Tips For Keeping Your Cat Healthy – Cat Lovers Guide [17 Health Tips] You Must Know!

For most of my life I have had a cat or two own me. I love cats and they somehow seem to make their way into my life. Currently I only have my beautiful 17 year old Amber. I am very lucky that Amber is in good health, and people normally cannot believe how old she is.

Recently a friend saved a rescue kitten and she suddenly panicked when she realized she actually was not really sure on how to care for her new fur baby. She came to me for some advice, as she said she didn’t think luck had that much to do with it, she believed Amber was so healthy for her age as she has been well cared for.

Amber

When I had run through the list of basics on how to care for her new kitten, I realized that what was second nature to me, was a learning curve to her, as she had never owned a cat before.

This got me thinking on how to help people look after their cats, so I decided to write this blog on tips for keeping your cat healthy.

Tip Number 1- Fresh and Clean Drinking Water

While this may seem obvious, people forget that our animals, like us, need plenty of water to stay hydrated. This is especially essential if you live in a hot climate. Giving your cat fresh water at least twice a day is a good habit to cultivate. Likewise, don’t forget to give their water bowls a good clean, putting clean water into a bowl that is growing mold or slime will have the opposite effect of keeping your cat healthy.

Cats prefer to drink from a ceramic or metal bowl. They do not particularly like a plastic drinking container.

Tip Number 2 – Offer Diary Milk Only As A Treat

While most cats love dairy milk, as they get older a number of cats find it hard to digest. Some cats can drink milk their whole lives without a problem, but a number of cats will start to gain weight and get flatulence and diarrhea problems from milk as they age. Milk does not add anything nutritionally to our cats diets that they cannot get from well-balanced commercial food. It is suggested that milk only be given to our cats as an occasional treat.

Tip Number 3 – Offer A Balanced Healthy Diet

Our animals are very similar to us humans in that their diet plays a role in how they feel and behave. Your cat needs a diet that consists of balanced commercial cat food. Treats should be just that, a treat, and not given on a daily basis. Cats should not be fed more than 20 to 30 calories a day from unbalanced sources, such as milk and human food.

Like your water bowl, please keep your cats feeding bowls clean.

Most cats cannot tolerate a diet that is too heavy in dry food. Cats get a large percentage of their liquid from their food, so you need to have higher ratio of commercial wet food to dry. Speak to your vet to find the perfect diet for your cat.

Tip Number 4 – Avoid Overfeeding Kitty

Obesity in cats, and our pets generally, is becoming a problem. Like us they find it hard to tolerate sugar and certain fats. The big mistake most people make is overfeeding our cats. Obesity may lead to a number of health issues in the future, including urinary tract disease, diabetes and arthritis. Again if you are not sure how much food you should be feeding kitty speak to your vet.

Tip Number 5 – All About the Kitty Litter

If you have an indoor cat, or decide to keep a kitty litter tray, here are a few facts to help you get it right. You need one tray per cat. Your cats do no like to share a litter box, offering only one litter tray for more than one cat will result in one of the cats choosing not to use it.

Do not place the litter box next to or even near your cats food and water bowls.

Scoop any parcels out of the litter box on a daily basis, and change the litter as per the manufacturers instructions. Keep the litter box clean. I highly recommend cleaning the litter box every day, a dirty box can lead to affecting both your cats health and your families. I used to keep a plastic liner at the bottom of the tray, and this made cleaning the tray far easier.

Another option is to have a cat litter mat for your kitty to step onto from the tray. This helps to remove any particles from their paws. However, the cat litter mat needs to be cleaned occasionally to keep it hygienic.

Cats will not want to use a dirty litter box, their hygiene is important to them. If the box is dirty they will hold in the urine and this may over time lead to them suffering from urinary tract diseases. You can read more on the negative effects of a cat litter on both humans and cats in this blog, by Easyology Pets.

Tip Number 6 – Help Your Cat With Their Grooming

We all know that cats spend a large part of their lives grooming themselves, and you can help your cat with this task by giving it a daily brushing. This helps to rid the cat of any loose fur, dead skin cells, fleas if they have any, dust mites and general grime. A daily brushing lowers the amount of fur your cat will ingest and this will help to prevent fur balls. If you have ever stepped on a fur ball first thing in the morning you will know that they are not pleasant.

A regular brushing helps to spread your cats natural oils and benefits their circulation, while keeping their coat shiny.

Tip Number 7 – Stop Fleas and Worms

Visit your vet to keep your cat free of fleas and worms. There are a variety of applications that can be used to do this. Keep your cats bedding clean and your house vacuumed and clean to help break the flea cycle. Worms can lead to health issues for your cat and are easy to keep away with a tablet, or other recommended vet medicine. The vet will give you the correct dosage depending on if you have a kitten or cat and their weight.

