You just brought a new cat into your life. What next? Learning about cat ownership is something both long-time owners and brand-new owners can relate on, as there are always better ways to encourage the very best in your feline companion. Vaccinations are routinely updated, psychology only becomes better understood with time and much of what we thought we knew can actually turn out to be false. Just like owning a dog or a bird, owning a cat is an ongoing relationship that’s best built on common sense, smart resources and plenty of love.
There are over 90 million cats in the United States. How do we take good care of them?
Make Sure They’re Vaccinated
Make sure your kitten is all good to go by getting their necessary vaccinations. Taking your cat to veterinary diagnostics services at six to eight weeks is a good place to start, with most places recommending you come back every few weeks to ensure a full range of coverage. A happy and healthy kitten should be curious, playful and always raring to go. The best way to get them off on the right foot is to make sure they’re prepared for anything that comes their way. Remember to also spay or neuter your cat so you don’t stress your local animal control with unwanted litters.
Check For Heartworm Disease
A common and painful disease for your cat to deal with is that of heartworm. Also affecting dogs, this condition is characterized by parasites that make their home in the heart through eggs carried in mosquitoes and flies. Unlike dogs, who can have as many as 30 worms in their heart at a time, a cat needs just one or two to succumb to serious illness. You can tell if your cat has heartworm if they come down with unexplained fatigue, struggle to maintain their appetite and have difficulty breathing or walking.
Play With Them Regularly
Physical health is important. You determine this through food safety or an at-home heartworm antigen test. So is emotional health. Although cats are regularly stereotyped as aloof loners who could care less about the strife of humankind, they are rather social animals who benefit greatly from a loving and attentive owner. Cats should be played with for 15 or 20 minutes per day, with kittens requiring a little extra time to encourage healthy muscle development and proper social skills. Feathers, string and catnip toys are great ways to bring out the hidden tiger in your domesticated pal.
Watch Out For Bad Habits
Does your cat constantly eat strange things off the ground? That could be a sign they aren’t being given enough attention. Overeating or eating scraps, such as paper or lint, is known as ‘pica’ and is an eating disorder that affects millions of poorly stimulated household cats. Just like the tip above, an easy way to avoid this is to engage them in regular play (as well as vacuum on a weekly basis). While cats pressing their head against the wall can appear quite silly, this is actually a sign of a neurological disorder and should have you seeking out veterinary diagnostics as soon as possible.
Visit Veterinary Diagnostics Every Year
You adore your cat. They make you laugh after a depressing day and give you warm snuggles on a cold winter night. Taking them to veterinary diagnostics will ensure any hidden illnesses they have are buffed out properly, keeping them happy and content for many years to come. Contract lab services are better than they’ve ever been, meaning you and your pet will have plenty to not worry about after every trip. For those that want a little extra assurance, pet insurance is a fantastic resource that can organize all your obligations in one handy package. They can even come with preventative plans.
You love your cat. Your cat loves you. With a little love and extra care, this is a friendship bound to make history.