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12 Strategies for a Healthy and Happy Cat
Cats may have been known to having nine lives but owners may be disappointed when their feline friend unexpectedly comes down with some sort of sickness. There are however strategies that cat owners may resort to in order to protect their cats from cat diseases. Thanks to such strategies and the vivid support from a veterinarian, most cats may gain back their 9 lives status back.
1) Keep you cat indoors
There are many contagious diseases out from the comfort of a cat's home awaiting for a host. Such diseases derive from cat to cat exposure and can be even deadly. A cat left to wander outdoors and encounter other cats may come home with Distemper, FELV, FIV, FIP and Rabies just to name a few. The list of transmissible disease can be even longer.
2) Spaying and neutering
Both males and female cats receive various benefits when they are altered. Female cats will no longer go into long, stressing heats, they will not wear down from frequent pregnancies they will have less chances of having breast and ovarian cancer. Males will be less likely to roam and get into cat fights, they will have less chances of getting testicular cancer and will have a better disposition.
A good vaccination history may help prevent many serious cat diseases. Many of these however are not necessary if your cat is an indoor cat only. Rabies vaccine is mandated by law in most states nowadays. However, there are more studies suggesting that over vaccinating does more harm than good. Some new studies seem to suggest to that some vaccines may be given less often.
4) Healthy diet
Most cheap cat foods found at local supermarkets are found to cause health problems. Because cats were meant to be carnivores, diets filled with corn, grains and carbohydrates have been linked with diabetes and annoying food allergies. Cats in reality only need 5 nutrients: Proteins, vitamins, minerals, Taurine and fatty acids. Owners investing in high quality cat food may spend a little more but will save in the long run.
5) Good oral hygiene
Most cats over 5 years old will have some level of periodontal disease. Good oral hygiene will mean less need for extractions and dental cleanings, procedures that must be done under general anesthesia. Periodontal disease may progress and lead to bacteria in the blood causing serious complications such as kidney, liver and/or even heart disease.
6) Exercise Cats
used to leap, stalk and jump all day in the wild. In order to eat a meal they had to work for it through hunting sprees. Today, they are served their meals with no effort. They likely lay around all day from boredom ultimately becoming obese. Obesity leads to many health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis derived from the strain on joints. A slim cat is very likely a healthy cat.
7) Routine check ups
All cats should have at least one physical a year. Cats on medications or senior cats benefit from at least twice a year exams. Blood-work should be run to identify warning signs of impending kidney or liver dysfunctions. Vets will be able to quickly identify problems before they turn into bigger problems. Routine check ups are the core of a healthyand happy cat.
8) Flea/tick control
Fleas and ticks are more than annoying bugs, they are vectors of diseases and parasites. A cat covered by fleas will be itching and scratching and some may develop flea allergic dermatits, a condition where cats suffer from an allergy from the flea's saliva. Fleas may also be ingested causing the cat to very likley develop tapeworms, annoying parasites. Ticks have been associated with causing the well known Lyme disease and other not too well known diseases such as Cytauxzoonosis.
All cats should have a fecal sample tested at least once a year. Such sample should be no longer than 12 hours old and a teaspoon amount should suffix. This sample will be tested for many harmful parasites such as roundworms, hookworms and whipworms. Protozoans such as coccidia and giardia may be foundas well. All kittens should be treated for roundworms as these are very common.
As obvious as giving water may sound some cats simply do not drink enough. Finicky drinkers should be encouraged to drink in order to stay properly hydrated. Senior cats in particular may not drink as often as before. Cats that do not drink much should be offered canned food and water should be placed in various places around the house to remind them to drink. A water fountain for catsmay work wonders in getting a finicky drinker attracted to drinking fluids again.
11) A companion
Sometimes another cat may work wonders in keeping a cat happy and healthy. Some cats may easily become stressed and bored when alone. A feline friend may perk even the most depressed cat up and may also trigger the cat to exercise more through play. Senior cats in particular may get a bout of youth back when a kitten is added to the household.
They say knowldege is power and this is very true when it comes to knowing your cat. Learn about cat diseases, warning signs and how to properly care for your cat. Invest in some good cat care books preferably written by veterinarians or from a reputable source. I particularly love :Cat owners' Veterinary handbook that has helped me during my career.
As seen cats may lead happy and healthy lives if some special strategies are followed. Carefully monitoring your cat and reporting any changes in your cat's health status to a veterinrian may be key in preventing a problem from worsening. Knowledge is power and knowing what signs are warning signs that require prompt attention is vital to a cat's health. Nine lives or not, if the above strategies are followed diligently more likely than not your cat will live many more healthy and happy years to come.