We all want our cats to be healthy and happy, but are we doing everything we can for them to achieve these aims? Sometimes we aren’t always there for them during the day because of work, and that can be many hours at a time. Therefore, in this article today we will be looking at some simple ways to keep your cat healthy and happy, even if you’re not at home.
What can you do to keep your cat healthy and happy?
A. Keeping Your Cat Healthy
For the most part, cats can take great care of themselves, as you know we’ve all seen stray cats or feral cats and they seem to look after themselves pretty good. This is also true about our pet cats, because they instinctively groom and wash themselves, but there are some things we can do to ensure they are at maximum health so that they can live with us even longer. For instance, grooming your cat once a day can really help him or her out significantly, even though he or she will spend much of the day cleaning themselves.
2. Brushing away loose hair
Cats tend to shed quite a bit, so they always have loose hair which can often make its way into the digestive tract, because they spend so much time licking themselves. In turn this can lead to some problems, for instance if too much hair is swallowed it can form balls of hair which can then end up in the gastrointestinal tract. This can lead to digestive problems later on, yet a simple brushing by you each day can help prevent this from happening, and he’ll probably enjoy the attention as well.
3. Provide healthy food
Another thing we can do to keep our cats healthy is watch what they are eating, many owners give their cats dry kibble, and although this has been recommended in the past, it’s not so true today. Often cats don’t drink enough water when it is in a bowl, and if their only food supply is dry food, which often has little or no water, they can dehydrate. Dry food has lots of carbohydrates which can often lead to cats being overweight or obese and can lead to diabetes, so if you have to give your cat kibble be sure to give smaller amounts and offer some moist food too.
4. Provide adequate water supply
Keeping your cat hydrated is extremely important, just like humans they also need to keep hydrated, or your cat could end up with all sorts of health problems. In addition, many cats won’t automatically drink water from a bowl, so they have to be trained to do this, alternatively a fountain type water source is much better to entice cats to drink. Keep in mind, that cats love movement and will instinctively investigate anything that moves, so they are more likely to test a water fountain out than a motionless bowl. Cats won’t get enough water from kibble since it only as 10% or less water content, whereas a moist food will contain up to 70% water.
5. Spaying Or Neutering Your Cat
Many owners don’t like the idea of spaying or neutering their cat, and that is obviously an individuals choice, but we thought we would mention the health benefits of doing this for your cat. Spaying or neutering a cat can help prevent feline leukemia and can even prevent the spread of the equivalent of HIV in cats, or feline immunodeficiency. Also as a side note, spaying or neutering a cat can definitely help stem the flow of unwanted, or stray cats which number in the hundreds of thousands yearly, many of which are just destroyed due to such large numbers not being able to find a home.
6. Regularly clean litter trays
Cats are extremely clean animals and that also means they like things clean, including their litter tray. It may be a good idea to have more than one clean litter tray, or teach him to use one of the self cleaning litter trays that are on the market now, as they are very popular with many cat owners. If, a litter tray becomes too dirty, they may start using other places that you don’t want them to use.
7. Regular health checkups
Another good tip on keeping your cat healthy is regular vet visits, and not just when they are sick. We’ve all heard the saying prevention is better than cure and that is especially true for our cats, by taking them regularly to your vet he can give them preventative treatments and vaccinations. Keep in mind, that some are optional and some are required by law. In addition, by taking them regularly, your vet can spot early symptoms of diseases or other problems before you may have noticed them, leading to a quicker recovery than if you waited until they showed signs of being sick.
B. Keeping Your Cat Happy
So you know you have a healthy cat, but is he or she a happy cat? All cats are naturally athletic and they do need a lot of ‘playtime’, although most of that playtime is predatory behavior. A house cat especially needs something to keep them from becoming bored or stir crazy, because when that happens it can be goodbye furniture and curtains. Giving them plenty of toys and some durable cat furniture will help tremendously and go a long way to keeping them happy, especially toys that they can interact with, which will also keep their mind active. Here are some suggestions:-
1. Scratching posts and cat climbing furniture
Scratching posts are a must indoors, and once they get used to using a scratching post, they are more likely to not scratch up your furniture. That being said, a climbing tree can also be very effective if you have the room, and can give them extra places to rest, because cats often like to get up high to see everything around them. In addition, many cat owners buy ‘cat condos’ which can be very large or small. Therefore, you can purchase one to fit your room size availability very easily.
Cat activity toys are essential and there are thousands of different types to choose from, although it’s recommended to get some of the more interactive toys, because cats are naturally inquisitive and will investigate anything that moves. One toy that springs to mind is the mouse that pops it’s head out and back in which many owners have said keeps their cat occupied for hours at a time.
Of course when you have some spare time in the evenings or at weekends you can play with your cat and interact with him using feathers on a string, allowing him to catch it from time to time, this will also wear him out so he sleeps well.
There are many things you can do to keep your cat healthy and happy and we hope that some of the things we’ve listed here within our article will better help you to keep your cat health and happy. Keep in mind, that a cat that is healthy and happy will often live longer, meaning more time to spend with you. Finally, by owning a cat has this has also been proven to have health benefits for us, like lowering blood pressure and relieving stress, so a healthy, happy cat probably results in a happier and healthier owner too.
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