Things to do for your Cat's Health and Wellbeing
It is said that cats choose us and not the other way around. So, if you have been blessed with the love and attention of a feline friend, you will know that these regal yet adorable pets mostly like doing things on their own terms and time.
They are also low maintenance compared to pups and can be left alone at home for extended periods (Sometimes, they even prefer it that way since they can have the house to themselves! :D)
Still, however independent they may seem to be, cats too need to be cared for so that they stay healthy and continue to be the fantastic creatures they are!
Here are some tips that you can follow for their overall wellbeing:
1. Groom your furry baby periodically (or at least try!)
Cats love self-grooming and keeping themselves clean, so you don't have to do a lot. It is one of the best advantages of having a cat as a pet!
Nonetheless, there can be a few situations where your feline companion may require a little help from your side. For instance, if his or her coat becomes sticky, muddy or smelly, then regular tongue cleaning won't do the job.
You should use a high-quality shampoo and conditioner so that the fur stays soft and shiny. Avoid using shampoos that contain harsh chemicals since it may cause drying, skin irritation and allergies.
If, however, your cat doesn't like bath time (which is true in most cases) or the prospects of bathing your cat sends cold shivers down your spine, then you can consider handing over the task to a professional.
Besides bathing, you also need to brush your cats regularly. It removes tangles, dead hair and dirt and improves blood circulation. Remember to brush in the direction of natural hair growth for best results.
Also, it would be best if you start grooming your fur-baby when he or she is feeling the most relaxed. If you have a kitten, start with a short session and gradually increase the time so that they get used to being handled by you.
2. Get scratch posts to really sharpen those claws
The claws of a cat are its most important asset and need proper maintenance. Wild cats scratch their nails on tree barks to trim them and leave a trail both by scent and visual markings. It is true for domestic cats too.
However, this habit may lead them to wreak havoc on your furniture. So, for the peace of mind of both parties involved, get a scratch post for your cats and train them to use it for scratching their nails on.
Elder cats are, however, less likely to use the scratch posts.
In that case, you need to trim their claws regularly so that they don't get long and curved and penetrate the pad, which can be painful.
3. One litter box is never enough!
Cats can become very fussy when it comes to their toilet habits, and any change in the litter box or environment will deter them from using it. It includes issues like –
- Not enough litter boxes in the house. Unclean litter box or too much litter in the box.
- Different type of litter than the one normally used.
- External factors like moving to a new home, new family members, etc.
- The litter box is placed in an inconvenient location.
The general rule when it comes to buying a litter box is that there should be one for each cat and then one more.
So, if you have two cats, you need to buy four litter boxes. The box should be placed in separate locations in your house and away from the food and water bowl.
Also, make sure that the box is at least 1.5 times the length of your cat.
4. Regular trips to the vet is recommended
Cats are independent-minded creatures, and while we love that about them, it also leads them to hide any pain or illness that they might be feeling.
This makes it very difficult for cat parents to spot if anything is wrong with their fur-babies before it develops into a severe health condition.
Vets, on the other hand, know what to look for and are better able to spot subtle signs and symptoms for major issues, if any. Which is why routine visits to a veterinary clinic are crucial for preventative care.
Also, don't forget to stay up-to-date with your pet's vaccinations which play a significant role in preventing life-threatening diseases.
If you are a new cat parent or thinking of adopting one, you should also remember that kittens need more frequent check-ups, compared to adult cats.
If you're worried about vetinerary costs and the like, you may want to explore a pet insurance plan for your cat. However, if you're still unsure about how a pet insurance works, you can read our pet insurance guide here.
5. Be mindful about their nutritional needs
The health and well-being of your cat depends a lot on the food they consume daily.
So make sure to feed the right kind of diet to your cat. You can consider getting high quality cat food from brands like Whiskas, Royal Canine, Purina etc. that contain a balanced combination of all nutrients essential for your feline friend.
Depending on your cat's preferences, you can also consider adding raw or cooked meat and fish to their diet for variation. If possible, alternate between dry and wet cat food to compensate for their low thirst drive.
However, you should always consult with your vet in case of any complications regarding your cat's dietary needs.
They will be able to frame a proper diet plan for your cat based on their weight, age, breed and size. It will also help in avoiding feline obesity.
Don't forget the treats either!
You may give your purr babies bits of human food like tuna, chicken, liver etc. and some milk now and then. Or, you can buy catnip and 'cat grass' too from stores which make for a healthy and tasty treat.
However, don't make it into a habit or else your cat will stop eating his/her food.
6. Keep the comfy corners ready
You must have noticed your cat's tendency to get into small, compact spaces around the house.
It is an evolutionary action that is present in all members of the cat family, which helps them stay safe from predators and look for prey.
So, while your pet cat might not need to hunt for food, remember that he or she still likes to curl up in a small cosy space to feel safe. For many cats, it is also a way of coping with changes.
But while looking for spaces to curl up in, your cat may choose a spot that can be dangerous for them such as washing machines, refrigerators, behind or on electrical gadgets, under cars, etc.
To discourage your cats or kittens from getting in these areas, you can set up comfy hiding spaces around the house as a padded mattress tucked away under your bed, boxes fitted with comfortable cushions under tables and sofas and the like.
Trust us; your cat will love you more for it!
Lastly, remember that even though your cats pretend not to like it, they too need and expect lots of cuddles from you!
So, don't forget to give your purr baby a good scratch behind the ears and spend some quality time with them!