FEELING FELINE FINE
Did you know, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), 25% of all U.S. households have feline companions?
Most cat owners would agree that cats are not only cute, cuddly, funny, entertaining, and delightful, but they are also incredibly self-sufficient.
However, as kitty parents there are a few things we should be doing on an ongoing basis to keep our kitties in a healthy state of mind, and being.
You thought this was only for Fido, right? Brushing Felix’s teeth is one of the best ways to support his health. Brushing leads to healthy gums. Periodontal disease in cats (and dogs) can become a major health concern.
Gum disease can affect critical organs, and cause illness. Just remember, do NOT use human-grade toothpaste. Feline toothpaste is a thing, and you can find in a variety of cat loving flavors.
HEALTHY EATING HABITS
Feeding your feline companion a healthy diet that addresses his specific needs, is one of the most important things you can do as a cat owner.
Take this opportunity to consult your vet. Veterinarians can offer specific diet plans for cats with digestive issues, skin issues and weight problems.
AWARENESS OF BEHAVORIAL CHANGES
Wouldn’t it be nice if our kitties could tell us what’s wrong? Since this is not possible, you will want to keep abreast of any abnormal changes in your feline friend. Cats are famous for “hiding” pain and illness.
Changes in behavior and overall health could be a sign that your cat needs medical attention:
- Significant weight changes
- Lack of energy
- Changes in appetite
- Decrease in activity level
- Signs of pain when touched or picked up
- Hiding more often than normal
Has your cat become more destructive? This could be a sign of not enough mental stimulation. Cats, by nature, are hunters. As hunters, their brains need stimulation to avoid boredom and/or depression.
To stimulate that active brain of Felix, consider any, or all of the following:
- Scratching posts
- Food mats (puzzles)
Keeping your kitty’s brain active and engaged will lead to a happier and healthier pet.
At Independence Veterinary Clinic, we cannot express enough the importance of making (and keeping) your cat’s yearly exam. Elder cats (10 years +) should have more frequent visits.
Take this opportunity to:
- Update vaccines
- Check skin, teeth, eyes and ears
- Discuss any changes in behavior over the past year
- Address any concerns regarding your kitty’s overall health