10 healthy habits for your cat
You can help your cat live their best life by incorporating some healthy habits into its routine. When you follow a repeated pattern of healthy living, your cat gets used to it and they grow happy and full of energy.
Without much ado, here are some healthy habits you need to follow to keep your cat at their best:
Feed your cat a species-appropriate diet
Giving your cat healthy food is important for maintaining optimal health. The food they eat fuels their disease-fighting immune system supports their longevity and keeps their mental abilities sharp.
It is important to note that cats are obligate carnivores and they need meat in their diet. So, ensure you feed the raw or grain-free diets and your feline friend will thank you for it. Foods like salmon and chicken are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients.
Whatever you choose to feed your cat, ensure you add enough protein to their diet. Research has shown that high-protein diets are very important for their health and overall wellbeing.
Always ask your veterinarian for advice and recommendations before changing your cat’s diet. Your vet must be very open in discussing your cat’s diet and nutrition. These experts have more knowledge on nutrition for your feline friends and can help you create a nutritional plan that would work best for your cat.
Studies have shown that nearly 60% of cats in the US are obese, and this puts them at risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, crippling arthritis, and some forms of cancer. You can ask your vet to perform a body condition score (BCS) for your cat and determine how many calories you should feed it.
You can stop the “all-day buffet” feeding method and adopt a food puzzle to feed your cat two to three times daily.
Enrich your cat’s environment
Do not forget that cats are wild animals and they cannot completely give up all their instincts while sharing our home with us. Try to provide an environment that keeps them stimulated.
Failure to meet your cat’s needs can lead to stress, which often demonstrates itself in inappropriate behavior, aggression towards humans and other cats, and scratching. Accommodating their needs is very important for their happiness and wellbeing.
Brush your cat’s teeth regularly
Not only do humans need to keep their teeth clean regularly; cats also need good oral hygiene to prevent dental issues. Dental diseases are the most common health problem for cats, and if you don’t take them seriously, they can become complicated, leading to kidney, heart, and liver disease.
You can prevent dental diseases in your cats by keeping healthy habits like brushing their teeth. The process is simple and with time, your cat gets used to the habit.
Visit your veterinarian regularly
You need to always take your cats to your vet for a proper checkup. The American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends that all cats should undergo at least an annual wellness examination. Semi-annual wellness exams are recommended for cats with recurring health problems and seniors.
The truth is that cats show a rapid change in health status, and by the time they begin to show symptoms, a disease may already be at a complicated stage that is very expensive to treat or manage.
In addition to immunizations, flea, tick, and heartworm preventives, and checkups for intestinal parasites, your vet would search for hidden problems that are often overlooked in our busy homes.
Blood and urine tests are very effective in determining the state of the internal organs and diagnosing problems early for quick treatment and cure.
Do not make the mistake of waiting to see signs of illness in your cat before you think of visiting your vet. These felines evolved to hide symptoms as a way to evade predators. At least once a year, book an appointment with your vet to conduct proper examinations and test to ensure your feline friend is healthy and happy.
Take your time to learn about your cats
You should develop the habit of paying attention to your feline friends. Your vet is your most important source of health information, but you can also make research on your own on different issues relating to cats.
The more you learn about your feline health, the better you treat them and the happier they become.
Brush your cat’s body every day
You need to develop the habit of brushing or combing your cat every day. This helps to reduce a lot of problems like hairballs which causes digestive issues.
Although cats spend a lot of time grooming themselves, it is still important that you brush them to remove loose hair.
Some cats may hate this process, but you can get your cat to connect with you throughout the process by keeping nice treats around. Your cat will learn to associate your grooming with something delicious.
Pay attention to your cat’s thirst
Domestic cats do not have the same thirst-drive as dogs because they have evolved from dessert-dwelling ancestors. Now, they get most of their water needs from the food they eat. Even foods they eat in the wild, such as mouse — are 70% water. Canned foods for contains contain about 78% water.
That said, you need to give your cats access to freshwater all the time. Most times, you’ll notice that your feline friends drink more water when they’re eating more dry food.
However, nursing and elderly cats are more prone to dehydration than others. So keep a watchful eye for some symptoms such as panting, sunken eyes, and lethargy.
Provide more than one litter boxes
It is important to have one litter box per kitty and an extra one. If you have four cats, you should get four litter boxes for them. The reason is simple — Sometimes cats may not want to use the boxes in those out-of-the-way places you tucked them in. They may prefer to use it somewhere else and it is in their nature to behave that way.
Cats love it when they can see around them when they are performing those functions. For this reason, your cat may reject using a box with a cover.
Neuter or spay your cat
Neutering or spaying your cat is beneficial to them in the long term. If you have a female cat, you’ll notice how they become uncomfortable during their heat period.
Besides, they can become pregnant as early as four months old. This process of mating and birthing multiple kittens can be stressful for them. It’s better not to get new cats to add to them.
Allow your cat to show off
Cats are very expressive and when they love you, they would want to do anything to demonstrate it. Sometimes, your cat may bring you the preys they got from successful hunting. Don’t chase them away, instead, accept the gifts with grace even if the mouse is partially chewed.
Some other times, your cat may show you, love, by purring, head bumping, or kneading you with their paws. Don’t raise your voice at them; just sit back and enjoy.
You have a big role to play in the overall health and wellness of your cat. You need to practice healthy habits like those listed above if you want your cat to stay around you for long. Commit to building strong healthy habits every day for both you and your cat. We wish your cat many, many years of sound health and playfulness.
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