Cats are very independent creatures, and we tend to think of them as a low maintenance pet. Although it is true that they don’t take up as much of your time as caring for a dog, they do still have essential needs that have to be met. As pet parents, we want to provide all the love and care our cats need to live a happy life. Here are our top tips for a healthy, happy cat!
1. Provide Regular Checkups
Most pet parents are already doing this, but if you’re not, providing regular checkups is absolutely essential for your cat’s health. Just like humans, cats should have a checkup at least once a year. Not only will he receive important vaccines, but your vet will also check for early signals of health problems or disease.
2. Neuter or Spay Your Cat
Even indoor cats should be neutered or spayed, and the benefits go beyond preventing unwanted kittens. Neutering male cats prevents testicular cancer, and spaying female cats prevents breast cancer and prevents uterine infections.
3. Take Care of Your Cat’s Teeth
Unfortunately, your cat can’t brush his teeth twice a day. And, just like human’s cats are susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. As man as 85% of cats show significant signs of oral disease before their third birthday. Oral disease can lead to serious and chronic illness if it’s left untreated. If your cat will let you, brush his teeth daily with a cat-safe toothpaste. If not, provide dental treats that are designed to help control tartar and plaque. Your cat should also have his teeth cleaned as needed by the vet.
4. Provide the Proper Diet
Unlike dogs, cats cannot survive on a vegetarian diet. They must have a diet made up of mostly meat protein. Dry food is made up mostly of carbs, so wet food is usually a better option for our carnivorous felines.
5. Provide Plenty of Fresh, Clean Water
Cats that are fed mostly canned cat food don’t need as much water, but they really love fresh water. Especially running water. To encourage your kitty to drink more, try providing a drinking fountain that offers your kitty a constant stream of fresh, clean water.
6. A Clean Litter Box Makes for a Happy Cat
Cats are obsessed with staying clean, and if the litter box gets too dirty, they’ll go to the bathroom somewhere else. Many times, litter box issues can be solved by simply being more diligent about keeping the litter box clean. Not only will your cat be happier, but you’ll also reduce the risk of illness or infection, too.
7. Brush Your Cat Daily
Whether your cat has long hair or short, he should be brushed every day to prevent digestive tract issues caused by hairballs. When cats clean themselves, they wind up ingesting their own hair, which can form dangerous blockages in the digestive tract. Daily brushing cuts down significantly on the amount of hair your cat inadvertently ingests each day.
And, of course, just like any other pet, cats need a safe environment where they can play and get plenty of exercise. As you can see, providing proper care for your cat is pretty easy… it really shouldn’t take more than a few extra minutes each day. Following these tips will keep your feline friend healthy and happy for years to come.