You want to make sure a kitten is healthy before you bring your kitten home. There are some tell tale signs to let you know if your kitten is healthy. Even if these signs are all good it’s still recommended that you take your new kitten to the veterinarian to make sure it is healthiest kitten for you.
Here are the things to check and look for:
- The Coat – Kittens coats aren't really shiny but they are soft and smooth both to the eye and the touch. Make sure there are no patches or bald spots that’s a sign of ring worm. Next you want to check for skin parasites meaning lice and fleas. You can check for these parasites by taking clean moist paper towel and rubbing the kitten to the skin with it. If kitten has fleas you will see the traces on the paper towel. Also, if you look on the skin and see a flea it will look like a dark brown to black spot on the skin.
- Eyes – Kittens eyes should look clear. There should be no tears or discharge at the corners. Kitten’s eyes should be relatively dry. Their eyes should be fully opened. The third eye lid should not be visible. If you can see the third eye lid it is a sign that the kitten can be ill or have eye damage. You want to also make sure the kitten's vision is good. You do this by covering one eye at a time and move a finger slowly to the uncovered eye. The uncovered eye will blink as the finger gets near.
- Nose – A kitten's nose should not be too dry. It should be moist and feel velvety. It should not have a discharge. Their breathing should not labored, it should be even and steady. Labored breathing or nose discharge indicates an infection.
- Ears – The ears should have no discharge, look clean and have no smell. If kitten is shaking his head or scratching it is an indication of ear mites or an infection. A dark waxy discharge from the ears or granular black discharge is an indication of ear mites. The ears in a healthy kitty should be dry and look clean visually.
- Gums – Open the kitten’s mouth and check their gums and teeth. Open it firmly but gently. Do not squeeze kitten’s mouth. A kittens gums should be pale pink and their teeth should be white and in alignment. They should have no bad odor from their mouths. Odors may indicate that the kitten has a stomach problem. You can also check for sores or ulcers in the mouth and on the gums at this time.
- Anal area- You need to check the anal area. Unfortunately there are times when kittens are born without anal openings. This means that the kitten has no way to eliminate waste and will eventually die. It is very sad. The anal area should be clean and have no discoloration. If the rear end is dirty it is a sign that the kitten may have diarrhea or allergies. Also tape worms look like little cucumber seeds on the kitty's butt area.
- The Body – A healthy kitten has a visually symmetrical body. A kitty should not be too thin nor have a protruding belly. A belly that looks engorged and protrudes is a sign of intestinal parasites. He or she should have no lumps or bumps sticking out the sides or on the underside of their little bellies.
Finally kitten should not display head shakes or tremors and have good coordination. If your kitten passes all of the above signs it is safe to say you have a healthy kitten on your hands. But as I said earlier leave the final determination to a veterinarian. They are trained to find things we may miss.