Tips for Keeping Your cat in Peak Condition
Looking after your feline friend and ensuring they are healthy and happy is a priority. Whether you are a new cat owner or have had cats all your life it’s important to remember they depend on you to give them everything they need to keep them in tip-top condition.
From choosing what food they are going to eat to keeping up to date with vaccinations, cats rely on humans to make sure they have everything they need to live a long and happy life. Below are some tips to keep your cat in tip-top shape:
Buy the best food you can afford. Cheaper cat food may lack nutrients or be full of additives so check the labels. Cats should have a well-balanced, meat-based diet and can’t be vegetarian. Get recommendations from your vet or the pet food store, especially if you have a fussy eater. Cats can overeat and many are not good at regulating how much they eat, so be careful to stick with the recommended amounts. Occasional treats such as meat, fish or some vegetables can be given but never feed them cooked bones, onions or chocolate which are toxic to cats. Remember to adapt their diet for age, health and lifestyle.
Water, not milk
Cow’s milk isn’t ideal for cats as they can’t digest it easily. Cats need water so always ensure water is available and change their water bowl daily. Cats love their water to be fresh and clean. You could consider buying a water fountain to keep the water fresh and filtered but this isn’t necessary as long as you change the water bowl frequently. Remember to look out for any changes in drinking or eating habits and take your cat to the vet if these last more than a few hours.
Cats should be encouraged to exercise as it’s important to their overall physical and mental health. Cats that don’t go outside especially should do some form of exercise indoors. Playing with them is a good opportunity for your cat to move. Introduce them to toys such as a small toy mouse or ball that they can chase. Or use a bit of string and walk about with it so the cat chases you. If you have space a multi-story cat tree can be great fun for a cat to run at and jump up. Some cats can even be trained to walk like a dog on a lead. This will depend on the temperament of your cat but is something that could be tried to see if they enjoy it.
Cats do groom themselves but whether your cat has a long or short coat they benefit from regular brushing. Get your cat used to this early as grooming will help remove dead hair, so they don’t ingest it when they groom themselves. Brushing is a good way to spot any unusual lumps or bumps too. Getting these checked out by a vet sooner rather than later is important. Making daily grooming part of your routine is also a good bonding experience for you and your cat. Most cats love affection so gentle brushing and stroking is usually enjoyable for them.
Annual check ups
Taking your cat to the vet annually to have their vaccinations and a check-up is an essential part of ensuring your cat is in good health. Vets often spot things the untrained owner won’t plus it’s a chance to ask any niggling questions about your cat’s health that you may not have wanted to bother the vet with. They will also weigh your cat to ensure they are a healthy weight or are not putting on weight.
Cats can appear solitary creatures but most crave human companionship. Make sure you dedicate time every day to play and stroke your cat. Being left alone for long stretches can lead to behavioural issues so it’s important to recognise any changes in behaviour. Get these checked out first with your vet but if it’s clear they may just be a bit lonely consider getting them a feline friend, especially if you are out a lot.
Remember when you go on holiday too that putting your cat in a cattery may not be the best idea, especially if they have never been used to it. More cat owners are turning to home and cat sitters who come and stay in your home when you go away to take care of your cat, and ensure your home is safe and secure.
This can be the ideal solution as your cat stays in its home environment and enjoys the companionship of a caring pet sitter whilst you are away.
Contact Homesitters to find out about home and pet sitting services