Skip to Primary Content

Elmhurst Animal Care Center

Our Go-To Guide To Support Excellent Cat Health

A Gray/White Cat Lying Down on Hardwood Flooring Indoors

May 18, 2022

Cats are some of the most popular pets out there.

Since they are so independent, however, they don’t always receive the same kind of medical attention that has proven beneficial to other animals. While cats give the appearance of vitality and independence, unseen illness or injury could be taking a toll on their health and comfort. The worst part about this is that while owners perceive all is well, hidden symptoms could cause irreparable harm. However, with our approach to at-home cat health, owners can explore the many facets of feline wellness.


A great place to start is taking a long, close look at your feline’s behavior. Knowing what’s “normal” for your cat helps you spot any differences to their habits or patterns if/when they occur. Why does this matter so much? Cats tap into their self-preservation skills when they aren’t feeling well. They may think that they’re covering up any signs of illness, but since you know them so well, you can intervene. Any changes, no matter how small, should be looked into.

Next Up: Appearance

Another great marker of cat health is their overall appearance. A healthy cat is a happy one. A happy cat likes to look as good as they feel, and they make it count by grooming themselves numerous times a day. You should notice bright, clear, focused eyes, a clean nose, and ears free of dirt or waxy buildup. 

A happy, healthy cat will have a lustrous coat. Since cats contort into some puzzling shapes while cleaning themselves, it’s a good indicator that they are feeling strong and flexible. A cat who lives with arthritis, obesity, or other health conditions that limit movement and endurance may not be able to fully clean themselves. 

Hands-On Approach

Help your cat out by regularly brushing their coat and trimming their claws. If you need help in these areas, please let our groomers know. 

If they ever feel greasy or have tangles/mats, it’s time to learn why they’re neglecting their coat. They could have an underlying health condition. It’s also possible that they aren’t feeling their best as a result of an inadequate diet. Maintaining their weight is essential to cat health and long-term wellness, and providing the right balance of nutrients makes them feel and look good.

The Tooth of the Matter

In many ways, cat health hinges on the state of the teeth and gums. Not only is periodontal (gum) disease responsible for pain and tooth loss, oral bacteria can cause systemic illness. Luckily, these problems are 100% preventable with daily brushing at home, and the consistent use of dental care products like water additives, dental chews, and sprays. 

At your cat’s routine wellness exam, we check inside their mouth. If we decide that they would benefit from a dental cleaning, we’ll carefully go over the process with you. We complete cleanings, scalings, digital X-rays, and extractions with anesthesia. Some feline patients require yearly cleanings to maintain optimal wellness.