7 Must-Dos for a Happy Healthy Cat

Those of us with pet cats know that our feline friends are the unsung heroes of our homes. They keep our laps warm, make sure we remember to pet and feed them, greet us when we arrive home, and provide us with hours and hours of companionship.

To return the favor and provide your little kitty hero with as much joy as they give you, we have some simple tips. These are sure to extend your kitty’s purr, provide them with a healthy life, and keep them happy for years to come.

How Can You Pamper Your Cat with Good Health?

1. Provide Your Cat with the Purrfect Diet and Keep Them Hydrated

Your cat’s health depends on a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight. When choosing your cat’s food, be sure you choose a high-quality formula and read the ingredients list. Dry and canned food with higher levels of animal protein are better for your feline friend.

Wild cats receive most of their hydration from consuming live prey, and they naturally have a low thirst drive. In domestic cats, this can lead to a higher risk of urinary problems if they don’t drink enough water. Canned foods provide a higher level of hydration and can make a huge impact on your cat’s health. Leaving out extra water bowls or investing in a water fountain can encourage your cat to drink more frequently.

Feed your cat a diet tailored to their needs. If you need help deciding what food is best for your cat, we are here to help. From diets designed for urinary health to those made to fit the needs of a senior feline, we can help you find the perfect regimen for your cat.

2. Playtime is the Secret Ingredient for a Happy Cat

While cats seem aloof and independent, they still need fun and games to enrich their lives. Engaging in play and exercise allows your cat to maintain muscle tone, use their brain, and form a stronger bond with you. Elevating your cat’s heart rate and keeping them active helps burn excess calories, as well. All of these benefits create a recipe for a longer life, less anxiety, and can delay or lessen signs of dementia.

3. Provide Your Cat with Parasite Prevention

It’s hard to enjoy life when you’re scratching at fleas. While the fleas and ticks you find in their fur create a world of mental and physical discomfort for your cat, prevention for internal parasites, like heartworm, is equally as important to their health and happiness.

All of these problematic pests can be deadly when left unchecked, and frighteningly, there is no cure or treatment for heartworms in cats. Luckily, prevention is easy and effective. Not sure if an oral, topical, or injectable preventative is right for your furry friend? Call us with your questions and we’ll be happy to help you find the right solution for your cat.

4. Keep the Litter Box Clean

Cats are naturally clean animals with sensitive noses, so most prefer a sparkling clean litter box. Scooping your cat’s waste daily and periodically washing the box can improve your cat’s relationship with their toilet. Daily maintenance also helps keep you aware of any issues with their urinary and digestive systems.

If you notice signs of blood in your cat’s urine or stool, make an appointment right away. We also want to know if your cat suddenly begins boycotting their box and having accidents around your house. Both of these can be signs of serious internal issues, like infections.

5. Have Your Cat Spayed or Neutered

Having your cat altered improves their life significantly. Spaying female cats reduces the occurrence of breast tumors and uterine infections. Neutering a male cat prevents testicular cancer and reduces the likelihood of prostate problems. Furthermore, when your cat is fixed, they lose the drive to escape outdoors to mate. And male cats are much less likely to develop destructive spraying tendencies.

6. Put Away Potential Poisons

Protect your cat’s health by staying vigilant about potential poisons. These include herbicides, rodenticides, medications, and house plants. When it comes to these common household items, your cat is always safer when you keep them out of paw’s reach.

7. Comb Your Cat

Your cat probably spends hours grooming themselves. This doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate your help by combing and stroking them, too. Cats groom one another as a means of socializing and bonding and most love when humans get in on the fun. Regularly brushing your cat reduces hairballs, untangles knots in long-haired cats, and keeps you mindful of any lumps, bumps, or dermatological issues that may pop up.

Don’t Skip Your Cat’s Annual Exam This Year

August 22nd is a great day to be a cat. Why? It’s Take Your Cat to the Vet Day, a day dedicated to reminding cat parents that their kitties need annual exams to ensure long, healthy lives. We hope you’ll celebrate your cat by making an appointment. Nothing beats celebrating a good bill of health and knowing that your cat has everything they need to continue to enjoy life with you.

Photo Credit: Nitiphonphat / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1542 7th St. W.
St. Paul, MN 55012
(located 2 blocks east of 35E)
651-293-1800