Once you adopt a cat, maintaining its health and, in general, well-being becomes a great responsibility. A cat is a creature of habit that is extremely sensitive to changes in diet, lifestyle, and toilet activities.
The best way to prevent disease and prolong a cat’s life is to meet all its essentials needs. Otherwise, it will become depressed, aggressive towards humans and other animals, and neglect its fur’s care. There are 7 basic health & care tips to help you improve your cat health.
A cat is a carnivore, which means it should not have a vegetarian diet, even occasionally. Its digestive system has a problem with extracting proteins from plants, so meat should be the primary food you offer it.
Plus, you need to feed your kitty with varied food, including dry meals, wet food, chicken pieces, and fish. Feline pets that eat only dry food have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
When your cat grows up, it is enough to feed her once or twice a day. However, many cats like to nibble between meals, so it is an excellent idea to leave some food in the bowl just in case.
Pay attention to provide the diet rich in amino acids, especially taurine. Unfortunately, a cat that lacks this amino acid can lose sight or even die.
Freshwater is an essential need of every living being. You need to clean the kitten bowl and change the water once a day, and even more often during the summer months.
The amount of water your pet needs depends on its diet. In nature, the cat absorbs most of the water from its prey. Mice and other rodents have about 75% water in their body, so a cat is not often thirsty.
Commercial cat cans also contain a high percentage of water. However, your furry friend needs to ingest much more fluids if most of its diet is dry food since it includes only 5 to 10% water.
With ages, your cat will dehydrate quicker and consequently drink water more often. Place a bowl of water next to the food and make sure your pet drinks enough. As soon as you notice any dehydration signs, such as loose skin, vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, visit your vet.
The cat spends a good part of the day tending for its fur and making it smooth and glossy. For this reason, many owners feel that cats do not need extra help with grooming their hair.
Still, you should help your kitty to reduce hair ingestion and hairball formation in its stomach. Regular brushing will also decrease shedding around the house.
Daily grooming is particularly essential if you own a long-haired cat. In that case, you need a wire-pin brush to remove all tangles and knots. Always brush your kitty from its neck in the tail’s direction, with light, gentle movements.
Some cats are not fans of comb bristles on fur, but the trick is to teach it to associate grooming with pleasure. For example, you can brush it before a meal or reward it with a treat when you finish.
It would help if you had a proper litter box for cat to encourage or develop healthy toilet habits. Too high pages or an insufficient number of boxes can force the kitty to take care of its needs elsewhere or refrain. That may disrupt its health and lead to urinary tract infections or constipation.
Besides, the litter box should always be clean, so make sure to take out the solids daily. Don’t forget to wash and disinfect the litter box once a week. That way, you will prevent the cat scattering remnants of dirty litter all around the house on its paws, which can lead to disease.
Keep in mind that the litter boxes’ number needs to be bigger than your number of cats by one. So, one cat needs two boxes, but you should place three of them around the house if you have two kitties.
In addition to its scent, your cat will also mark its territory visually. It does this by leaving scratch marks all around the house it resides in. The cat also stretches when scratching, exercises the muscles, and removes dead cells from the claws’ surface.
Place one or more scratching posts around to preserve your furniture. It is best to choose those made of natural material, such as wood and rope. Spraying a scratcher with catnip will make your cat satisfied.
For a pet closed in a house, awakening the sexual urge is real torture. Male cats often try to escape from their owners, driven by hormones. Sterilizing your feline pet is a wise decision that improves its health.
Remember that you will reduce the risk of the reproductive tract cancer and FeLV (feline leukemia virus) once neutering the kitty. Besides, as a responsible cat owner, you probably don’t want to increase the number of stray animals.
Visit a Vet
Cats are often very adept at covering up their illnesses, and symptoms of some feline diseases are tough to notice. If your pet is lethargic, loses appetite, or rarely goes to the litter box, you need to take it to the vet right away to check on her health.
Even though your cat seems completely healthy, you should take it to the vet to check its health from time to time, do a blood and urine test, check its gums, and vaccinate it. That way, the vet can check your cat’s health and spot early abnormalities, if there are any.
Taking care of your cat’s health is not always easy. Among other things, you need to determine the right diet, regularly brush its hair, and clean the litter. Plus, regular vet visits may prevent many severe complications.