Cats rule the world! According to this research, there are more cats than dogs in the U.S., with 86 million owned cats compared to 78 million dogs.
Unlike dogs, cats are highly independent. They often prefer to live life their own way, on their own schedule. However, a few tips can help you keep an eye out for when your feline friend does need some extra attention.
With these 10 tips, you need to keep your cat happy and healthy so they can continue ruling the world feline fine.
1. Regular Grooming
You’ve probably noticed your cat enjoys keeping clean and tidy. Every time they lick at their fur, they’re giving themselves a thorough, cleansing bath.
A cat’s saliva contains natural deodorants that are full of effective cleansing properties. A few laps of their tongues and they can keep their fur coats fairly clean. However, many cat owners elect to give their pets a bath occasionally to offer some extra help.
While you can give your own cat a bath, it can help to read this bath-time for cats 101 first. The ease of giving your cat a bath depends on how well-trained and cooperative they are.
Cat Care Tip: Bath-time
If you decide to give your cat a bath, start by making sure you’re using warm water. Purchase a shampoo that’s specific for cat fur beforehand as well.
Some cats refuse to cooperate when it comes to bath-time. That’s normal, especially since your cat already knows how to take care of themselves. If your cat refuses to take a bath, don’t push it.
Instead, consider brushing their fur on a daily basis instead.
This will help remove excess hair and limit possible hairballs.
Your cat will likely shed throughout the day. Regular brushing and grooming can help remove loose hairs. If these hairs aren’t removed, your cat is more likely to lap these furs up.
When cats lick at their fur, they’re also likely to swallow these loose strands. If the furs land up in their digestive tract, the fur will form as small balls in the gastrointestinal tract. This will cause your cat to have digestive issues and cough up hairballs more often.
Brushing and combing your cat’s fur can help prevent future digestive problems.
2. Get Social
Caring for cats involves more than cleanliness and diet.
You might not think it, but cats need to socialize, too.
Cats enjoy the company of other cats (at least, most of the time). If you only have one cat at home, consider visiting your local shelter. You can adopt a new cat to take home and give both felines a new friend.
If you’re not interested in caring for another cat, you can also meet up with friends. Give your cat the chance to socialize with other cats as well as new humans.
This will give your cat the chance to play with others. Otherwise, they might get bored (which could leave your sofa at risk of becoming a cat scratcher).
3. Diet & Exercise
Cats are considered obligate carnivores because they get their protein from red meat. To keep your cat happy and healthy, take a look at their diet. While many pet owners focus on feeding their cat dry kibbles, more veterinarians are reevaluating dry foods.
These products contain a lot of carbohydrates.
Instead, your cat needs a high-protein, low-carb diet.
Many cats can turn obese and develop non-insulin dependent diabetes if there are too many carbs in their diet. This metabolic condition can make it difficult for the body to transport glucose from the blood to cells. Unfortunately, this condition can lead to future health problems.
Dry kibbles also contain very little water.
If your cat isn’t drinking enough water, eating kibble can cause kidney failure and renal insufficiency.
Cat Care Tip: Hydration
The purpose of this cat 101 guide is to help you keep your cat happy and healthy. When taking care of a cat, it’s important to consider their hydration levels as well.
The body’s cells require fluids to maintain the correct temperature and pH levels. Your cat usually gets most of the moisture they need from their food. If your cat is on a kibble diet, it’s important to make sure they drink plenty of water as well.
Consider getting your cat a water fountain. The movement in the bowl will attract their attention and entice them to drink.
Otherwise, still water in a normal bowl can go stale.
Cat Care Tip: Playtime
Leaving your cat to sit around for too long can further contribute to their obesity.
It can also make them bored and frustrated. When caring for cats, it’s important to keep them engaged and active. Otherwise, they can develop behavioral problems.
To keep your cat active, try giving them a little attention every day.
Play with toys and get them moving! For example, you can use chasers and teasers to get them active. By playing with your cat, you can keep them active, happy, and healthy, too!
4. Pay Attention
Pay attention to your cat’s day-to-day needs.
For example, it helps to have multiple litter boxes for each cat, plus an extra one. So if you have one cat at home, keep two litter boxes throughout the house.
Make sure to keep the boxes clean as well. Cleaning the boxes regularly will help you notice any change in your cat’s urine or stool.
That way, you can notice a potential health issue right away.
If your cat starts urinating outside of their litter box, they might have a urinary tract infection. It could also indicate behavioral issues. Speak to your vet if this occurs.
If your cat enjoys scratching the carpet or curtains, consider training them to use a scratching post. This will help prevent future damage to your furniture. At the same time, it will also help keep your cat’s claws in top condition.
Plus, it’s a great way for your cat to stretch and stay active.
5. Use a Cat Carrier
As you explore this cat 101 guide, consider ways you can make your life easier. For example, try using a cat carrier.
When your cat needs to visit the vet, a cat carrier can make transportation easier.
Make sure the carrier is designed for pets. This will allow your cat to move freely while you can focus on driving safely. Otherwise, you could end up in an accident that could hurt you both.
6. Give Love & Affection
Take the time to give your cat the love and attention they need.
While cats don’t always seem as social as dogs, they still enjoy cuddles and loving affection. Think about the last time your cat snuggled up against your side or started purring. Instead of waiting for them to come to you, go to them!
Your cat will also seek your warm, comforting touch. Stroke their fur and pamper them. Giving your cat affection will keep them happy.
This can also help you avoid future behavioral problems that could end up costly.
7. Brush Those Teeth
When learning how to take care of a cat, consider your own healthy habits!
Humans need to keep their teeth clean by prioritizing healthy oral hygiene, but so do cats. That includes brushing their teeth regularly to clean away tartar. Otherwise, they run the risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay.
Bacteria could also end up in your cat’s bloodstream, which could cause disease.
Your cat needs help to keep their teeth clean to remove tartar.
To keep your cat’s teeth in top shape, speak with your vet. They can help you schedule teeth cleaning for your cat every year to brush that bacteria away!
8. Visit the Vet
Cat owners take their cats for approximately 1.3 veterinary visits per year.
Make sure to schedule appointments with a cat-friendly vet. Their specialization in cat health can keep your cat in the best possible shape.
Regular vet visits can also help you detect diseases while they’re in the early stages. Your vet can then administer vaccines to keep your cat healthy.
A vet can also check your cat’s weight. If you need to change their diet or make other alterations to your cat’s lifestyle, a vet can give you the cat 101 and steer you in the right direction.
9. Preventative Care
Preventative care, such as vaccines, heartworm prevention, and bloodwork can also keep your cat healthy. If your cat experiences a lot of aches and pains or has arthritis, consider using CBD oil.
Check out the potential benefits of CBD oil for cats to learn more.
10. Spay & Neuter
Only 2% of community cats are spayed and neutered. Unfortunately, reproductive diseases can impact both male and female cats.
Spaying can prevent ovarian cancer or uterine infection.
Meanwhile, neutering prevents prostate issues and testicular cancer.
As you’re caring for cats, consider getting them spayed or neutered.
Cats 101: 10 Effective Ways to Keep Your Cat Feline Fine & Healthy
How are you feeling about taking care of your cat now? With this cats 101 guide, you can keep your cat happy and healthy for years to come.
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