Anyone who has had or currently has cats knows what special creatures they are. They are clever, independent, have the athletic ability of Olympic athletes, and can be incredibly sweet. It’s no surprise that we love our cats and want to keep them well. But keeping them healthy takes more than just bringing them to the vet when they’re sick.
When it comes to cat health, Bowman Veterinary Hospital focuses on preventive care. Read on to learn how to keep your cat happy and well for their lifetime.
Cat Health Basics
Feed a high quality diet – cats are obligate carnivores. This means they need specific amino acids only found in meat to survive. Feed the highest quality diet you can, and beware of fad diets and trendy pet foods that could harm your cat. Your veterinarian is the best source of information when it comes to nutrition for your kitty. Ask us any questions you have at your cat’s annual wellness exam.
Exercise your cat – it may seem like your cat sleeps 24 hours a day, but they do need exercise, too! The best (and most fun) way to exercise your cat is to elicit her natural behaviors. This gives them the benefits of exercise and mental stimulation at the same time.
Try these ideas:
- Place perches or cat trees at varying heights in your home, encouraging her to climb
- Hide her treats, toys, or part of her regular meal in different areas, encouraging “hunting”
- Teach her to play fetch
- Install a simple catio, with different levels, to encourage movement
- Play feather wand with her
- Use a food puzzle to elicit hunting behavior and mental stimulation
Socialization – cats have a reputation as antisocial, but nothing could be further from the truth. They need social interaction to thrive. Behavior problems are a common reason that pets are given up to shelters. Proper socialization can prevent destructive behaviors such as scratching furniture and inappropriate urination. Ask us if you need ideas for how to socialize your cat.
Daily grooming – cats are great groomers, but they still need our help. Apart from making your cat feel good, improving your bond with him, and keeping his coat and skin healthy, grooming serves another purpose. If you’re familiar with your cat’s body with daily attention, you’ll catch any issues or problems early. This means we can treat illness and conditions earlier, resulting in better outcomes for your kitty.
Don’t skip preventive care – cats seem so independent that it’s easy to assume they don’t need our help. In reality though, they can fall victim to both internal and external parasites that wreak havoc on their health. Some of these parasites are transmissible to humans, so it’s important to keep up on flea, tick, and heartworm prevention. With tools like iCal, Google calendar, and other electronic reminders, everyone can remember to give preventives each month on schedule.
Brush their teeth – did we just lose you? We hope not, because good dental care for cats depends on a great at home routine. Brushing her teeth can remove plaque and tartar and ensure that you’re preventing gingivitis and periodontal disease. And with 85% of pets having some sort of dental disease by age 4, it’s no laughing matter. Ask us if you need help learning to brush your cat’s teeth (we promise it’s not as hard as you think!).
Your Cat’s Health Care Team
At Bowman Veterinary Hospital, we take your cat’s health seriously. We want to be your partner in giving your cat a happy and healthy life. Please give us a call if we can answer any questions, or schedule an appointment to learn more about your cat’s health.