If you decided to get a pet cat then you already know that you are there to take care of it and serve it because it is now I charge of your life. Ok that may be an exaggeration, but you do need to keep that little purring machine happy and healthy so that it can have a long life. If this is your first cat then you may wonder what the steps you need to take are to keep your new family member in top health. Here are some tips that will help you.
Clean Your Home
You need to keep your home clean for several reasons. A clean home means a clutter free home and your cat will not find little things to play with that it can swallow which could be dangerous. A cleaner home is also better for the emotional well-being of felines and though they love to hide, you can give them a clean tunnel that they can go into when they want to do so. You are also more likely to get mold and bacteria out of the home which can also be harmful to your health and theirs. Make sure to use cleaning products that will not affect their health or to keep them out of their reach.
Another reason for you to keep your home clean is that it will make it a lot easier for your cat to exercise. Cats are not dogs so it is not as if you will take them for a walk in the park or hiking, so the home will be its gym. There are two ways to help your kitty exercise and that is with the help of toys like laser pointers and feathers which you can control, or to get a second cat which can become a playmate and an exercise partner. An extra cat makes a lot of sense especially if you are away from the home most of the day (plus you will be rescuing two of them instead of one).
Keep Cats Inside
A lot of owners like to put their cats outside at certain times of the day, but if you want to keep them healthy then you have to get them to stay inside always. There are many dangers outside from cars to people who will mistreat animals and you do not want your pets exposed to those things. They can also eat other animals (cats are small predators) and if that animal is sick, then it can make your little friend sick as well. Pets that stay inside are also more likely to have long healthy lives than those that go outside. Cats are very good escape artists so you may want to invest in screens for doors and windows so that you can let the air inside and keep your pet from going outside.
Keeping pets inside will keep fleas and ticks off them, so they are likely to have a happier pest-free life. Staying indoors is also a lot more important if you are close to wooded areas where your cat could get lost or become a victim of a larger predator.
Vet visits are extremely important to the health of any pet, and that is especially true of cats that have made their way to the outside world. It is recommended that you do a yearly checkup as well as visits for immunizations when necessary. You can ask your vet about any visiting and vaccination schedules which they could set up for you. Those are important because there are deadly diseases that can affect a cat that is not protected.
You should also remember that it is important to spay and neuter your cats. A feline that is intact will have more of an incentive to sneak outside and get into all sorts of trouble. Unfixed males tend to mark their territory which will make your home smell bad and the unfixed females are more likely to suffer from infections, mammary cancer and tumors. There is also an over population of cats and fixing your pets is the socially responsible thing to do.
Get The Right Food
A lot of pet foods will tell you that they are great for your cat's health, but not every one of them is telling you the truth. If you have not been paying that much attention to the food that your cats are eating, then it is time to look at the ingredient list. Try to stay away from bad cat food ingredients such as corn and byproducts which a lot of the cheaper foods contain. While it is tempting to look at the price first, it is more important to get familiar with the better ingredients in the food. If you read something that you would not want to eat yourself, then why would you feed it to an important family member?
Some of the ingredients to avoid include BHA, BHT, carcinogens, corn syrup, MSG, dry blood meal, propyl gallate, propylene glycol etc. Some can actually be very harmful to your pet especially if that is all of their diet. If the food that you are using has those bad cat food ingredients, then look for a healthier alternative the next time that you visit the store.
Sometimes you have no choice but to go out-of-town and look for a place for your cats to stay during that time. While most pet hotels are great you should still do your best to avoid kennels. Some animals will not show any signs of being sick and their owners take them to those facilities. That means that your furry friend may at one point be exposed to disease that could be very harmful. There are other options that you may want to consider before you have to use a kennel.
My favorite option is hiring a professional pet sitter. They know about animals and they will keep your cat company while you are away. They will also be able to visit your home instead of taking your pet to a kennel and that means that there will be no exposure to any disease. Your cat is also more likely to feel less stressed because it will be in a familiar setting. Friends and family members are also an option if you cannot hire a professional. Your family may also give you the extra peace of mind that you are living them with someone you know.