One thing is for sure, owning a pet demands responsibility. Are you a responsible cat owner? I think so! If you are here that in itself speaks volumes: you want to keep your furry friend safe and in good health.
Let’s dive in into 6 ways you can ensure your cat lives a healthy, happy and long life.
Keep Cats In the House: The danger is out there: cars, poisonous plants, inhumane humans, garbage, wildlife, bully cats, and dogs make a depressing list of potential dangers lurking at the corner for your cat. Cats who live indoors live much longer and healthier lives. Do the best for Kitty and keep him or her inside and out of danger. You can install window perches and “catios,” giving kitty plenty of views of the outdoors. Indoor cats are not unhappy cats!
Hygiene: You can never get it wrong with cleanliness- it is always good. Wash and clean the cat house, sheets, and covers, accessories, and eating and water bowls. Change the cat’s water daily and wash the bowl or cup regularly. Keep cat toys clean.
Immunization: Like for you and me, vaccination is essential to the health of your cat.
Stack the odds in their favor! Register with a veterinarian and ensure your cat receives her shots. Adhere to schedule set by the good doctor.
Healthy Diet: You shouldn’t eat junk, and neither should your cat! Make sure that you are feeding a complete diet designed especially for cats. Dog food doesn’t supply certain nutrients that are necessary for feline health. Treats are fine but shouldn’t be the cat’s main source of nutrition. You don’t have to buy expensive designer foods, just a complete diet designed for cats.
Many “human” foods are unsafe for cats. The ASPCA publishes a list of people food that is bad for cats for varying reasons: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/people-foods-avoid-feeding-your-pets. Here’s a summary of that list: Alcohol, Avocado, Chocolate, Coffee, Foods with Caffeine, Citrus Fruits, Coconut and Coconut Oil, Grapes and Raisins, Macadamia Nuts, Dairy Products, Nuts, Onions, Garlic, Chives, Raw Eggs, Meat and Bones, Salt and Salty Foods, Xylitol and Yeast Dough. A long list for sure! But worth knowing
Avoid overfeeding lest they become obese; obesity makes cats prone to a variety of other diseases.
Know Household Dangers: Know which of your plants are poisonous plants for kitty and make sure that they are out of reach to Missy Chews-a-lot. The ASPCA publishes a lit of poisonous houseplants and household chemicals. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control. Do what’s best for kitty and make anything unsafe out of reach! Medicines, chemicals, paints, glue, bleach, coolants, disinfectants, rodenticides and herbicides are some poisonous substances that can do irreversible damage. Do your homework and learn what’s unsafe for kitty.
Exercise: While your cat might not be interested in having a thin waistline or killer 6- packs, it is in your cat’s best interest to get them to “work it.” You can achieve this by playing fetch or catch with them, playing “string” or whatever games you both enjoy, or have them chase a laser pointer. Exercise helps them stay fit, grow healthy and happy while contributing to keeping obesity and other health conditions away.
Playing with your cat gets you off the couch and doubles as an exercise for you too! And every time you play, you get a little closer and more bonded with your Dear Cat Friend.
When you make your house cat-safe and learn about your kitty’s safety needs, you can have more peace of mind, knowing that you’ve done what you can. Your ability to identify potential hazards and acting to eliminate them will go a long way to help you in keeping your cat safe and healthy.