5 Tips for a Healthy Cat
A healthy cat is a happy cat – right?! And we all want our furry friends to be the happiest they can be. Here are 5 tips for a healthy cat you can follow to make sure your cat is on the right track to his or her happiest self.
Regular Vet Check-ups
Yes, the V-word. Just like their canine pals, cats need regular check-ups at the vets. They might not like it, but it is an essential part of being a responsible cat owner. Take your cat to the vet for a check-up at least once a year even if all seems fine.
Cats are experts at hiding illnesses, especially if they spend time (or toilet time) outside. Regular vet visits will help detect any underlying medical issues early and allow for early treatment before they become huge problems requiring surgery or worse.
Spay or Neuter your Cats
One way to have a healthy cat is to spay or neuter. Some people are reluctant to do so seeing it as unnecessary or unfair, but the truth is spaying or neutering can provide lifelong health benefits for your beloved cat.
Spaying and neutering help to lower the risk of developing fatal cat diseases such as uterine infections and breast cancer in females and testicular cancer in males. For males, neutering also cuts down on their tendency to roam and get into territorial fights which can sometimes lead to nasty injuries. (leads to more “V” word) 🙁
Don’t forget the toothbrush!
Dental hygiene is important for keeping a happy, healthy cat. Just as with humans, toothache is never pleasant and just like us, eating or drinking can be hard when there is pain and inflammation. Also, if not detected – a tooth problem can cause bacteria to enter the cat’s bloodstream and cause damage to vital organs.
Do regular check up on your kitties’ teeth to make sure they are in good health. A healthy cat’s gums should be nice and pink and their teeth, of course – white. If the teeth are brown or yellow, you can give your kitty some dental cat treats to break down the plaque build up.
You can also give the teeth a clean using special cat toothpaste and use either a special cat toothbrush or a baby’s toothbrush. Of course, this all depends on whether they let you! Start when they are young if you can. If not, then a trip to the vet for a good tooth cleaning is in order.
Choose a Good-Quality Cat Food
Perhaps one of the most important cat health tips on the list of 5 tips for a healthy cat is to provide goog quality cat food. While many cats do enjoy the crunch of kibble, feeding only dry food isn’t the best option. Kibble is high in carbohydrates which can lead to all sorts of health issues such as diabetes, obesity and kidney problems.
Cats are true carnivores and to stay a healthy cat they need more quality protein than other animals. In the wild, cats would be munching on moisture-rich meat so replicating this as much as possible with quality canned foods is ideal and will also help maintain a healthy cat weight.
Cats don’t drink a lot or as often as they need, instead they usually rely on their food for moisture. Canned food over a dry-only diet will also ensure your kitty is getting enough water.
Of course, there are good and bad options for all cat food, dry or wet. When shopping for healthy cat food look out for one that is high in taurine. This nutrient is important in keeping your cat’s eyes healthy.
Just like us, cats love an in between meal treat! Avoid giving scraps from your plate which can be very fatty, salty or even poisonous to kitties. Instead, choose healthy cat treats that will not only keep your cat happy but healthy too!
Kitties are well-known for their ability to laze around all day, (up to 15-hour long cat naps are quite normal!). But exercise is still super important for the health of our feline friends. It is especially important for maintaining a healthy cat weight in indoor cats.
Obesity is a real problem. In fact, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, about 60% of cats are overweight. Obesity puts your cat at risk for a number of serious health problems. These include diabetes, heart and lung disease, high blood pressure and can increase the risk of cancer.
Keep your kitty in tip-top shape with regular play, changing toys regularly will help keep interest, or if Fluffy allows you to put a harness on him, you can even take him for a walk! If Ms. Snuggles still won’t budge, then you have to get creative.
Here are a few ideas to help get the reluctant cat to shake a tail:
Place their bowls on a high surface…they have to climb to get the good stuff.
At dinner time, walk with their food bowls… kitty follows the food and gets some exercise at the same time.
The mighty laser pointer… no cat can resist the red dot!
Get them a buddy… if you have one cat, sometimes introducing another cat or kitten can encourage them to play, chase and wrestle again.
To your healthy happy cat!