It’s hard to imagine life without your cat. Whether she’s a snuggler or more independent, serious or hilarious, just petting her and hearing that wonderful purr brings a smile to your face. Your cat may even try to groom you to show that you belong to her. In return, you feed, love, and play with your cat every day. During National Cat Health Month, we would like to provide you with five additional cat care tips to ensure that fuzzy feline in your life is as happy and healthy as can be.
- Cats have an instinct to scratch and aren’t trying to upset their owners when they take their claws to furniture. To save your furniture and possibly your skin as well, place several scratching posts around the house and redirect your cat when you see him starting to scratch somewhere off-limits. If destructive scratching becomes a major problem, consider claw covers or check with us for alternatives to declawing.
- Cats need a lot of privacy and alone time, which some people misinterpret as aloofness. Your cat will be happiest when she has several places around your home to sleep as well as to hide. Cats like to hide when they need to be alone or when they feel stressed or fearful. They tend to hide when they’re sick as well, so be sure to check on your cat if she’s hiding often and for long periods.
- Did you know that more than 50 percent of domestic felines in America are overweight or obese? This is particularly true for indoor cats who don’t get as much activity. Since staying indoors is safer for your cat, be sure to set up an enriching environment that includes toys like a stuffed mouse or just a simple piece of string. Providing a perch for your cat to look out the window satisfies her need to look outside without having to go outside.
- Ensure that you’re feeding your cat the most nutritious food by learning how to read pet food labels. If possible, avoid buying cat food with artificial fillers because they don’t provide your cat with any nutritional value. Additionally, make your cat work for treats by hiding them or placing them inside of a toy. This satisfies his hunting instinct and helps to control his weight as well.
- If your cat doesn’t already have a microchip, consider getting her one. Even indoor cats could escape the house when the door is open or get out through a window. A microchip contains your contact information and offers better protection than a tag and collar that could fall off or get hung up on something.
Don’t Forget About Preventive Care
The American Association of Feline Practitioners states that more than half of domestic cats don’t receive regular veterinary care. Although 75 percent see a veterinarian before age one, the visits slow down considerably after that. It’s common for cat owners to avoid going to the veterinarian unless their pet is seriously ill or injured. One reason for this could be that many cats become stressed at riding in the car and their owners avoid it. We’re happy to provide you with some kitty calming tips if this is your situation.
Chaska Valley Veterinary Clinic recommends bi-annual preventive care exams for cats. This gives us the chance to diagnose health conditions early and stay on top of chronic diseases. To schedule a check-up for your cat, please contact us at 952-448-2936.
Photo Credit: KandM-photography / Getty Images