Pet cats are diverse and complex beings, regardless of whether they are avid couch surfers or indoor and outdoor cats who love to have adventures with you in the backyard, to go on harness and leash or to ride in a stroller. And they rely on us to keep them healthy.
Dr. Erin Katribe, medical director of the national animal welfare organization Best Friends Animal Society, urges people to look at every aspect of their lives with you.
The most necessary
“Perhaps the most important thing you can do to keep your cat healthy is to make sure you are providing the basics in the best possible way. These basic requirements are food, water, litter box, and exercise.
“The ancestors of cats did not eat or stay as hydrated as our domestic cats. The dry nibble, which is the most convenient for the owners to feed, is very different from their natural diet. If you are able to feed your pet canned food, it is a much closer approximation of their ancestral diet than dry, ”said Katribe.
Litter boxes should be placed in convenient locations for the cat, rather than hidden away in a distant part of the house, to avoid behavioral abuse. If a cat begins to urinate outside the box, there can be a number of reasons. See a veterinarian immediately if you notice any changes in the litter box habit.
One way to keep your cat healthy is to schedule regular spa visits with your veterinarian, Katribe said. In addition to vaccines for disease prevention (also important for domestic cats), these visits include a thorough physical exam and additional tests that can be vital in detecting disease early.
Cats help you get home
One of the most stressful events in a pet parent’s life is the loss of their pet companion. For cats, this can mean a cat only slides out the door indoors, or a cat outside may not return home as normal. For cats that end up in our country’s animal shelters, only about 5% of them make it back to their owners.
The meaning of spay / neuter
Spaying or neutering cats not only helps them live healthier lives, Katribe said, but it also helps save the lives of cats across the country.
Visit the Best Friends website for more information https://bestfriends.org/advocacy/protecting-community-cats.