Although cats seem to require little more than love, food, and shelter, keeping a feline feeling fine requires more. Jane Brunt, DVM, executive director of the CATalyst Council, says the key to keeping cats healthy is keeping them happy. But, many cats don’t get the regular veterinary care they need and deserve.
According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey, cats outnumber dogs in the United States as the furry companion of choice. Cats, who top out at roughly 94 million, compared with their canine counterparts of about 89 million, reign supreme as the most common pet.
But, why do so many cats lack veterinary care, or routine at-home preventive care? A deficit in feline wellness care leads to unhappy, unhealthy cats. Prevent your cat from slipping down a dangerous road by keeping her happy and healthy with these tips.
Tip #1: Schedule routine wellness visits
Preventive care is the best form of defense against feline illness—which is why regular veterinary checkups are critical for keeping your cat happy and healthy. During your cat’s wellness visit, we will examine her from whisker to tail, checking for any abnormalities. We may also recommend diagnostic testing based on your cat’s health, her age, and our exam findings. Routine testing provides a baseline for your pet’s health that will help us detect potential medical problems before they become a serious issue. Besides monitoring for potential problems, we will also recommend the best preventives that will keep your cat healthy, such as vaccinations, parasite prevention, grooming, dental care, and environmental enrichment.
Tip #2: Keep your cat indoors
Although the outdoors is filled with exciting, novel experiences for your kitty, she is best kept inside or closely supervised while outdoors. Tragic vehicle accidents, predators, other cats, or the naughty kid down the street can harm your cat, as well as parasites and diseases, such as heartworm, whose risk increases with outside exposure.
Tip #3: Stimulate your cat’s mind
Since we’ve established that a healthy cat is an indoor cat, brighten her home life with stimulating activities and objects. Cater to her wild side with toys that move like prey, such as robotic mice or feather wands. And, although many people believe cats are better at training people than vice versa, cats can be taught new tricks, so look for entertaining activities you can teach your feline friend.
Tip #4: Let your cat reach new heights
Enrich your cat’s environment with a few strategically placed climbing towers or shelves. Since cats look down on their humans as their servants, let them do so from lofty perches. Extra height provides skittish cats security and safety.
Tip #5: Get your cat moving
The waistlines of cats—and dogs—in the United States are ever-expanding, and pet obesity is rapidly becoming a huge issue. Burn off your cat’s extra calories and inches with these tricks:
- Invest in a puzzle feeder rather than a food dish and make your cat earn her food.
- Use vertical spaces, such as climbing towers and scratching posts, to help get your cat up and moving.
- Add interactive toys and training sessions into the mix—crumpled balls of paper, motion-activated toys, and brief training sessions will encourage your cat to be active.
We are your best source to ensure your feline friend is happy and healthy for years to come, and we want to help. Give us a call to schedule your cat’s wellness visit to keep her in tip-top shape.