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  • Writer's pictureLeisa Davidson

Basic MOT check for your cat’s health

Updated: Feb 15

Here are some things to look for when giving your cat an MOT.

Eyes


Check your cat’s eyes for any discharge, redness, or cloudiness.

  1. Pupils: The pupils should be round and equal in size. They should also constrict (get smaller) in bright light and dilate (get larger) in dim light.

  2. Conjunctiva: The conjunctiva is the thin, clear tissue that lines the eyelids and covers the white part of the eye. It should be pink and moist.

  3. Sclera: The sclera is the white part of the eye. It should be white and smooth.

  4. Iris: The iris is the coloured part of the eye. It should be evenly coloured and free of any spots or lesions.

  5. Third eyelid: The third eyelid is a thin, transparent membrane that can be seen at the inner corner of the eye. It should be visible but not protruding.

  6. Eyelashes: The eyelashes should be evenly spaced and free of any redness or inflammation.

  7. Discharge: There should be no discharge from the eyes. If you see any discharge, it should be clear or white.

  8. Swelling: There should be no swelling around the eyes, or no swelling of the eye itself.


Ears


Check your cat’s ears for any redness, swelling, or discharge.

  1. Ear canal: The ear canal should be clean and free of any discharge or debris.

  2. Eardrum: The eardrum should be visible and should not be ruptured.

  3. Hearing: Your cat should respond to sounds, such as your voice or a clap of your hands.


Nose


Check your cat’s nose for any discharge, redness, or swelling.

  1. Colour: A cat’s nose should be pink or brown, depending on their coat colour.

  2. Texture: A cat’s nose should be smooth and dry.

  3. Temperature: A cat’s nose should be warm to the touch.

  4. Smell: A cat’s nose should have a normal odour.


Basic MOT check for your cat’s health

Mouth


Check your cat’s mouth for any redness, swelling, or sores.

  1. Teeth: The teeth should be clean and white. There should be no signs of tartar or plaque buildup.

  2. Gums: The gums should be pink and healthy-looking. There should be no redness, swelling, or bleeding.

  3. Tongue: The tongue should be pink and moist. There should be no signs of white or yellow coating.

  4. Lips: The lips should be pink and moist. There should be no signs of redness, swelling, or bleeding.

  5. Cheeks: The cheeks should be smooth and free of any lumps or bumps.

  6. Saliva: The saliva should be clear and thin. There should be no signs of thick or discoloured saliva.

  7. Odour: The breath should have a normal odour. There should be no signs of bad breath or a foul odour.


Teeth


Check your cat’s teeth for any tartar build up or loose teeth.

  1. Number of teeth: Adult cats have 30 teeth. They have 16 teeth on the top jaw and 14 teeth on the bottom jaw.

  2. Teeth alignment: The teeth should be aligned in a straight line. There should be no gaps between the teeth.

  3. Teeth colour: The teeth should be white. There should be no signs of discolouration or staining.

  4. Teeth condition: The teeth should be smooth and free of any cracks or chips.

  5. Gums: The gums should be pink and healthy-looking. There should be no redness, swelling, or bleeding.


Skin


Check your cat’s skin for any redness, bumps, or sores.

  1. Colour: There should be no areas of redness, white patches, or discolouration.

  2. Texture: The skin should be smooth and soft. There should be no areas of dryness, flaking, or scaling.

  3. Thickness: The skin should be of normal thickness. There should be no areas of thickening or thinning.

  4. Hair coat: The hair coat should be clean and free of mats or tangles. There should be no areas of hair loss.

  5. Odour: The skin should have a normal odour. There should be no signs of bad breath or a foul odour.


Basic MOT check for your cat’s health

Coat


Check your cat’s coat for any mats, dandruff, or parasites.

  1. Colour: The coat should be the same colour throughout the body. There should be no areas of discolouration.

  2. Texture: The coat should be smooth and soft. There should be no areas of dryness, flaking, or scaling.

  3. Thickness: The coat should be of normal thickness. There should be no areas of thickening or thinning.

  4. Length: The coat length should be consistent with the cat’s breed.

  5. Grooming: The coat should be clean and free of mats or tangles.

Nails


Check your cat’s nails for any signs of damage or infection.

  1. Nail length: The nails should be of a comfortable length. They should not be too long or too short.

  2. Nail shape: The nails should be smooth and curved. They should not be broken, cracked, or split.

  3. Nail colour: The nails should be a healthy colour. They should not be discoloured or blackened.

  4. Nail condition: The nails should be strong and healthy. They should not be brittle or soft.


Weight


Check your cat’s weight to make sure they are at a healthy weight.

  1. Feel your cat’s ribs. You should be able to feel your cat’s ribs without having to press too hard.

  2. Look at your cat’s waist. There should be a visible waist when you look at your cat from above.

  3. Lift your cat. Your cat should feel light for their size.


Basic MOT check for your cat’s health

Activity level


Check your cat’s activity level to make sure they are getting enough exercise.

  1. Observe your cat’s behaviour. Do they spend most of their time sleeping or lounging around? Or are they always on the go, chasing toys or playing with other pets?

  2. Keep track of your cat’s playtime. How much time do they spend playing each day?

  3. Weigh your cat regularly. If your cat is gaining weight, it may be a sign that they are not getting enough exercise.


Appetite


Check your cat’s appetite to make sure they are eating enough. If you are concerned about your cat’s appetite, contact your veterinarian.

  1. How much food does your cat eat? A healthy adult cat should eat about 250-300 calories per day. If your cat is eating less than this, it may be a sign that they are not getting enough food.

  2. How often does your cat eat? Cats typically eat two to three times a day. If your cat is only eating once a day, or if they are skipping meals altogether, it may be a sign that they are not feeling well.

  3. How does your cat eat? A healthy cat should eat their food quickly and easily. If your cat is taking a long time to eat, or if they are leaving food behind, it may be a sign that they are not feeling well.

  4. Does your cat seem interested in food? A healthy cat should be interested in food. If your cat is not interested in food, or if they are only interested in certain types of food, it may be a sign that they are not feeling well.


Toilet habits


Check your cat’s toilet habits to make sure they are urinating and defecating normally.

  1. Frequency: Healthy cats urinate about four to five times a day and defecate about once or twice a day. If your cat is going to the bathroom more or less often than this, it may be a sign of a problem.

  2. Consistency: Healthy cat urine should be clear or pale yellow and have a strong odour. Healthy cat faeces should be firm and formed, with a brown or tan colour. If your cat’s urine or faeces is different in colour, consistency, or odour, it may be a sign of a problem.

  3. Location: Healthy cats will usually urinate and defecate in their litter box. If your cat is going to the bathroom outside of their litter box, it may be a sign of a problem.

  4. Pain: If your cat seems to be in pain when they are going to the bathroom, it may be a sign of a medical problem.

If you notice any changes in your cat’s health, contact your veterinarian for an appointment.


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