Look no further! We’ve pulled together the ultimate list of advice to keep your feline friends happy, healthy and loving life:
1. What’s Up Doc?
Regular medical checkups are as important for your cat’s health as they are for you. Visiting a veterinarian every twelve months is the best way to keep your cat healthy, plus it gets them used to the doctor, which decreases stress during the visit.
2. Bug Off
Protect your cat’s health from internal and external parasites all year long. Find whatever system works for you and be diligent about it. Even if your cat is inside all day there is still a chance he can get fleas, worms and other parasites, which can be harmful to your family and your cat.
3. Develop a Purr-fect Palate
What you should be feeding your cat can vary based on age, activity level and health concerns. Always consult your veterinarian to make sure you are using the right food in the right proportions. You want to make sure it is nourishing and delicious.
4. Resist Treat Temptation
You may remember the lasagna-eating tabby, Garfield in the Sunday comics. He was fat! Allowing your cat to become overweight can result in numerous grave health problems. You can prevent obesity by feeding your cat the right food and avoiding too many treats. Instead, treat your cat by giving them toys to play with to keep them active.
5. Here, Kitty Kitty!
Even the most loved house cats can sometimes find their way out of a door or window that was accidently left open. If you want to make sure your cat returns safely, make sure he has a collar and ID. Microchips are also a great security measure, just be sure to register it with the microchip provider.
6. Litter Box Etiquette
A large litter box equals a cleaner area. The size of your cat’s litter box should be no less than her length as measured from the nose to the end of the tail. Also, provide one more box than you have cats. That means two cats = three boxes, all of which should be scooped out at least once daily, for your finicky feline who values cleanliness far more than your dog! Lastly, location is key. Cats don’t want to be stuck in an out-of-the-way place or dark corner. For their own protection, they want to be able to see around them, so take that into consideration when placing the litter box.
7. Have a Solution for Scratching
You can’t blame a cat for needing to scratch! Every cat has a natural instinct to do so. To protect that new dining room set, make sure they have a scratching post for when they get the urge. Initially, you might want to sprinkle it with catnip and put it right in the center of the room so it’s easy to find. Once the training is complete, it can be moved to a less conspicuous spot.
8. Brush Your Way to Less Hair Balls
You can do your cat’s digestive tract a favor by getting out the brush on a daily basis. Frequent brushing or combing can reduce the number of hairballs that develop in the digestive tract. Of course cats do a great job of grooming themselves but helping them remove all the loose hair is a good idea.
9. And While You’re Brushing
This the perfect time to run your hand over your cat’s entire body looking for any lumps or abnormalities. Develop a pattern so that you become familiar with your cat and can notice anything different.
10. Is That Normal?
Cats are creatures of habit and are normally very consistent with their behaviors. If your cat starts acting strangely it could be an indication that something isn’t right and your veterinarian should be contacted immediately.
11. Turn Off the Heat
Going into heat is actually uncomfortable for a female cat. Having her spayed eliminates that problem. Of course, neutering your male helps with the cat overpopulation too! Spaying and neutering all cats keeps them healthier and is socially responsible.
12. Friends for Life
Cats are social creatures that are often happier if they have a friend to pal around with. Reduce your cat’s behavior problems and go down to your local shelter to add to your family, while giving your kitty a fellow feline to play with.
13. Feel the Love
Is your cat leaving you gifts from a successful conquest? Don’t be grossed out, just say thank you because what he’s saying is, “I love you!” Of course there are many other ways to feel the love from your cat so enjoy the purring, head bumping and paw kneading too.
14. Quality Time
One of the great things about cats is that they are very independent. Don’t let that, “I don’t need you attitude” fool you because they love your attention too. Make sure you have regular play sessions. It’s a great way to stimulate your cat both physically and mentally as well as solidifying your bond with them.
THE FINAL WORD FROM DR. POL
“With these 14 simple tips we can keep our favorite feline friends healthy and happy.”