Whether you’re a first-time cat owner or someone with several furry friends, it’s up to you to keep your adorable feline(s) in tip-top shape. If you have just introduced a kitten into your home, it’s a bit like having a whiskered toddler on your hands, but with less maintenance and a litter box. Follow these five easy tips, and your kitty will have the best chance to live a long life as a healthy cat.
- Provide Clean Water and Good Chow
Cats like their water to be fresh and clean, and many enjoy drinking from a dripping faucet. You can even splurge on a water fountain that provides constantly filtered, flowing water. Avoid feeding dry food as much as possible – a wet food diet is much more nutritionally sound. Have a few bowls dedicated to your cat’s food. And, don’t leave food out all day because you may end up with an overweight and less healthy cat.
- Take Good Care of the Litter Box
Cats are naturally clean and fastidious creatures, and they prefer a clean litter box. If it isn’t clean, they may use other places in your home as a bathroom. Use scoopable litter to make daily cleaning easier. Regular cleaning means you can keep an eye out for early warning signs of health problems. These might include an abnormally high frequency of peeing, changes in urine odor, blood in the urine, or feces looking different. Make sure to take care of any problems immediately. Completely replace the cat litter once a week and give the litter box a thorough cleaning.
- Pay Attention to Grooming
Cats are basically self-cleaning and love to groom themselves. Their saliva contains natural deodorants and cleansing properties. However, they do need a little help every now and then. Brushing or combing a cat’s coat will help remove excess hair, which can lead to hairballs. If you have fallen in love with a cat with a long-haired coat, it’s essential to keep it tangle-free, and you may need the help of a professional cat groomer.
- Offer Plenty of Toys
Cats are great cat nappers – they can sleep up to twenty hours in a day! But when they’re not asleep or eating, they love to play. Toys help your cat develop his built-in hunting skills, keep fit, and not suffer from boredom while you’re away at work. It’s not even necessary to spend a lot of money on expensive toys. Paper bags (with the handles cut through), crinkly paper, a piece of string, or a box to jump in and out of don’t cost anything.
- Schedule Regular Vet Checkups
A new kitten will need vaccines and will also need to be spayed or neutered. An older cat should be taken to your vet for a once-a-year wellness checkup. Being proactive is the best way to catch any medical conditions early and prevent exorbitant vet bills down the road. Treat your cat like royalty, and you’re sure to have a healthy cat for many years to come. However, should your cat be unfortunate enough to need emergency treatment and you live in the Columbia SC area, bring him to CVETS for the very best in emergency care.