Ha, Teabag has pink-eye and he keeps walking into things it wouldn’t be so funny except every time he knocks something over he gives me this I-meant-to-do-that-look. He’s priceless. At some point we’ll tip into it’s-all-your-fault-anyway territory, but I’m used to that and besides I’m a horrible owner and some of the thing he’s bumping into… are actually my fault.
On a serious note though, while you’re wiping paws and brushing fur and doing the many everyday people-slave tasks for your cat, you might as well add a quick eye check onto the list. A quirk in your cats evolution has somehow not given them the ability to get dirt and foreign objects out of their eyes and so in this area, if nothing else, you cat does grudgingly need your help.
So first check your cats eyes, eyelashes and eyelids, look for discharge, watering and crusty gunk and if necessary give them a quick, gentle wipe with a damp cloth to remove any dirt that might be hanging around. Then check your cats eye’s themselves, they should be clear, bright and the pupils should be the same size, any eye-goo, cloudiness, redness or the third eyelid being visible are all bad signs that you need to get your vet to investigate.
You can also monitor your cat’s vision when playing and just by watching your cat as it goes about its day. moving an object slowly in front of your cat is a good way to check their vision, if they watch it, or decide to play then you have nothing to worry about, if they show no interest at all then there may be something wrong. You can also check if their eyesight is still 100% by putting objects in pathways that your cat uses to walk around your house that are usually clear. If your cat avoids them, then everything is fine, if your cat bumps into them and then tries and fails to give you evils because they have pink-eye, laugh while you can because there will be reprisals. So worth it though.
For more on eye health WebMD have some really good advice.
Looking after your cats paws is a fantastic thing you can do to keep your cat happy. It’s advisable to wipe your cats paws with a damp cloth or a wipe (with as few chemicals as possible) every day. If you think about it they go digging around in their litter trays and so it helps with keeping your house clean too. When you do this make sure you wipe in between the toes and also around the pads. Making a conscious effort to do this also ensures you get a chance to check for any cuts and sores that your cat may have and deal with them before they get infected.
It is also important to have a couple of scratching posts around so your cat can keep its claws healthy. Cats need to shed the outer shell on their claws and do this by scratching, so unless you like your carpets and furniture getting destroyed then a scratching post is a wise idea.
In excessively hot or cold weather your cats paws can become damaged, so be extra wary at these times in particular. I think rubbing your cats feet with balm or moisturizer just in case it steps on something too hot or cold, is a bit weird. Also if the product you have chosen is oily then it may do more harm than good, because in the instance of a heat wave, a heated oily substance, which your cat cannot get off, will likely prolong any injury. But if your cats paws have become excessively dry and moisturizing is necessary to relieve discomfort and a vet advises it, then go for it.
Hairy toes can also be irritating to your cat, so if you notice your cat licking its paws a lot. Then it’s likely there’s some uncomfortable hair growing in that spot and your cat will love you for trimming it. You can do this with a little pair of scissors. This may also be the case for splinters and trapped grit, which you can use tweezers to remove.
As expected… the first stage of weaning Teabag off his 100% tuna diet… did not go well. So he’s getting his claws trimmed today.
I know a lot of people do this themselves, but personally I’m too afraid of trimming too harshly and cutting into “the quick” which is the bit where the nerves are and hurting Teabag, so I get it done by a groomer or his vet. Both of them have an extra pair of hands available to restrain him and the ability to carry out the procedure quickly.
If your cat is cool, calm and collected, you may wish to do this yourself. In essence it’s not a complicated thing to do, it is just like trimming your own nails, and it can stop your cat getting ingrown claws.
First you need some cat claw trimmers, they are usually about £7. These are an item even I have in my cat hoard. I have them just in case there is an emergency and Teabag comes back with his claws half broken in a fight or some un-knowable event means I need a pair to sort out some problem he has and it needs to be dealt with immediately.
The next thing you need to do it to get your cat used to lying still and having their feet touched. A lot of cats don’t like this, but you will have to apply pressure to your cats toes to extract their claws for trimming, so it’s good to practise this and get your cat comfortable with what’s going on. When you think your cat is happy, then it’s time to get the claw trimmers out.
Make sure you know exactly what you’re doing, stay clear of the pink bit “the quick” as I said before this is where all your cat’s nerves are and it’s pink because it has blood flow to it. The sharpest part of the nail is the very tip, so you only really need to take off a small portion anyway. Make sure you reassure your cat with a soft voice and lots of gently stroking and the process should be relatively easy.
Usually I leave Teabag to clean himself, he has short hair and he’s pretty well designed when it comes to cleaning himself, but there are times when he comes home so stinky, that even my little self-proclaimed “King of the Garbage Can”…can’t! Bearing in mind some of the awful things he eats and plays with, believe me I’m talking unparalleled stench! So, to avoid giving himself a bath, he leaves me in no doubt that he requires my assistance, basically by following me around and stinking me out til I can’t bear it anymore.
Ok this is a basic and essential thing you need to do every week. Brushing not only removes dead hair, skin cells, dirt and grease from your cats fur, but it also stimulates blood circulation and improves the condition of your cats skin. On top of this it creates a time where you can bond with your cat. The more you spend time relaxing, chilling and caring for your cat, the more they will trust you and this will make a whole load of potential cat-carrier incidents much easier to deal with.