February is National Cat Health Month

Cats. Such self-sufficient little creatures that like to pretend like our presence in their lives is not really that necessary. That we’re really only there when they are feeling particularly generous. Solitary hunters, cats enjoy a friendship with us that is loving, yet aloof. But the truth is, they of course, really do need us! Whether those kitties like to admit it or not, they depend on us for food, shelter, and all of their medical needs. Since February is National Cat Health Month, we thought it was the perfect time to talk about some of your cat’s basic needs to keep him happy and healthy!

Litter Boxes

A good general rule of thumb for litter boxes is one per cat. It’s important to stay on top of keeping their box clean. Depending on how many cats you have, it may even need to be scooped more than once a day! Leaving a cat box dirty for too long invites some very unwelcome health issues for kitty, so be sure to keep it clean for him! There are tons of different litters out on the market, so you’re sure to be able to find one that fits your needs. Some are made for multiple cats, some are made out of cedar or pine pellets, some are even made out of recycled newspapers! My personal favorite is the kind that easily slides out of pans and into the trash when it’s time to dump it.

Water Bowl

Now, this may go without saying, but it’s always good to have a reminder about water. Access to clean water is, of course, a vital part of your cat’s health, so please don’t neglect it! Washing his water bowl regularly is a great way to keep it free of harmful bacteria. It’s also probably a good time to point out that cats can be pretty darn picky about their water. Some do just fine with a regular old water dish, others prefer to drink out of a tall glass so that they don’t have to bend over so much. Some felines refuse to drink from anything but a water fountain (cats totally dig moving water!). So, if your kitty appears to not be drinking water, it might be time to mix things up and try another way to offer it.

Grooming

Grooming your cat may not seem necessary to you, especially if you have a kitty with a short coat. But it really is. Regular brushing will not only help keep their coat in good shape, but it will strengthen your bond. Cats groom each other, so if you take part in grooming your cat, you’ll really start feeling like best beds. Not only that but if any bumps or other irregularities pop up on his skin, you’ll notice it much sooner and be able to get it checked out by a vet.

Urinating Outside the Box

Just like we mentioned above, it’s so important to keep your cat’s litter box clean. One of the many reasons to do so is that if it gets too yucky, your cat will begin to go somewhere else. Yuck! Nobody wants that! But, should your cat ever begin to urinate outside of his box, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your vet to get checked out before you blame it on a dirty litter box. Urinating in strange places could mean serious health conditions, so please rule that out just in case.

Keep Those Chompers Clean

Just like with dogs, it’s also important to keep your cat’s teeth in healthy working order. There are special toothbrushes and toothpaste made just for cats, so don’t try to use anything made for humans. If you work with your cat regularly, it’s likely that you’ll be able to get him used to an occasional brushing. But do talk to your veterinarian as well about scheduling annual teeth cleanings for kitty to really keep that tartar away!

Spay or Neuter!

Don’t forget to do the right thing by getting your cat fixed! You’ll not only help the overpopulation epidemic facing cats in our country, but you’ll also help your kitty avoid health issues in the future. Spaying and neutering help prevent many reproductive cancers and other illnesses in both male and female cats. Not only that, but it can help ease your male cat’s urges to roam or spray to mark territory.

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