Cats are incredibly adept animals full of surprising adaptations. But, just because they can survive on their own (using highly specialized self-preservation skills), it doesn’t mean they should.
Feral cats and strays don’t live as long as indoor-only cats, due in large part to well-meaning human intervention. Cat owners vigilantly protect their fluffy one’s health and do everything they can to guarantee their longevity. But when it comes to cat health, there are a few basics that can sustain a long, healthy and happy life.
A Weighty Decision
One of the biggest threats to cat health is weight gain. However, keeping your cat slim and slender can be much harder than you think. In fact, many cats beg for treats or extra scoops in their food bowls making it all but impossible not to indulge them. Take it from us: It’s much easier to prevent weight gain, than establish a weight loss routine after the fact.
Feed your cat a high-quality diet that meets their specific needs (age, general health, lifestyle, etc.). Instead of free-feeding, accurately measure portions twice a day. You can use healthy treats as rewards for certain behaviors, but please be careful not to give them more calories than they need daily.
An Ounce of Prevention…
Support long term cat health by keeping your cat’s veterinary appointments. Common health conditions that affect cats can be detected early on. This proactive approach can save you and your cat lots of time, money and pain down the road.
Open Wide, Kitty!
Brushing your cat’s teeth is a surefire way to defend against periodontal disease. Kittens are possibly more accepting of having their teeth and gums massaged, but cats of any age can be trained. Routine dental cleanings under anesthesia are an important part of feline wellness, and can fortify overall health for many years.
Fun For Days
House cats have reputations for being, well, lazy. They tend to sleep most of the time, and when they are awake they are eating, grooming, or generally observing their territory with amusement. This lifestyle, when paired with increased caloric intake, can lead to unhealthy weight gain, diabetes, arthritis and other health conditions.
Help your cat maintain their physical and mental prowess with daily opportunities to play, exercise, “hunt”, and solve problems. Indeed, a significant component of optimal cat health is working out every day.
Senior Cat Health
The needs of senior cats can change over time. You may need to provide different nutrition, dietary supplements, medication, and pain relief. Changing the home a bit to accommodate them is a great way to put senior cat health first.
Cat Health Lasts a Lifetime
Cats make amazing pets and some live for upwards of 20 years (or more!). While we never know how long we’ll get together, valuing your cat’s life and their health is a beautiful lifelong opportunity.