JAC Mascot Cat, Tobey posing with his favorite sunflowers.
Keeping our precious kitties healthy is essential to us cat owners but it is not always cut and dry on how to do it. No matter their age, how long you have had them, gender, or breed, you can have a positive influence on your cat’s health starting TODAY. There are many things you can begin implementing now that will have a big impact on your feline’s health. Follow these 7 simple tips to give your cat the health they deserve.
1. Cat Friendly Vet
When it comes to a veterinarian for your cat, you can’t go wrong with a vet who specializes in feline care such as, the Cat Clinic in Plymouth, MA. Some clinics can be quite canine dominant which can be a little daunting for our kitties. If your vet of choice is not a Cat (only) Clinic, ask if you and your cat can wait to be seen in a separate waiting room or wait in the car until they are ready to see you. Limiting the amount of time they spend in a waiting room with noisy dogs and other animals will leave your cat more relaxed for the vet. Choose a vet clinic that actively works to make your kitty feel at ease.
2. Brush Daily
Our kitties do much of the work themselves but help them out by giving them a nice brushing once a day. Brushing daily helps to cut down on hairballs! Want a trick for making your cat fall in love with the brush? Do it during a “happy” time of day, for example after mealtime, or give treats before and after so they begin to associate brushing with a yummy snack. They will be far more agreeable when they have something to look forward to.
3. Litter Box Etiquette
Luckily there have been cat owners who have gone before us and discovered a few rules of thumb when it comes to litter box etiquette. If you are having trouble getting your cat to consistently use the litter box you provide it is possible that one of these faithful rules is being missed even if only by a hair, literally. Proper litter box etiquette is as follows.
- One box per cat plus one. Ex. 1 cat = 2 boxes; 2 cats = 3 boxes; 3 cats = 4 boxes
- Each box should be 1.5 times the length of your largest cat.
- Scoop 2x/day and change litter fully once a week; clean the box thoroughly before adding the new litter.
In addition, just like you might have a preference in toilet paper, your cat may prefer one litter over another. For example, one of my cats will ONLY use a Breeze System litter box; my other three cats are very happy with their regular litter box with The World’s Best Cat Litter. Just like with a pet’s food, you can’t change a cat’s litter abruptly. Introduce any new litter slowly, mixing it in with their regular litter and slowly changing the ratio until they are comfortable with the new smell and feel. There are always exceptions to the rules but these three tips are an excellent starting point for any cat owner. Your kitty will thank you for the extra box, the spacious room, and clean litter.
4. Clean Dishes
Give your furry feline the gift of clean food and water dishes every day! Even if your cat bowls appear clean to the naked eye because kitty has licked everything up, bacteria is always growing. Wash with hot (150’F will kill 99% of bacteria) and soapy water at least once a day and preferably after every use. By keeping their dishes sparkling clean you can avoid the dreaded biofilm which can cause urinary tract infections, chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular diseases and more! Cleaning their dishes is one of the simplest ways to keep your kitty healthy and happy.
5. Regular Feeding Schedule & Limited Snacks
If you have had a cat for any amount of time you have probably noticed that they are creatures of habit. The number of times a day a cat should eat can vary but one thing you want to be sure of is that you are being consistent. A dependable feeding schedule will make your cat feel more comfortable and secure at home. Does your cat enjoy the occasional human food? Before giving your feline friend a table scrap snack double check that it is not a toxic food to cats. There are many human foods you may not expect that are extremely harmful to cats. Chocolate is a well-known one, but some not so obvious ones include dairy products (yes, that means cheese) and yeast dough (bread). Always double check toxic foods to cats.
6. ID Tags/Microchipping
Cats are excellent escape artists! Whether you have indoor or outdoor cats always keep a collar with an ID tag on them. If your cat will not wear a collar or you worry about it catching on something with their outgoing behavior a great alternative is having your cat micro chipped. A Microchip is a small electronic chip (about the size of a grain of rice) placed just under the skin of your pet. There is an ID number assigned to your cat/dog. If your pet goes missing the person checking the chip will have the animal’s name and owner’s contact information to get in touch and return your pet safely home. Of course, you can always use both an ID tag and a microchip to doubly ensure their safety.
7. Spay & Neuter
Getting your cat spayed or neutered, even for those indoor-only kitties, is necessary. Have your cat “fixed” to help control the homeless cat population. Cats who are spayed/neutered also tend to avoid certain types of cancers, such as breast cancer and testicular cancer, and even uterine infections decrease. After being “fixed” your cat will be less likely to escape/runaway as they will no longer go into heat. Cats who have been spayed or neutered behave better overall than those who have not, which makes a happier and healthier kitty.
Next stop: healthy and happy!
A healthy cat makes a happy home. Take the time to find a vet that will make your cat feel at ease and purchase a collar with ID tags and/or get them microchipped. Each day lend a hand to minimize hairballs, clean their dishes, feed according to their schedule, and follow proper litter box etiquette. Don’t forget, always spay/neuter your pet. Do these things and your cat will undoubtedly be the healthy feline they deserve to be!
Just Around the Corner offers Cat Sitting as well as daily Dog Walking , Dog Hiking, and Pet Sitting in Plymouth, MA. To learn more about how Just Around the Corner can help, check out our Services Page. You can also Contact Us for more information. Be sure to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Instagram!