September is National Happy, Healthy Cat Month. While at Bowman Veterinary Hospital we don’t necessarily think we need to wait a whole year to celebrate your kitty, it’s a nice excuse to spoil her rotten! So what can you do to help make sure you have a happy healthy cat in September and beyond?
Keeping Your Cat Healthy
Being in good health makes us all happier. Cats have basic medical and preventative care needs that we need to meet. These include:
- Wellness examinations at least annually so that we can check in on your cat periodically and address your questions and concerns.
- Vaccinations to protect you pet from diseases like rabies that are a risk even to indoor pets.
- Parasite prevention such as flea and heartworm prevention to stop infection with detrimental parasites.
- Spaying/neutering to help prevent unwanted pregnancies and decrease the risk of serious health issues.
- Microchipping to help reunite your pet with you should you ever become separated.
- Dental care including routine anesthetized oral exams and cleanings to support overall health and wellbeing.
You know your cat best. If you notice changes such as behavior differences or alterations in eating, drinking, or little box habits it is important to give us a call right away. Seemingly small changes can indicate big problems.
Being a cat can be difficult. As a species they tend to be solitary outdoor hunters. That’s all over when we bring them indoors and ask them to integrate into our pack. There are many sources of stress in a cat’s day-to-day life, including:
- Other pets or animals in the home
- Changes in the people or animals in the house
- Deviations from normal routines
- Noises in or outside the home
- Alterations in activities inside or outside of the home
- Cats visible outside of the home
Rearranging the furniture or hosting a get-together may not seem like a big deal to you or I, but these types of things can be very disruptive to our feline friends.
A Happy Healthy Cat
Keeping a happy healthy cat goes beyond coming in to see us. As a proactive pet owner you have a responsibility to your pet to create a stress-free, engaging environment. Easy things that you can do include:
Encouraging movement — Cats need to exercise and move around just like we do. Indoor cats in particular may need a little push to make this happen. Encourage your pet to move around for five three minute sessions a day. You may need to get out the catnip, invest in a laser pointer, or find the perfect feather lure to encourage your pet. If you are feeling especially creative, creating a kitty obstacle course can also be a fun activity for both of you.
Bring the outside in — Cats are natural hunters and typically very in tune with their environment. Allow them access to a secure window so that they can observe nature. You might even want to place a bird feeder outside for them to enjoy. A fish tank or cat friendly plants like cat grass or catnip can also help them enjoy nature safely from indoors.
Provide vertical space — Cats love to observe their world from all angles and tend to appreciate access to vertical space. Climbing trees, cat shelves, or furniture that allows a bird’s eye view are usually appreciated.
Support normal behavior — Cats do best when they are allowed to be cats. Do not force them to interact with other pets. Provide plenty of food, water, scratching, and litter boxes so that they don’t need to share unless they want to. Provide multiple scratching surfaces so that your cat can stretch out and keep their claws healthy.
Be your cat’s best friend — You are the only one that can advocate for your cat. Make an effort to provide you pet with the social interaction that we all need to thrive. Be it a snuggle session on the couch, a grooming session, or playing with a favorite toy, your cat wants to be with you.
Being a cat can be hard, but a dedicated pet owner can make all the difference. Being sure that you have a happy healthy cat is your job no matter the month of the year. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our staff for more information.