Cats can make excellent home companions, but caring for any pet can come with questions and challenges: How much should I feed my cat? Can I get my cat to stop scratching? No matter how many cats you have, the goal is to keep them happy and healthy for a long time. Here’s our best advice to keep your feline friends loving life:
1. Say What’s Up Doc?
Regular medical checkups are as important for your cat’s health as they are for you. Scheduling an annual visit with your veterinarian is the best way to keep your cat healthy. Plus, it gets them used to the doctor which decreases stress during the visit.
2. Protect Your Pet
Even if your cat is inside all day, there is still a chance they can get fleas, worms and other parasites, which can be harmful to your family and your cat. Protect your cat’s health from internal and external parasites all year long. Find whatever system works for you and be diligent about it. Bugs be gone!
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, like Dr. PolTM High Protein Grain Free Chicken Recipe for Cats and Growing Kittens.
4. Resist Treat Temptation
Does your cat have you trained? They may have mastered the art of begging after regularly rewarding their behavior with treats, but allowing your cat to become overweight can result in 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 a variety of toys to play with to keep them active.
5. Secure a Sneaky Cat
Here kitty kitty! Even the most loved house cats can sometimes find their way out of a door or window that was left open by accident. If you want to make sure your cat returns safely, make sure they have a collar and ID. Microchips are also a great option, just be sure to register it with the microchip provider.
6. Keep It Clean
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). Lastly, consider location when placing the boxes. 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.
7. Find a Scratching Solution
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. Break Out the Brush
You can do your cat’s digestive tract a favor by brushing them 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. Pet and Inspect
While you’re brushing, this is 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. Look for Strange Behavior
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. Use the Buddy System
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. Feline 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. Get Quality Kitty Time
One reason we love cats is that they are very independent, but don’t let that “I don’t need you” attitude fool you – they love your attention too! Regular play sessions are 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
“It’s fantastic when you take time to read the animal. It makes no difference if it’s a horse, a cow….dogs or cats. They tell you what they want, if you just listen.”