Keeping your cat healthy and happy can be easy and painless if you follow a few simple guidelines. Consistent daily habits are a great start to your felines best life.
First things first, find a veterinarian that’s a good fit for your kitty and your family.
It’s generally recommended to have a vet that’s close by in case of emergency, and willing to receive phone calls for advice when needed. It’s so important to have a great vet that is happy to receive a call when you’re not sure if something is serious or even when it comes to thoughts on food choices and grooming. Be sure to get all recommended vaccinations and please spay or neuter your kitty. This is important for their health and wellbeing as well as helping by not adding kittens to a world that already has more cats than homes.
Pay attention to the food you chose for your kitty. Cats, unlike dogs, cannot be vegetarians, even for short periods of time. They have adapted to rely on meat as the foundation of their diets. Too much dry food gives your cat too many carbs and can cause your cat to become obese and even develop type two diabetes. It is recommended to feed your cat at least one meal of meat per day and keep dry food to a minimum. Check labels and be sure that the food you choose is high in protein and low in carbs. A can of tuna or other canned meat can also be a great dietary choice in combination with small amounts of high quality dry food.
Pay attention to your cat’s hydration. Cats don’t have the same thirst drive as most other mammals as they have evolved from desert dwelling ancestors. They are most comfortable getting most of their hydration from foods, wet food generally contains 70% or more water while dry food is generally 5% to 10% water. Even though you may not see much water being consumed, it’s so important to keep a clean full bowl of water available for your feline all of the time. Pay attention to signs of dehydration such as sunken eyes, panting or lethargy. This is especially important in nursing kittens and elderly cats. As always, if something seems wrong call your vet immediately.
Be sure you give your kitty enough litter boxes. The rule of thumb is one per cat, plus one extra. So one cat needs two but five cats should have six. Many cats feel vulnerable when using the litter box, so if you notice that your kitty is having trouble using the litter box, try putting it in a place where he has a view of all that’s around him. In the wild they developed the strategy of being in the open where they could watch for predators around them when they were in this compromised state. For the same reason, a litter box with a top may be difficult for some cats. If having the kitty box out in the open is not good for you then you can move it a little each day until it is where you want to keep it. If you are having trouble with your cat peeing outside of the box, even when doing the right thing with placement, it could potentially be a medical issue like a urinary tract infection or other illnesses, so check with your vet.
Do yourself a favor and train your cat to use the scratching post. Start with it in the middle of the room and sprinkle with catnip to make it extra appealing. As your cat gets used to using the post you can skip the catnip and slowly move it to a more out of the way place. If you notice scratching on the furniture in the future repeat the steps over again to remind your kitty of the correct place to scratch.
As gross as it seems, it’s really important for cats to be able to adorn their loved ones with gifts. So if you are presented with a dead lizard or some other gruesome gift, try to be thankful and give your kitty positive attention. This is her way of showing love and feeling autonomy. You may be surprised by her reaction as you will get lots of snuggles and purrs. You can discard the “gift” after she has received her desired attention.
Cats love the outdoors, but having free reign outdoors can be quite dangerous. Cats do especially well with a Hale Pet Door exiting into an enclosed outdoor area such as a catio or cat run. These outdoor areas can be quite inexpensive and give your cat the happiness and freedom of the outdoors without the dangers of being an outdoor cat.
Bathing isn’t generally necessary for cats, but daily brushing goes a long way towards a healthy kitty. This keeps his coat clean and removes dead hairs before your cat ingests them while self cleaning. Removing the dead hairs through daily brushing will cut down on furballs as well as keep that coat soft and shiny. It’s a great way for your cat to get used to daily handling and feel love. It’s also a good habit to be in because you will notice lumps, bumps or irregularities right away.
As always, Hale Pet Door wants you and your family to have a rich and wonderful life with your furbabies. Please log onto www.halepetdoor.com for the highest quality pet doors, pet ramps and security barriers as well as info about our Rescue Rewards Program and tips on how to help your pet live its best life.