How to Keep Your Cat Healthy
How To Keep Your Cat Healthy
To keep your cat healthy, be sure to take it to the veterinarian for its regular vaccinations and check-ups. If you don’t have a vet yet, find an animal shelter or rescue group near you, or ask a friend who also owns a pet. It is imperative that your cat be up-to-date with its vaccinations for its own health and safety, and for your own as well. If your pet is sick, it could be spreading viruses that could infect you and your family members. I got my cats from the local animal shelter and I get their vaccinations done there as well for about half the cost of a regular veterinarian.
Many pet owners choose to spay or neuter their cats. This is another health measure that you should discuss with your vet. Another matter you can discuss is pet nutrition. Ask your vet his recommendations on which food items and brands (and in what amounts) are best for your pet’s size, age and current health status.
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Grooming and cleanliness are also crucial in keeping your cat healthy. While you need to brush your cats’ fur regularly, you don’t need to give it baths as often. Cats clean themselves on their own. But do check for fleas, lumps, and injuries on your cat’s skin every now and then, and bring it to the vet as soon as you see something out of the ordinary. If you do need to bathe your cat, ask a family member or friend to assist you.
Cats don’t like water in general, and they could resist attempts to bathe them. Use cat soap or cat shampoo (not your own), and water that’s luke warm. It’s also a good idea to put a towel at the bottom of the bathtub for them to grip while bathing. If you can, prior to the bath, put a drop of mineral oil in each of your cat’s eyes to prevent soap irritation. Finish bathing it as soon as possible to minimize stress.
The most common cat diseases are diabetes, obesity, kidney disease, cystitis (bladder inflammation), feline asthma, and dental problems. Notice that many of these are directly related to a cat’s diet; hence it really is important that the cat is fed properly with nutritious food, rather than just carbohydrate-heavy food.
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Diabetic cats may need to be given insulin. This disease poses great difficulties for both the cat and its owner, so ensure that it is prevented as much as possible. Feeding your cat right means, among other things, not over feeding it or giving it a healthier brand of dry cat food. A cat that is obese is prone to diabetes, so try to keep your cat within an ideal weight range.
Also, while strictly feeding your cat wet cat food is something they may love, over time this type of diet can lead to serious tooth decay problems which may lead to the vet having to pull out some of their teeth. It is recommended that the majority of a cat’s diet be from dry cat food if possible.
Worms are also a common health problem for cats. The symptoms associated with worms are frequent loose stools, a bloated belly, and a malnourished look even with regular, proper diet. Bring your cat to the vet immediately when you see these signs.
Keep a first-aid kit for your cat in case it hurts itself in some accident. A basic kit consists of the following:
- gauze squares
- elastic bandage
- adhesive tape
- penlight flashlight
- gloves (for examining the cat)
- rectal thermometer
- rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl)
- hydrogen peroxide (3%)
- antiobiotic ointment (examples are neomycin and bacitracin)
You can treat simple wounds and injuries yourself, but bring the cat afterwards to the vet just to be sure. For example, to treat a wound, examine the area for foreign objects that may be imbedded in the wound (such as glass splinters), and remove these with tweezers. Flush the wound with water. Do not apply antiseptics because this will cause the cat pain and it will resist further handling. Then cover the wound with clean gauze. Bring the cat to the vet immediately.
One of cats and their owner’s biggest problems is fleas. For some reason fleas love cats, and they can multiply very quickly if swift action is not taken. If you wait too long before trying to fix the problem fleas can spread throughout your whole house. There is nothing worse than when fleas get into your carpet and start chewing up your ankles, or even worse, getting into bed with you. A flea collar is always a good idea; however, these can easily be inadequate. The best flea medicine I have found is by frontline.
You put the liquid flea medicine on the back of a cat’s neck once a month. I have started doing this at the beginning of spring whether I notice any fleas or not. It is much easier to play it safe, than to go through the nightmare of trying to eliminate fleas once they have spread all throughout your home. I will continue to give them flea medicine once a month until winter has arrived. It is always better to be safe than sorry. You can also try flea powders and flea baths, but I have found these to be much less effective in treating flea problems.
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