Tip Number 8 – Scratching Post

Cats will always look for a place to scratch their claws. Offering them a scratching place is one way to protect your furniture. The scratching helps to keep their claws healthy. You may need to encourage your pet to use the scratching post, especially if you introduce one after they have been used to scratching the furniture.

Some ways to encourage them to use the post is to rub it with catnip, or hang some catnip in a bag near it. Incorporate the post in play, spend time near the scratching post with your cat. Rewarding your cat every time the scratching post is used is the best way to get them to use it.

Tip Number 9 – Keep You Cats Teeth Clean

Your cats health can be directly affected by the condition of their teeth. Brushing their teeth is probably an impossible task. I recommend you take your cat to the vet to have their teeth cleaned once a year.

Tip Number 10 – Health Checks & Vaccinations

Taking your cat to the vet for annual checkups and to get their required annual vaccination should be No. 1 on your moggies health care routine. My cats feline flu vaccinations were always up to date. Check with your vet what vaccinations they recommend your cat has.

Tip Number 11 – Try to Prevent Cat Fights – Especially With Feral Cats

I have always tried to keep my cats out of cat fights. Not only is the sound annoying, especially to the neighbors, but constant fighting can damage your cats health. I had one large cat who went looking for fights and he had far more health issues than Amber who would rather avoid them at all costs. If your cat has been in a fight, do a body check to make sure they have not sustained any injuries that can become infected. Clean and treat any cuts or bites immediately, or contact your vet if you need further assistance.

Tip Number 12 – Play With Your Cat

Humans need interaction and exercises to keep us healthy, the same applies to your cat. Keep them healthy with regular contact by stroking and petting them. Amber loves to be gently massaged. Games keep them healthy and active, Throw a ball for your cat to chase, or buy a wind up toy. A piece of string can provide hours of entertainment and much-needed stimulation. Cats are very playful and they are natural hunters, games help to stimulate these natural instincts. This leads to my next point, one some may not agree with.

Tip Number 13 – Let Them Go Hunting

My vet once advised me to allow my cats to hunt, catch and eat birds on a regular basis. Now I know a lot of people do not agree with this, however, this is nature, to hunt for birds is inbred, this is the main food source nature provided them with and for good reason. Eating a bird helps to clean their teeth and is good for their digestion, again it is natural for a cat to hunt.

Tip Number 14 – Have Your Cat Neutered or Spayed

Speak to you vet about having your cat ‘fixed’ and why and when you should do this. The most obvious reason is you don’t want a male cat spraying everywhere and getting into fights. You also do not want to be stuck with an unwanted kitty litter.

Tip Number 15 – Get To Know Your Cat

This one is very simple to me. Get to know your cat and monitor any changes in their routine. My big boy never went off his food. If he missed a meal I knew was sick, and I was right every time. My Amber is a picky eater and some days is just not that interested in food, however, she has always drunk a large amount of fluid. Just like us our cats have different characters and routines, by getting to know them and monitoring any changes in their daily habits, you may prevent your cats health from declining. Prevention is always better than a cure.

Tip Number 16 – Travel Safely

Always, and I mean always, place your cat in a travel safe box when you are taking them in any transport. This tip should really require no further explanation.

Tip Number 17 – Catnip for a Happy Cat

I deliberately kept this tip for last as it is one of my favorites. I have always grown catnip for my cats. The interesting thing is one of my cats loved it, but Amber is not interested in catnip. If you have never watched a cat around catnip or cat grass, then you are missing out. They get so happy and high on life, treat your cat today and sit back and watch happiness come alive. Cat grass or catnip gives their emotional well-being an instant boost.

My Cat Felix Loved Catnip

Healthy Cats = Happy Cats

Use the above tips to give your cat the life it deserves. I hope you have found these tips useful and I look forward to your comments.

Covering the cost of vet visits, vaccinations, cat health and any unforeseen accidents need not break the bank, take a look at my blog on pet insurance to see how you can benefit from having your pet covered.

“You can teach a cat to do anything that it wants to do.” – Author unknown.

Pet Hugs

 

Denise

 

 

 

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8 Replies to “Tips For Keeping Your Cat Healthy – Cat Lovers Guide [17 Health Tips] You Must Know!”

