Cats have long been regarded as divine creatures. The ancient Egyptians viewed them as sacred beings, and revered them as gods and goddesses. In modern times, we view them more simply as companions, but still show them much respect.
Cats, in fact, are currently the most popular pet in the United States. The United States currently has approximately 76.43 million cats, making them the country with the most felines in the world. Even dogs, so called “man’s best friend,” only reside in 46.3 million households in the United States.
With such a clear soft spot for these furry, feline creatures, it’s important for us to also be aware of how to properly understand, maintain and care for our nation’s cat health. According to Pet MD Top 5 Tips for a Healthy Cat, there are five fundamental things to remember when caring for you cat’s health.
- Vet Visits
- Litter Box Maintenance
Like any living beings, cats require a consistent nutritious diet in order to thrive. In this way, remember to keep cat health in mind when shopping for pet food for you cat. Approach the pet food aisle like you would an aisle in the grocery store for yourself. Read labels to ensure you’re buying food with whole ingredients rather than an excess of preservatives. Just like you, your cat does best with wholer, more nutritious ingredients.
Something else to consider is wet versus dry food for your cat. Some vets are now recommending a wet food only diet. Regardless of which you choose, though, it’s important to remember to not overfeed your feline friend. Cats have a tendency to overeat when food is available. Try feeding your cat at different intervals throughout the day to see when he/she is most hungry and adjust your schedule from there.
Sure, your feline friend may not like it, but taking your cat to a vet annually (at least) is key to ensuring cat health. This is especially important when you first get your new furry friend to ensure that he/she is properly spayed/neutered and has received all necessary shots.
Annual visits are equally important as your cat grows and changes. Your vet will be able to monitor your cat’s weight and overall health. This allows you to make sure your cat ages healthily and happily.
Cats are naturally hygienic creatures. In fact, their saliva contains natural deodorants and cleansing properties. Still, it’s important to help your pet out in this department. Giving your cat a bath can be difficult and certainly not fun for your furry friend, depending on their temperament. If you do opt for a bath, look for cat-specific shampoo. Besides bathing, it’s also important to brush your cat, especially if he/she has long hair. This will prevent the formation of mats.
Along with being hygienic, cats are also very cleanly creatures overall. As such, they like for their litter boxes to be regularly attended to. If their litter box isn’t clean, they may start going somewhere else, which you obviously don’t want. In order to make the cleaning process as easy as possible, look for a good scoopable litter. This way, you’ll be able to easily check on the cleanliness regularly.
Lastly, it’s important to make sure your cat has plenty of attention and toys to keep him/her entertained. Though cats sleep an average of 16 hours each day, they also love to engage in their natural predatory behaviors. This means giving them toys on which to “prey” and pounce. Keeping your cat engaged in this will make sure his/her mind stays sharp as he/she ages and that they’re happy overall.
Like any type of animal care, caring for your feline friend to ensure proper cat health is extremely important. Just like for you and I, health care for animals is key to making sure our pets stay happy and healthy.