Living with a cat can be hugely rewarding and they soon feel like a member of the family. Just like all members of your family you want to make sure your cat stays happy and healthy. Many of us have busy lifestyles and worry about the time it could take to look after a cat. However looking after a cat doesn’t need to be difficult and it can be easy to maintain your cat’s health by following some simple steps.
Teeth and Gums
Making sure your cat’s teeth and gums remain clean and in good condition is an essential part of keeping your cat healthy. Early signs of possible cat tooth decay are bleeding gums and smelly breath – if you are worried talk to your vet as soon as possible. There are many brands of cat toothpaste available and they can either be mixed as a solution, or applied by a finger wrapped in gauze, then teeth brushed in a circular motion. If your cat’s teeth look particularly bad or if your cat’s eating habits change, always seek a vet’s advice – you want to make sure there is not an infection.
Cats are by nature hygienic animals and they take a great deal of time cleaning themselves. However it’s important to help your cat with their grooming as fur can get matted and would eventually require cutting. Cats also ingest a lot of hair whilst cleaning themselves and this can cause them to bring up fur balls. Specialist cat grooming brushes can be purchased from any number of pet retailers and they help keep your cats coat shiny and loose hair free.
As well as being a great opportunity to spend quality time with your cat, grooming your cat is also ideal to check for fleas, ticks or lumps and bumps to help ensure good cat health.
Feeding and Diet
It can be tempting to treat your beloved cat and give it scraps and food from the table. Doing this can encourage bad habits and can also lead to pet obesity. Cats enjoy being pampered and getting attention and also enjoy being treated to food. While an occasional tasty morsel of, say, chicken or fish will do no harm, it’s important to remember that a cat’s digestive system is not the same as our own and we don’t want to over indulge our cats with food that may not provide the nutrients they need.
Prepared cat foods are designed for a cat’s digestive system and remember only to feed as indicated on the packet. By keeping structured feeding routines your cat should maintain a healthy lifestyle.
A cat’s eyes can tell you a lot about your cat’s wellbeing. They should be bright and clean. Dull eyes or a build-up of dirt in the corner of the eye, or the eye not opening properly can be an indication they are unwell. If you see a build-up of dirt around the eye, take a clean damp cloth and gently wipe around the eye until the dirt is removed. Consult your vet if you have any concerns.
Cats enjoy sleeping and relaxing in warm places, this can lead to them putting on weight if they aren’t encouraged to go outside or if they aren’t played with enough. Letting a cat go outside will allow them to burn energy by climbing, exploring and jumping. If you cat doesn’t like going outside make sure to get it a scratching post and toys such as a ball with a bell or a piece of ribbon. Playing with your cat helps them stay fit and promotes a healthy lifestyle – it makes you feel good too, as it’s one of the great pleasures of cat ownership!