he should have a good appetite and eat without any problem.
Cats prefer to eat little and often. Because they get most of their moisture from food, cats will not drink as often as they eat, but they may drink more if fed solely on dry food.
If your cat uses a litter tray, clean it several times a day. This way you will learn how often your cat normally defecates and urinates.
Watch for unusual behavior such as excessive licking of a body part, pawing the face, or shaking the head. These activities suggest a wound, parasite infestation, or something stuck in the skin or coat.
Carry out regular head-to-tail checks. With a new cat, do this every day; once you know your cat, every two or three days should be enough. If necessary, split the ask into several mini-checks of a few minutes each.
First, run your hands over your cat’s head, body, and legs. Gently squeeze the abdomen to feel for lumps or sore spots. Move his legs and tail to ensure that they move freely.
Feel the ribs and look at the waist to check that he is not too fat or thin. Examine the eyes. Watch the blink rate: cats normally blink more slowly than we do. Check that the pupils respond correctly to light and dark and that the third eyelid is barely visible.
Check that the cat is not holding his ears or head at a strange angle. Check that the nose is cool, damp, and free of excess mucus. Look inside the mouth.Check the gums for inflamed areas or bleeding.
The breath should not smell bad. Press the outer gum briefly: it should go pale, but quickly turn pink when you stop. Look and feel for lumps, wounds, bald spots, or parasites. Gently lift the scruff of the neck and then let go; the skin should quickly return to normal.
Check the claws. They should be almost totally hidden when they are retracted, and should not catch on carpets and other surfaces. Look under the tail. The area should be clean, with no redness or swelling and no sign of worms.