Caring for Kitty: Cat Wellness Basics
Dogs may have earned the title of man’s best friend, but cat owners everywhere will tell you that the feline species is tops. These lovable little lions that we share our homes with may not seem to need much, but despite their proud posturing we know there’s a lot we can do to help them live their best lives.
Blue Valley Animal Hospital wants our cat-loving clients to know all the secrets to creating a purr-fect existence for our feline friends.
Cat Wellness Basics
All of us have basic needs that need to be met. Cat wellness basics that every pet deserves include:
- A safe, dry shelter that provides a comfortable temperature
- Good quality nutrition
- Fresh, clean water at all times
- A sanitary and private environment in which to eliminate
- Designated areas for appropriate scratching/stretching
- A comfortable place to sleep
- Appropriate grooming, including nail trimming
An Enriched Environment
For most of our cats who spend their life indoors, basic needs include physical and mental stimulation. Environmental enrichment can go a long way to making kitty happier and healthier.
Some basic things that you can do to help create a better life for your cat include:
- Providing toys that are rotated periodically
- Dedicating about 15 minutes per day to interact with your cat
- Put a bird feeder outside of a window that your cat can see
- Encourage play with interactive toys like laser pointers and lures
- Provide your cat with vertical space to explore
- Supply multiple sources of resources like litter boxes and feeding stations, especially in multi-cat households
- Use a synthetic pheromone like Feliway to help your cat feel more at ease
- Provide food puzzles or balls to create a more natural hunting routine
A Little Help from Your Friends
As you might expect, we are also here to help you provide the best for your cat. In fact, keeping animals healthy is what we do best.
Cats as pets have some basic veterinary needs as well. These include:
Wellness examinations — We can’t help your cat if we don’t see them! Bringing kitty in at least annually for a wellness examination is extremely important. This is our opportunity to detect early changes, discuss issues you may be having, and get to know your pet. Let us know if your cat hates coming to see us, we can help to make the transportation to the vet and visit less stressful, too.
Vaccinations — Almost all cats need core vaccinations against diseases like rabies, even if they are indoors. We evaluate each cat for risk factors and individual needs to decide which vaccinations are appropriate.
Parasite prevention — Parasites such as fleas and mosquitoes are a problem even inside a home. A safe, effective parasite prevention plan and regular screenings are important for all cats.
Spay/neuter — Spaying or neutering your cat is critical to their health and happiness. It not only prevents unwanted litters, but also a host of other health and behavioral issues.
Microchipping — Despite our best intentions, accidents can and do happen. Having your cat microchipped is an easy way to have some form of permanent identification to help reunite you should your cat get out and go missing.
Dental care — Cats need dental care, too! Daily brushing and the use of approved dental care products are important. Cats also need periodic anesthetized oral examinations and dental cleanings to stay in tip top shape. We can help determine when this might be for your cat at your wellness appointments.
Cats may not have top billing as man’s best friend, but they certainly bring a lot to our lives. We owe it to them to provide them with the best. It’s a small exchange for the joy they bring to our lives.