Caring for Your Whiskered Companion: Essential Tips for Cat Health
If you recently got a new cat, then you may have lots of questions on how to take care of your new whiskered friend. Besides, cats are quite moody- they play around, love you, explore curiosities, and just go on to entertain you every day. But worry not! We will help you understand how you can develop a strong bond with your cat and ensure their well-being.
Brush their coat everyday
One way you can easily help your feline friend stay healthy and comfortable is by brushing their hair regularly. The thing is- cats love to groom themselves, and by combing their hair, you can remove loose hair and tangles and make their job easier. Brushing the hair also removes hairballs that otherwise emerge in cats’ digestive tracts.
If you’re having trouble getting your cat to cooperate with your brushing, you can try to connect the activity with a pleasurable event. For instance, you can start brushing you cat only before serving them a meal. This way, over time, your cat will be less resistant to you combing them as they will know after the act, a scrumptious meal is coming.
Choose the diet carefully
When it comes to diet, cats depend on meat to a huge extent to get all the essential nutrients they need to grow and stay healthy. So, make sure that the main meal you serve them every day is meat-based (avoid meats that cats shouldn’t eat). Avoid feeding your pet too much dry foods as that can make them consume a lot of carbs which is not good for them. In fact, when cats are provided with carbs-rich diets over a long period of time, they end up gaining a lot of weight and develop type-2 diabetes.
Another point to remember if you have both dogs and cats pets is that you can’t serve them the same diet. They both have different dietary requirements and need different meals. For instance, cats can’t process carbohydrates the way dogs can.
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Keep drinking water in check
Most pet cats we find in cities have evolved from felines that once lived in deserts. Thus, they don’t generally need to drink a lot of water every day unlike dogs or other pets. In fact, they may get enough water from the food they eat itself, which is also how they should intake water ideally anyway. Think about the food they eat in the wild- rodents like mice or birds- which is about 60-70% water content.
If you’re giving your feline friend canned food, then that’s around 75% water, and if you’re offering dry food, then that’s only around 10% water. So, consider these proportions when checking how much water your cat gets to consume in a day.
Irrespective of what diet you’re providing to your cat, you need to arrange access to fresh drinking water to them at all times. If your cat consumes more dry foods, and in case they are senior, have certain health conditions, or are nursing, then you may need to ensure they drink even more water than usually required.
Find a cat-friendly vet
A large number of veterinarians serve different kinds of animals, including both cats and dogs. Going to one such pet can be an uncomfortable experience for your cat if it’s surrounded by dogs of all kinds in the waiting room. So, try to find a vet that’s more approachable for them- maybe someone who has dedicated areas for cats and dogs in the waiting room. Although, not every practice can afford to carve out dedicated spaces in light of space constraints. In that case, you may even explore and find a vet that only sees cats- a perfect option for your furry friend.
If you’re worried about high vet costs, then you can also consider pet insurance for cats. For an affordable cost, it can help you save money on many feline healthcare expenses such as vaccinations, medical consultations, routine dental cleaning, etc.
Ensure enough litter boxes are provided
When you have just one cat, then just one litter box for the cat is enough. However, in case you have multiple cats, then usually, it’s best to put one litter box per kitty and one extra. So, if you have two cats, then you should put three litter boxes in total for the cats. One more thing- you need to think of the right placement for the litter boxes. Don’t hide your litter boxes somewhere in the basement or shed. Place the boxes somewhere your cats can easily find them.
Some additional considerations for cat health:
Provide a safe environment: Ensure your home is safe for your cat. Keep toxic substances, plants, and small objects out of their reach. Provide them with a warm and comfortable sleeping area away from drafts.
Enrich their environment: Cats are curious and need mental and physical stimulation. Provide them with scratching posts, toys, and interactive play sessions to keep them engaged. Create vertical spaces like cat trees or shelves for climbing and perching, as cats love to observe their surroundings from elevated positions.
Spay/neuter your cat: Spaying or neutering your cat not only helps control the cat population but also offers health benefits. It reduces the risk of certain diseases and can help prevent behavioral problems.
Monitor behavior and health changes: Cats are masters at hiding illness, so it's crucial to pay attention to any changes in their behavior, eating habits, litter box usage, or appearance. If you notice anything unusual, consult your veterinarian promptly.
The Bottom Line
Remember, each cat is unique, and their individual needs may vary. Pay attention to your cat's behavior, provide love and affection, and tailor their care accordingly. By following these essential tips, you'll be on the right track to keeping your whiskered companion healthy and happy.
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