6 Tips to Keep Your Cat Helthy
1) The Beauty Routine
Brushing your cat every day is a great routine to establish in your home. Although cats spend hours a day cleaning themselves, it's important that they some human help too! Brushing your cat daily can reduce hairballs by removing
loose hair and dander. Keep in mind that it's important to have a good, pain free brush* for your kitty. All cats are different, and some will love the brush, while others may run and hide at the sight of it! Try to associate brushing your cat with something pleasurable like before dinner, treats or outside time for those brush fearing kitties!
Designated scratching posts are also important to have, not only for your cats enjoyment, (and to keep your furniture safe) but also to help your cat 'file' down her claws. If possible, a good nail trim with safe clippers should also be done every 2-3 weeks to help with sharp nails. Large human clippers can work well for this!
2) Eats & Drinks
Dry food has an awful reputation for poor nutrition for cats and dogs, and while brands have stepped up their game it is imperative to make wet food the star of your cat’s diet. They get the majority of their hydration from their food naturally, so wet food not only nourishes your cat, but also keeps their body's hydrated! Also be mindful of the 'treats' you provide for your cat. Treats are great, but just like humans, they can also pack on the pounds if not given in moderation.
While a wet meal makes up for over ⅔ of their hydration, they also need an inviting water installation that will encourage them to drink. Cat water fountains* are a a great type of water dish, especially ones with a flatter basin, as cats do not like their whiskers to get wet while they drink!
3) Bathroom Time
Keeping the right number of clean litter boxes available is very important for your furry felines health. If the litter box's are dirty, they may not use them, potentially causing medical problems in the way of urinary tract infections or blockages. Make sure your cat(s) have enough litter boxes! If you have one cat, then you should have two litter boxes in your house.
All litter boxes should be cleaned 1-2x a day for optimum cleanliness. Also make sure you have a litter that your cat likes. Cats are unique and sensitive so this may take some trail and error; it's important to keep your patience
while finding the perfect bathroom system for your cat! If your cat starts going to the bathroom outside of the litter box, it's always recommended to consult your veterinarian to rule out any possible health issues! Some urinary problems can quickly become life threatening!
4) Cat Hazards!
While we have may have some things in common with our furry felines, cats are much more sensitive than we are to a lot of things we have in our homes or use on a daily basis. From ingesting something to breathing in or brushing up against something toxic, a cat can be at risk of a potential poisoning, so it's important to know what things can adversely affect your cat's health!
Be aware of plants and flowers* that may be toxic to your cat. Lilies, for example, can be extremely bad for your cats and can have fatal consequences if consumed
or even brushed up against and ingested during grooming! It's always best to keep toxic plants like these out of reach or out of the house. If you are unsure, always double check!
Here is the ASPCA’s list of harmful plants to cats. www.ASPCA.org*
Because cats are so very sensitive to foods and smells*, knowing what is toxic for a cat to consume or inhale is extremely important! For example, diffusing some oils* like tea tree oil in your home can be a very bad thing for any cat's health! To learn further about what things can be toxic for your cat and understand the importance of keeping certain items out of your house, visit the VCA Animal Hospitals and read more here: www.VCAHospitals.com*.
Cats need playtime! It's fundamental to their health, both mentally and physically, so make sure they have plenty of toys and entertainment in their lives!
There are an abundance of cat toys* on the market for every type of kitty to enjoy! It's important to make sure the toys you do get are made of cat-friendly, non-toxic materials, and that they're not a choking hazard, as cats can accidentally swallow something, or eat things on purpose, and that's a vet bill none of us want!
Don't forget that you should be a part of daily playtime, too! Your feline friends love to have you a part of their
crazy antics and playtime! Invent games, and energizing ways to get your feline moving! It'll pay dividends going forward by keeping their weight in check and their body's in better health!
6) The Vet
And finally, there's the vet! While most cats don't get real excited about vet visits, they absolutely need their health checkups on a regular basis. Depending on their age*, the recommended number of visits will vary. Kittens should see the vet more frequently in the first 6 months on up to a year, and the average adult cat should see the vet anually.
Once your cat reaches her senior cat status, it's usually recommended that you bring her in every six months or so. Things can change quickly for older cats and your vet is more likely to discover any problems during an
exam and address them before things progress too far. Every cat should see their vet on a regular basis to evaluate their health and ovcerall well being, have any needed bloodwork done and keep necessary vaccinations up to date.
No matter what your kitty's age, every year our little furry's grow and change. Keeping up to date and informed on your kitty’s health through regular veterinarian visits helps you help your cat stay in good shape and live his best life! And if there does happen to be any changes, the sooner you find out through your vet, the better the chances are that things can be addressed and treated, getting your cat back on track and living happily!