Pet Information > Others > Pet Articles > Top Five Tips for a Healthy Cat

Top Five Tips for a Healthy Cat

29 12:03:41

Top Five Tips for a Healthy Cat

     While you've certainly come across many a stray cat who seem to be making it on their own, the truth is that cats are meant to be pets, cared for by humans. In fact, if you think about it, you'll realize that the majority of those stray cats you've encountered have likely appeared thin, weak, hungry, dirty, unkempt, and ill-looking.

If you have just acquired your first cat or are thinking about buying or adopting one-or even if you've been a cat owner for awhile now-you'll need to become aware of proper cat-care techniques and tips and acquire a general understanding of how to best look after your kitty in order for him to live a happier, healthier, and longer life. Each individual cat does not come with its own instruction manual; however, there are a few basics of proper cat care that are generally inclusive of all cats, regardless of sex, age, breed, and temperament.

Here are the top five tips for properly and thoroughly caring for your cat on a regular and everyday basis in order to maintain his health and keep him happy in your home:

1. Cat essentials

After you've decided to give your new feline friend a permanent home in your abode, you'll quickly discover that cats can become quite expensive, particularly, at first, with the sheer amount of "stuff" they require. While you don't have to buy your kitty everything, and while you certainly don't need to buy the most expensive products around, you will want to make sure your cat has the essentials. These include a food dish, water dish, cat food, water (which you don't need to pay for), a litter box, litter, a litter scoop, a cat bed, a few basic toys (need not be expensive and you won't need a lot of them), a scratching post if your cat has his nails and you want to protect your upholstery, and perhaps an ID collar and a cat carrier.

2. Feeding and watering

Feeding your cat is a major component of proper and complete cat care. Don't look for the cheapest option-look for good-quality cat food that offers the nutritional and health benefits your cat needs, and purchase the appropriate cat food based on your cat's age and weight. For example, buy kitten food for kittens, adult cat food for adults, hairball control food for a cat prone to hairballs, picky-eater cat food for finicky cats, weight-control cat food for indoor, overweight cats, and so on. Ask your cat's veterinarian if you're not sure, as well as for information on how much and how often to feed your cat. Generally speaking, adult cats of normal size and activity level require two small feedings or one large feeding per day.

It's also better to stick with dry cat food rather than wet (canned food). Dry food offers dental benefits not found in canned food, is cheaper, and lasts longer.

Don't forget to provide plenty of fresh water to your cat on a daily basis. It's not enough to simply wait until his water dish is empty to refill it; you'll want to empty it and refill it daily so he has continual access to fresh water.

3. Litter box duty

Easily the least enjoyable aspect of proper cat care, litter box duty is nonetheless an essential part of it, and is simply one of those got-to-dos if you want to own a cat and keep him clean and healthy-as well as your home! Keep your cat's litter box area away from the kitchen and bedrooms but make it accessible for your cat. If you can, try to clean out your cat's waste every day or every other day. On a weekly or biweekly basis, clean the actual litter box itself (empty and toss its contents, and then wash it). To simplify things for you, consider buying litter box liners as well as litter that "clumps"-making it easier to identify waste and scoop it out.

4. Proper grooming

One great thing about cats is that while some pet owners claim cats are very high-maintenance, they are really quite clean animals and are fairly adept at grooming themselves on a regular basis. This is one reason why many cats make great indoor pet choices. However, cats can't do everything on their own, and it is very important for their owners to step up and do the rest of the grooming for them.

First, while cats don't require daily, weekly, or even monthly baths, they will require a bath at least every once in awhile. Use warm water and a mild cat or baby shampoo so as not to irritate his eyes or coat. It's more important, though, to brush your cat's fur on a regular basis. Depending on your cat's coat, he might require this every day, every other day, or once a week. Brushing your cat will keep his coat clean and also prevent hairballs-a big problem for many cats.

5. Veterinarian checkups and shots

In order to keep your cat healthy, you will need to find a good veterinarian for him. Your cat will require regular checkups, shots, vaccinations, and to be either neutered or spayed. Although this can get quite pricey (unless you have pet insurance, which may be worthwhile pursuing or at the very least investigating), it's all a part of the owning-a-cat complete package.