Your cat needs good care in order to live a long and healthy life. As a new cat owner, it’s a responsibility you should be proud to take on; however, as well-intentioned as we may be, many of us don’t pay close enough attention to the condition of our feline friends. To correct this mistake, here are ten ways to keep your cat healthy throughout her life.
Understand that a healthy cat is a happy cat
Many cat owners believe that because cats are domesticated animals, they do not need the same level of care as wild animals. While cats are less fragile than some other types of animals, they still need our help to remain healthy.
It is important to understand your cat’s needs and cater to them appropriately. Staying on top of their diet and providing them with shelter will ensure that they are happy regardless of the situation.
Keep your cat indoors
Lots of folks think that keeping a cat indoors is cruel. It’s not. As much as you want to let your cat enjoy the outdoors, it’s not always the safest environment for them.
Cats are at risk of injury from predators or cars if they venture outside.
Furthermore, many outdoor plants are poisonous to cats and stepping on a discarded needle can be hazardous to their health.
If you insist on letting your cat out, do so only in a fenced yard or while supervised by an adult. And even if you do this, there’s always the chance that your cat will get out through some nook or cranny in your fence or under the door.
Feed a healthy diet
One of the most effective ways to keep your cat healthy is by feeding them a healthy diet. Cats are finicky by nature, and a bad diet can lead to problems like obesity. You can’t keep your cat healthy by just feeding it the right food, but it’s a pretty good start. Cats need to eat commercial pet food designed to meet their nutritional needs.
The best food contains meat as its first ingredient, and contains no corn, wheat, or soy. Feeding a cat homemade food or snacks can also be an issue for their health. Homemade pet food may not have the right balance of nutrients. And if overfed, it could lead to obesity, which can cause health problems such as diabetes or heart disease.
Healthy treats are fine as long as they are limited and don’t contain too many calories. It is recommended that you only give your cat healthy treats such as string cheese, cat grass, plain cooked chicken, small amounts of tuna packed in water and low-calorie cat treats.
Monitor Water Intake and Output
Your cat’s water intake should be monitored at all times. If you notice your cat is drinking more than usual, call your vet immediately.
At the same time, monitor your cat’s droppings to determine if they are normal. Healthy droppings are solid with a brown coloration. Any changes in their appearance could indicate that something was wrong.
If your cat urinates more often or produces softer stools, it could be a sign of illness or stress. Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Manage their furballs by employing grooming techniques
Cat grooming is critical for the well being of your feline friend. One of the key components to groom your cat is to brush them regularly. This will help prevent or minimize hairballs, a common issue for felines, and it will also remove excess fur that can become a big problem if left unchecked.
Rinse out their ears weekly with a vet-approved cleanser. This will help make sure their ears are always clean and free from wax buildup.
Feed them on a healthy diet. You should consult with your vet to determine what’s best for their health, but generally, switching up the food you feed them may be all they need to feel better overall.
Keep an eye out for telltale signs of illness. If your cat is sneezing or coughing often, has a loss of appetite or other weight loss issues, it’s time to take them in to see a vet as soon as possible.
Don’t forget about their litter box! Scoop it at least once daily and change the litter every other day for best results.
Let them have plenty of fresh water—they may not seem like they care at first, but dehydrated cats can become very ill easily, so make sure you keep bottles filled up at all times!
Keep the litter box clean
One of the most important things you can do for your cat is to keep her litter box clean. A dirty litter box will not only smell awful and discourage your cat from using it, but could also lead to her developing urinary tract infections. To prevent this, clean the litter box every day by removing the clumps and replacing them with fresh litter. The best way to keep a litter box clean is to use a self-cleaning one like Litter Robot II. You can also use a clean litter box during crate training your cat.
Provide them with exercise and stimulation
Cats are a lot more active than people may think. They need regular exercise and stimulation to maintain their physical and mental health. This is especially true of indoor cats, who have a more sedentary lifestyle.
You can provide your cat with plenty of exercise by giving them toys, scratching posts, and other stimulating items. You should also get them involved in interactive play with you from time to time, perhaps by playing catch or teaching them how to fetch.
Lastly, make sure they have plenty of hiding spaces around the house so that they can stay both mentally stimulated and physically fit, no matter how busy they get.
Get her spayed or neutered
Getting your cat spayed or neutered is the best way to keep her healthy. Spaying your female cat before she goes into heat will help prevent mammary cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cysts, and reduce the need for costly tubal ligation later in life. Neutering a male cat will do the same for his reproductive system, as well as lessen the chance of prostate problems and some forms of cancer later on down the line.
Ensure vaccinations are kept up to date
Your cat needs vaccinations to protect her from several diseases. Without them, she could become sick. Vaccinations should be kept up-to-date throughout your cat’s life, but it’s important that you do them at the following intervals:
1) Kittens should get their first vaccines when they are 6-8 weeks old.
2) Adult cats should be re-vaccinated every one to three years.
3) In addition to these, your vet will advise you on other vaccinations based on where you live and the needs of your cat.
4) If you travel with your cat abroad, make sure her vaccinations are up to date for any countries she will visit (many countries require up-to-date vaccinations for entry).
Go to the vet for routine check-ups
Cats should be seen by their vet at least once a year. This will give them an opportunity to get checked for parasites and receive any necessary vaccinations.
Vets can also check for any other health problems that could become serious if left untreated. They’ll also have the tools to identify any medical issues that are specific to feline companions.
Being proactive about your cat’s health is essential to maintain a long life of happiness, so schedule regular check-ups.