Nationwide Cat Well being Month celebrates making probably the most out of 9 lives

Jay Powell

| The daily herald

The ancient Egyptians once worshiped them as gods, and some would say that not much has changed for their modern owners.

They can be a great source of comfort during stressful times, but also the cause of it for some people. In any case, cats remain a beloved and celebrated pet, one with unique traits.

Although a cat’s reputation is more like “taking care of themselves,” they still rely heavily on their owners. As with any other pet, a cat’s health is very complex and requires a lot of attention, especially if it is to get the most out of its nine lives.

February is recognized as the National Cat Health Month. During this time, animal welfare organizations, local animal shelters and veterinary clinics raise awareness of cat owners and offer tips on how to best care for their cat friend.

These include topics such as the essentials for the home, when to take your cat for annual checkups, proper nutrition, and the importance of neutering and neutering.

Essentials for the home

Bringing a new cat into the home can be a rewarding experience, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility and includes a list of essential household items.

Dr. Erin Katribe, medical director of the national welfare organization Best Friends Animal Society, said the most important thing for new pet owners is to do everything to make the cat feel comfortable.

She also suggests opting for a wet food diet as opposed to dry food, as this is most closely related to her ancestors’ diets.

“Those basics are food, water, litter box and exercise,” said Katribe. “The ancestors of cats did not eat or stay as hydrated as our house cats. The dry nibbles that owners are most conveniently able to feed are very different from their natural diet. If you are able to feed your pet canned food is one much closer approximation to the diet of their ancestors than dry. “

House cats are often more overweight than an outdoor / wild cat who is constantly moving or who can go without food or water for long periods of time. This can lead to obesity problems in domestic cats as well as the risk of feline diabetes. It can also cause painful arthritis and joint pain.

A visit to the veterinarian is your best bet in determining your cat’s ideal healthy weight and establishing an appropriate diet and exercise routine to achieve this.

“It’s not just dogs that need exercise – cats need it too,” said Katribe. “While you can exercise cats and exercise on a leash, and many cats enjoy doing it, most pet cats prefer a more private form of exercise. They provide toys and engage them. Playing with laser pointers or string toys to exercise is a great way to get them around Not only is this mentally stimulating, but it can also help prevent obesity, which can lead to other diseases. ”

The litter box also contains many important factors, such as: B. keep it somewhere convenient for the cat to get to and not in a distant part of the house. This can avoid possible abuse of the behavior, e.g. B. when the cat is relieved in other, more accessible parts of the house.

Cats urinating outside the box may also be an indicator of another problem, such as: B. Urinary tract infections or kidney disease.

It’s also important to take precautions if a domestic cat slips out the front door or an outdoor cat doesn’t return home for several days. One way to ensure that a lost can can be returned to its owner is to use a collar with an ID tag.

Another high-tech option would be the implantation of a microchip. Microchips are small technical pieces the size of a large grain of rice that are implanted under the skin. When the pet is scanned with a microchip scanner, the scanner will display a number that is unique to that chip and pet.

“If you are registered online, that number links the pet back to your contact information,” said Katribe. “Shelters and animal control agencies generally scan pets when they enter the shelter. This can result in pets returning to their homes much faster and with a greater chance of success.”

Go to the vet

Nobody likes going to the doctor, even more so with cats.

Cats are territorial creatures who don’t often like having to be taken away, and this is especially true when visiting the local veterinarian.

However, regular visits to the veterinarian are vital to maintaining a cat’s health. One of the main reasons is that the signs that your cat may be sick aren’t always obvious.

“Cats are masters at hiding disease, which likely emerged as a tool for survival among their ancestors. However, for the cat parents, if she is actually showing signs of illness, her situation can be much more serious than Fluffy’s. Think about it , and something has been going on for a while, “said Katribe.

“If you notice even minor changes in your cat’s health or behavior, it is better for both of you to see a veterinarian sooner rather than later. Treating problems early means a much greater chance of successful treatment and is likely to be less stressful for her.” and also less financial costs. ”

Even if your cat is not sick, there are still reasons to plan regular veterinary visits. This includes annual vaccinations against fleas or rabies. Just like we schedule our annual physical exam, cats may also get a continuity exam, as well as tests that can help identify an illness early on.

Why castrate and neuter?

Bob Barker closed every episode of “The Price is Right” by reminding viewers to “Always spay and neuter your pets”.

It wasn’t just a smart catchphrase, but one with good reason. Spaying and neutering not only help cats live healthier lives, but it can potentially save the lives of others around the country as well.

For one, sterilization can help reduce or eliminate the chances of cats developing certain types of cancer. It can also decrease a cat’s instincts to display “wild behavior” such as urinating, fighting, or roaming.

It can also prevent cats from overbreeding, which results in many strays, abandoned, or being sent to animal shelters.

“The sad truth is that cats are twice as likely to lose their lives as dogs in our nation’s animal shelters simply because there aren’t enough homes for everyone,” said Katribe.

“Spaying and neutering domestic cats prevents more kittens from being born, and allows more cats ending up in shelters to have a chance at life.”

One way communities can prevent cat house deaths has been through the implementation of community cat programs, such as adoption campaigns and grooming. For more information about the Best Friends Animal Society, as well as local cat programs and more information on National Cat Health Month, visit Best Friends’ website at www.bestfriends.org.