How to - keep a Happy & Healthy Cat

September is Happy Healthy Cat Month so we’ve pulled together some tips to help all of our cat parents make sure their feline companions are as happy and healthy as possible!

With 7.5 million cats living in the UK and 16% of households owning a feline friend, other than dogs, cats are the pet of choice here.

As with any pet, ownership is a huge commitment, with cats, no matter what the lifestage, coming with both emotional and physical needs and requirements. So, whether you already have a cat or you’re considering expanding your four legged family, we hope these tips help!

A Balanced Diet

There are a lot of variables to consider when it comes to your cats diet and unfortunately it’s not just as simple as choosing between wet and dry food! Another main factor to consider is the lifestage of your cat; are the kitten? Are they a senior cat? The animals will require varying levels of nutrition during these different lifestages and as such will need to be fed accordingly to ensure a healthy, balanced, nutritious diet. Aside from that, dental and digestive health needs to be cared for. Cats rely on meat and have difficulties digesting carbs, especially grain and so cannot be fed a vegetarian diet and their foods should take into consideration protein, fat and carbohydrate levels.

Provide enough litter boxes!

Vets recommend that for every cat there should be a litter box, as well as an additional household one. It’s really important to have a sufficient amount to not only help prevent medical issues such as urinary tract disease but also behavioural issues, such as relieving themselves in an unwanted location.

Aside from the amount of litter boxes, it’s also important to make sure you get the right TYPE of litter box! This will largely be dependent on the personality of your cat and it may be best to try both covered and uncovered boxes to ascertain as to what the preference is. Covered offers the solution that it contains the smell from the household but can be problematic in that the smell may make it less appealing to your cat as well a size potentially becoming an issue as your cat grows. Uncovered are obviously less hygienic and they don’t contain the dust and smell from the trays.

Whichever type you decide to go for, ensure it is maintained and cleaned every day.

Hydrate!

Just like us humans, in order to maintain a healthy body, good hydration is absolutely essential for our feline friends.

The majority of our cats food comes from the food that they eat, which usually contains 75-80% water, the equivalent content to that of a mouse, their natural prey. Wet food is important for this reason, as dry food usually only provides 5-15% water content. Aside from the moisture contained in their food, always make sure that your cat has access to clean, fresh water.

Spay and neuter

Unfortunately, overpopulation and homelessness of pets is a problem faced by many countries, with hundreds of thousands of cats and dogs living without an owner.

There are many reasons why spaying or neutering your cat is an important measure to take, for example, it will help reduce this overpopulation, as well as ultimately helping prevent some health issues such as uterine problems or prostate problems.

Making this move also comes with a wide range of behavioural benefits, making life easier for both you and your four legged friend!

Groom

The importance of regular grooming in your feline friend is often over looked. Aside from preventing tangles and aiding in the reduction of shedding, regular grooming is actually key to maintaining a healthy cat! Regular brushing means that less hair is swallowed during self grooming, as well as the fact that it distributes the natural oils of the cat’s skin and therefore maintains a health coat. Regular brushing also means that you will be able to catch any skin or ear problems or infections early and seek the required treatment.

Sleep

Whether a big cat, such as a lion or a regular house cat, the feline creatures are often synonymous with being animals that enjoy a good nap!

Cats can actually sleep up to 20 hours per day, so making sure your cat has an area and bed allocated to do this is important, both to keep their spine healthy and prevent bed sores, not to mention, no one wants a tired & grumpy cat!

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