  1. Amber is so cute you are lucky that she is in such amazing health, she is lucky to have you. When I had my Sno Sno (he is in heaven now), it is so hard to say no to him when it comes to food. He would give me the look or he would come and hug me with his little talk. Yep my Sno Sno talked and acted like a dog, he was a character. I was lucky that I have a backyard and my Sno Sno loved doing his business out there but I also had a kitty litter in the house and I always make sure that it is clean. Once it is dirty my Sno Sno would get naughty lol Your 13th tip is interesting, I guess you have to let the cats act like a cat right. I had no idea if my Sno Sno ever caught anything, he just went out did his thing and when he was done he would sat in front of the door and cried for me to let him in. I am sure he did some hunting, maybe that was why he loved going out in the backyard so much. Thanks for the all the tips, I will share them to my cat lover friends. Even I learned something from your tips. Cheers!

    1. Hi Nuttanee, thank you for your comment and lovely remark about my cat Amber, we love her dearly.  Let me say I am sorry to hear your Sno Sno is heaven, I am sure you were an awesome Mom to him.  He sounds like he was a fun cat.  Cats are hunters, so he probably did catch the odd bird or two, but that is just nature taking it course.  Thank you for sharing this article  with your friends, I appreciate it, sending you cyber paw hugs. Denise.

  2. Hi, Denise and thanks for putting this out there for those with cats to see and LEARN.

    I had a couple of cats some years ago and I wish this kind of info was available then.  There are a couple of things in your article I didn’t know about like having a separate box for each cat and (bad me) cleaning out the box/s on a daily basis.  

    My Wife and I also had an awesome “Diminished Calico” that lived 15 years. My wife being an animal lover (dogs in particular) taught me a lot about how to care for her including the part about cleaning the box.  I now totally understand the reasons for this thanks, in part, to your article.

    Our cat was an indoor cat so we didn’t have to worry about contact with other cats but, because we hade two dogs at the time, we still had to treat them AND her for the occasional flea outbreak.

    You speak of travel safety.  Did you know that cats actually love to camp?  At least our did.  A couple of years into our camping days we decided that instead of leaving here at home we would take on a trip with us.  We found a good carry case and as long as she could see us she was fine and it was like she was born to camp.

    After reading your article, I realize that we did most if not all these things for our cat.  I think, because of that, she was very healthy and lived a good, if not long enough, life.

    Cats are purrrrrfect pets,

    Wayne

    P.S. The part about brushing the fur?  Sure does keeps down the mess when it comes to vacuuming.

    1. Hi Wayne, firstly let me say sorry to your and your wife on the loss of your beautiful cat, time does heal, but they all hold a special place in our hearts.

      I am pleased that my article managed to teach you something new.  I love your comment about taking your cats camping, I cannot imagine mine tolerating that, lol. I did have a friend a number of years ago who used to take her dogs, cat and parrot on all their camping trips. 

      Your cat sounds like she had a good life and 15 years is a great age.  Sending you paw hugs, and yes you are so right cats are purrrrrfect pets. 

      Denise

  3. My cat Murtaugh was the best cat I ever had. He would do almost anything I asked him to do. Sadly, he kept getting stones in his urinary tract and there was nothing more we could do for him. Your stressing the importance of checking with a vet on many of the tips you have is ideal because I feel if I had  more closely monitored his diet he would have lived longer. He was 10 when I had to put him down. Now I have an active little female named Mittens. I want to make sure that she is with us for a very long time as she is so special to us. I will be following your tips. I didn’t know that cats should have a certain amount of wet food. I will be putting that on my shopping list! Do you have a certain kind of cat food—wet and dry—that you recommend?

    Thank you again!

    Best wishes,
    Karin 😁

    1. Hi Karin, sorry on the loss of your Murtaugh, unfortunately cats are very susceptible to urinary tract infections, and I am sure you were a wonderful Mom to Murtaugh. 

      Mittens is a cute name, I bet she is a cute kitty.  I found out the hard way a number of years ago that dry food is not the best option for our cats.  They need liquid and do get a large amount of their liquid from good quality commercial cat food.  I actually do not give my cat dry food anymore, expect some Temptations, occasionally as a treat.  I use Purina, but in all honesty I change her food up on a regular basis as cats also have a tendency to get bored.  She is now 17 so I have her on a senior diet.  As I am sure you are aware Mittens will need a diet suitable for her age.  Honestly most commercial food is acceptable, just find what she likes and do not overdo the fish or sea food, balance out with chicken and beef. 

      Sending you paw hugs, Denise.

  4. Hi, I have read the article on keeping your cat very carefully, I am very excited to read your article, because it is important keep healthy, as all cat lovers know, I myself have a cat.  Thank you very much, for giving a guideline article, with 17 points on how to care for a cat.  

    1. Hi, thank you for your comment, cat are amazing animals and deserve to be kept in good health.  I am happy you found this article helpful.  Sending you pet hugs, Denise.

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