Cats make wonderful pets for anyone, but especially those who lead busy lives. This is simply due to the fact that cats are highly independent, and require less from their owners than dogs. Even in all of their solitary glory, though, cats are companions that do have certain needs to live happy, healthy lives.
Perhaps one of the most important responsibilities the cat owner faces is protecting this special pet. Cats are far safer when kept indoors. Not only does your cat avoid the inherent dangers of the great outdoors, such as natural predators or hazards such as automobiles, your pet is also kept away from potentially deadly infections, as well as abuse or possible poisoning. At the very least, keeping your feline companion indoors keeps him or her from injury that may come from cat fights.
Whether your pet is a kitten or a full grown ball of fur, regular visits to our veterinary practice enables you to stay on top of your cats health through careful evaluation and preventative care. Prevention includes immunizations that begin when your kitten is 8 weeks old, and treatments to prevent fleas and heartworm as needed.
Yearly examinations are ideal for cats in their early years. Once your cat reaches middle age, however, visits should increase to every six months. This is because, just like dogs, cats age at an accelerated pace, four years to every one of ours. Animals, unlike humans, are also very stoic when it comes to disease. Often, it is only through regular examination that disease is caught early enough to treat successfully without aggressive medications or procedures.
At home, kitties also have specific needs to live life to the fullest, such as:
- Cats are served better by a high protein diet rather than one higher in carbohydrates. This means that canned food is more suitable than dry.
- Fresh water is a must.
- Brushing your cat, especially if he or she has long hair, prevents hairballs, and gives him or her the attention they crave.
- Prevent boredom in your cat through mental and physical stimulation. This decreases the stress your cat may experience, which lowers the risk that behavioral problems may develop. Various interactive toys will exercise both the body and mind, which is essential to a healthy cat.
- Cats love to climb in a safe and interesting environment.
- Litter boxes are a cat owner’s essential. Ideally, homes should have one more cat box than cats. Homes where two cats reside should have three litter boxes, located in different areas, such as one on each floor of the home. Litter boxes should be cleaned daily, and completely emptied on a weekly basis.
- Cats need a balance of social interaction and time for themselves. Giving your cat a place that he or she can retreat to creates a safe and happy environment in which your pet is most comfortable.
- Cats need time to get used to change. Talk with us when a household change is anticipated, such as a new pet or a baby. We can help you introduce your cat to change for optimal response.
Cats make great companions! Contact us if you have questions about your cat, or need to schedule your regular check-up.