Your cat may have nine lives, but keeping them healthy should still be at the top of your priority list. While there are some things we simply can't control, following these nine steps will help keep your cat in tip-top shape for years to come!
Grooming can be an easily overlooked step in your cat’s care routine since cats are constantly grooming themselves. Even though they are good at keeping themselves tidy, it's still very beneficial to give them some assistance. Daily brushing and occasional baths can help manage loose fur to help reduce the size of fur balls and keep their coats healthy.
Keeping your cat's diet in check is one of the most crucial steps to preserving their health. Dehydration can be common in cats who are elderly, nursing, or only eat dry food. Be sure your cat has constant access to ample water and try incorporating taurine-rich food, wet food, or even raw food into their diet when possible. Always speak with your vet and do your research to determine the best meal plan for your cat.
Be sure that your cat has ample litter boxes and clean out their litter boxes daily. Also pay attention to your cat's bathroom habits. If they start urinating outside of the litter box when all their litter boxes are clean, then immediately take them to the vet for a checkup.
Cats are extremely smart and physically capable creatures. They need consistent forms of enrichment and exercise to keep both their minds and bodies healthy. Scratching posts, interactive toys, wall-mounted perches, cat wheels, and tunnels are all great enrichment activities that will keep them mentally engaged and in peak physical condition.
When traveling with your cat, do not allow them to roam free. A free-roaming cat in the car is a distraction that could potentially result in an accident. Even if your free-roaming kitty doesn't cause you to crash, accidents can still happen. Your cat can suffer some serious injuries if you are involved in an unrelated accident, need to stop on a dime, or need to make a sharp turn. The safest option for transporting your cat is by containing them in a cat carrier that is securely buckled into the back seat. That way, your cat will remain secure throughout the ride.
Always pay attention to the condition of your cat's teeth and gums. Teeth should be white, and gums should be a healthy pink color. Combat plaque and tartar buildup by giving your cat dental treats and by slowly introducing them to teeth brushing. For excessive buildup, consult with your vet about dental cleanings.
Find a cat-friendly vet and take your cat for a checkup at least once a year. Consult with your vet about a preventative care plan for your cat based on their specific needs and the area you live in (flea, tick, parasite preventatives, etc.).
Spaying and neutering your cat not only prevents unwanted litters, but also reduces the likelihood of fights with other cats, and a laundry list of health issues like cancer, infections, feline AIDS, and more.
While cats can often be characterized as self-sufficient loners, they still require socialization to live long, happy lives. Whether it be with people, cats, other cat-friendly pets, or all of the above, getting your cat some consistent social interaction will truly enrich their life.
Whether you have a kitten or a senior cat, it is never too late to begin a care plan for your kitty. Incorporating these nine steps into your cat's care routine will ensure that they are healthy and happy throughout all nine of their lives!
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