Keeping Your Cat Happy and Healthy
Pet cats are very particular animals that actually play a big role in keeping themselves healthy by way of cleaning their fur, covering up their business in the litter box, and knowing when it’s time to get rid of the ever-popular hairball. Even though your endearing feline may be able to conquer many tasks without your help, there are measures all pet owners can take to ensure their feline health and happiness.
This page is all about cat care! Checking your feline friend for signs of poor health and providing them with love, care, cat food, toys and a cat door (for outdoor kitties) will help them live a long and happy life. Many cat health issues can be prevented with regular check-ins by you! Taking care of a cat is a big responsibility, but well worth the effort! We'll cover how to look out for some common cat health problems to keep your cat healthy.
Here’s how you can keep your Indoor Cats Happy & Healthy:
Published studies have shown that more than half of the pet population is overweight. Keeping your cat fit and their activity levels high can be challenging since they’re mostly kept indoors and they love to sleep the day away. While it is okay to let them have their rest, exercise for maintaining lean muscle is just as important. Their sleepiness, combined with weight gain after being “fixed” (aka: neutering or spaying), can turn many indoor cats into true “fat cats."
To keep your cats fit, the first thing is to know their routine
The first thing one may notice about a cat is their size, especially if it is predominantly petite or large. Similar to humans, their weight can say a lot about their health.
The first thing you can do for your cat is to get to know them and their schedule. While it is known that cats sleep mostly during the day and have the most energy at night; it would be a good idea to see if your cat has energy between their daytime catnaps to play. Once you have an idea of their sleep schedule, try to catch them in that in-between time and try to play cat-friendly games with them. The same goes for taking care of kittens. Regular play and proper diet starting early in a kitten's life sets them up for healthy adulthood.
Be sure to ask your vet a healthy weight for the type of cat you have, and try to keep it around that weight. Different needs of cats, like black cats and calicos, can have different fitness goals.
Make time for Play
It’s a common misconception that cats would rather be left alone. They were made to be independent, but they still need a high-quality engaging pet lifestyle! Just like any other pet, the more affection you give your cat, the more responsive they’ll be. So make sure to take some time every day to play with your cat and you will both benefit from it. Boredom is your cat’s worst enemy! The more you bond with your cat the more they will like you – it’s a wonderful snowball effect.
What Should Your Cat Play With?
You don't need the cat equivalent of a CrossFit membership! The sky 's the limit when it comes to playing with your cat. Get creative with it because your cat is probably interested in playing with anything from a laser pointer to a string to a ball of yarn. Cat trees and towers are a great tool to use to keep your cat interested in playing while giving them a resource to claw or scratch at (other than your nice leather couch). Cat Shelves are similar to cat towers in that they give a nice platform for your cat to take a nap on but they have to use some effort to get onto the cat shelf.
Many pet stores will also carry fishing pole-type toys with feathers at the end that cats love to chase. This gives them a great deal of aerobic exercise that maintains their fitness levels while keeping them entertained.
Does your cat enjoy the thrill of the hunt? If so, your cat might even play fetch with you. Get a rubber ball and throw it around your house. This will force your cat to be active by giving them something to chase. You can also get a bunch of boxes that are stacked at different heights for them to jump in and out of. The more aerobics involved the better. While play is an integral part of a healthy cat's life, make sure you take the time to socialize your cat as well. Wondering how to pet a cat riled up from high-intensity playtime? Give them a few moments to settle, and then spend some time petting your cat (most enjoy slow rubs down their back and neck).
Look for Skin & Other Health Problems
Some major things you should look out for are bumps, lumps, or sore spots. These are issues usually found while grooming and should be brought up to your vet as soon as possible. Although they are more common in dogs, fleas can be a problem for felines as well, usually signified by persistent scratching. Fleas leave behind little small specks that look like pepper on skin, a discovery that should be shown to a veterinarian.
Your cat's eyes, mouth, and ears can also be indications of sickness, so it is essential to check them on a regular basis for abnormality. Characteristics of an unhealthy mouth include your cat’s teeth being yellowed, having plaque and tartar build up, or being cracked. Unusually bad breath is also a cause for concern. Healthy cat gums should look pink and clear of any cuts or discoloration. Excessive discharge in and around the eyes could warrant a trip to the vet. As for the ears, an infection could be present if you detect a bad smell or a buildup of wax. Regular veterinary checkups are imperative for the purpose of identifying possible health issues not visible to the naked eye.
Looking to adopt a new kitten?
For first time cat owners, it's important to get your kitty checked out at the vet straight away to make sure they are updated on all their shots and have a microchip. Your vet will check that your new cat is in tip-top condition and ready to go home with you. Kitten care requires extra attentiveness to make sure they are healthy and happy. Lots of playtime is important for mental stimulation (just don't overdo it!), as well as ordering the right kibble, wet or dry food, for their food bowl. Make sure their water bowl always has fresh water.
Consider buying a Cat Door
Cat Doors, like Dog Doors, are great for your indoor cat’s health and happiness. Both cats and dogs, although they are household animals, enjoy the freedom to run about as they wish and be independent.
Allowing it to roam outside is also an idea not many people consider for cats as they think dogs are more outdoor animals. Cats can benefit greatly from a pet door and the freedom to go in and out as they please, as long as you have a means of keeping them on your property. At Petdoors.com, we have a huge selection of cat flaps and doors for cats.
Even if you keep your cat inside at all times, a cat door might still be right for them. The Cathole cat door gives you cat their own little passage to other parts of your house while grooming their fur.
If all else fails, seek some advice from your veterinarian. They are full of good information and probably are more than happy to share it with you. You might even discuss the possibility of installing a cat door to let your cat get outside and have some playtime in the open air.
By simply giving your adorable cat the deserved attention every day, you will fuel its comfort and happiness. Take a look at some other ways your can keep your pet healthy and happy and for more signs of a happy indoor cat!