Getting a pet kitten or cat is an exciting decision! With their playful and fun temperament, felines can make great pets. If you're a new cat parent, you may have questions about care and health practices. Cats are generally easy to care for, often requiring less maintenance than other pets. And, once you learn the fundamental cat health tips, all you have left is to shower them in love and have fun enjoying your new furry friend. Continue reading for basic cat health tips to keep your furry friend happy and healthy for years to come.
Tip #1 – Focus on Your Cat's Diet
The diet you feed your cat has the biggest impact on its health. Hence, you need to ensure that your cat's meals contain nutritious ingredients. One ingredient particularly important in your feline's diet is taurine.
Ideally, you should get information about the diet your cat was being fed prior to when you adopted it. Make sure to include a small amount of the same food to keep up a stable diet and gradually switch to your own diet plan. Switching to a new feeding plan takes a few weeks, and a gradual transition can help prevent problems such as an upset stomach.
Kittens below the age of 12 months need to consume a high-calorie diet as they are still in their growing stage. Thus, it would help if you only gave them a kitten formula that meets their energy requirements.
Another critical point to keep in mind is the treats you feed your cat should not be more than 10 percent of its diet. Just like humans, treats for cats are similar to desserts for humans. A high amount of treats can be detrimental to cat health.
Tip #2 – Give Fresh Water Each Day
Another important cat health tip that is often unintentionally ignored is providing clean water. Clean and fresh water is essential for your feline's health.
Cats need around 70 percent of water content in their diet. However, dry food only has about 10 percent of water content. Thus, you must give a higher quantity of water to your feline if you're giving it large quantities of dry food.
In addition, nursing and older cats are at a greater risk of dehydration compared to younger, non-nursing cats. Therefore, make sure you watch for symptoms like sunken eyes, panting, and lethargy which are all signs of dehydration.
Tip #3 – Engage Your Cat in Plenty of Exercise
Exercise plays a vital role in shaping cat health. Frequent exercise will make sure that your feline's weight stays within the recommended range. Playtime will even positively influence your cat's emotional and mental well-being. It will lower the probability of depression and boredom, which can eventually result in more severe health problems.
To give your cat the physical and mental stimulation it needs, there are several games you can play. For example, you can drag string toys for your cat to chase, or hide treats for it to find, or just have a cat tree it can climb! Such basic games will give your cat the exercise it requires to maintain its best health.
Tip #4 – Don’t Forget to Groom Your Furry Friend
The next thing necessary for cat care is to periodically groom your cat. This is partly due to the fact that a cat spends plenty of time grooming itself, and while doing so, can swallow dead hair. When you groom your cat, you will effectively remove the broken hair and significantly decrease the chance of hairballs forming in its alimentary tube.
Additionally, frequent grooming sessions can even help you check for any minor changes to your feline's body. Inconsistencies such as bumps, lumps, sore spots can signal possible health conditions that mandate medical help.
Tip #5 – Encourage Your Feline to Use a Scratching Post
Encouraging your feline to use a scratching post is very beneficial to its health. For example, a tall scratching post will make your cat stretch its entire body, even the paws, which will keep its muscles strong. Plus, your cat can even dig its claws inside the post's fibers to let out excess energy.
Cats are very fond of scratching, and the opportunity to dig their claws into a scratching post is very relaxing and satisfying for them. This feeling of satisfaction, in addition to the benefits of stretching, can enhance your cat's mental and physical health. Oftentimes, if cats are not given a designated scratching post, they find their own items to scratch on. This can be anything from curtains to rugs, couches or pillows, so it's important to recognize the instinctual need for cats to scratch.
Tip #6 – Cat Health: Schedule Routinely Visits to the Vet
Regular visits to the vets are an excellent way to make sure that your cat is able to live a long, healthy and happy life. Your cat's routine physical examinations can help check for any underlying disease or condition before it gets painful.
The vet will even assess your cat's weight and make sure that it's not obese or overweight. Some extra kilos can put your cat at risk for conditions like diabetes, heart, kidney, and respiratory disease. In case your cat isn't at an optimum weight, your vet can offer nutritional and enrichment suggestions as well.
Tip #7 – Develop Hygienic Litter Box Habits
Ideally, there should be a single litter box for every cat in your home along with an additional one. So, for instance, if there are four pet cats in your home, there should be five litter boxes available to your cats. You also need to correctly decide where you will be placing these litter boxes.
We know that looking after a new pet is a challenging task and can sometimes become overwhelming. However, using the cat health tips mentioned will aid in keeping your furry friend happy and healthy. At Grange Co-op, we have a range of cat supplies you can use to ensure that your cat stays in the best possible shape. Visit us online, or in-store for more information on cat safety and health.