Cats bring so much joy to our lives providing love and companionship. Studies have proven owners of cats (and dogs) tend to live healthier lives. So, don’t forget to give back and do the right things to keep your cats healthy. My top tips for keeping your cats healthy are as follows:
- Veterinary Check-ups – it is very important to have at least an annual checkup (bi-annual is even better) with your veterinarian. Regular checkups will ensure that your cats are up to date on their vaccinations. Also, your vet will check for common cat diseases and issues so that they can be diagnosed and treated. Don’t wait for symptoms to show up. Be proactive and keep your cats on a scheduled checkup program.
- Quality Food and Drinking Water – make sure you provide your cats with quality food for their age and condition. Check with your veterinarian for recommendations. As important is clean drinking water that is refreshed at least once per day. Keep an eye on how much and how often your cats are eating and drinking. Changes in their normal pattern can be indicative of health issues such as diabetes and kidney disease.
- Indoor Cats – indoor cats live much longer, on average, than outdoor cats. Outdoor cats are more likely to contract diseases, be hit by a car, or killed by a predator. Most veterinarians recommend that you keep your cats indoors.
- Cat Playmates – if you’ve got one cat, it’s probably a good idea to get at least one more. Pet owners are typically out of the house most of the day and having more than one cat provides them with companionship while you’re not home and will lead to healthier and happier cats.
- Check the Litter – your cat’s litter box should be cleaned daily. While cleaning you should check to see if there are changes in litter patterns. More urination can be a sign of kidney disease and blood in stools can also indicate health issues. If you see anything strange in the litter box, have your cat checked by a veterinarian. Also, you should maintain one more litter box than the number of cats you have (e.g. if you have two cats, you should have three litter boxes).
- Behavior Changes – be on the lookout for behavior changes in your cat. Cats do a good job hiding their illnesses but if you notice your cat hiding in places he rarely goes (and typically this is coupled with loss of appetite), this may be indicative of a health issue.
Cats are such wonderful pets and with your help can live long and healthy lives.