7 Tips for Raising a Healthy Cat in Honor of National Adopt a Cat Month

It’s National Adopt a Cat Month!

If you’ve ever adopted a pet, you know that it can be one of the most rewarding experiences for both you and your fur baby. As many adopters will tell you, it’s often a question of who saved whom, as these grateful animals bring us so much joy.

If you’re considering adopting a cat, you obviously want your feline friend to be around for as long as possible. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do when it comes to cat wellness to keep your pet happy and healthy for a long time.

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1. Pay Attention to Diet and Thirst

The consensus among veterinarians these days is that high-quality wet food is the best for the health of your cat. If you have concerns about how this will affect your budget, a combination of wet cat food and kibble can work as well. The most important thing to consider is that you want to introduce wet food as early as possible, as cats can be quite finicky about texture. If you wait too long to introduce wet food into their diet, they may not eat it.

As with all pets, you also want to be judicious about doling out cat treats so as to avoid the health issues that accompany obesity. Most importantly, keep in mind that cats cannot be vegetarians, even for short periods of time.

Another reason why wet food is preferred is because cats get most of their water from food. If you adopt an older cat, you will need to watch out for signs of dehydration, which can include panting, sunken eyes, and lethargy.

2. Give Your Cat a Safe Space

We’ve all seen the memes about cat personalities vs. dog personalities and, even if your cat is on the more social side, they still like to have a place to call their own to retreat to when they want.

You also want to make sure that the area where you keep your litter box is safe, clean, and doesn’t create any kind of stress for your favorite feline.

As in nature, cats like to be able to see around them when they are going to the bathroom to avoid becoming vulnerable, so make sure their litter box gives them this. There should be at least one litter box per kitty, so if you have more than one kitty, it’s important that they each have their own. Cats have a definite preference when it comes to kitty litter, so you’ll likely have to experiment with brands.

If the cat you’re adopting is the first one in your home, you’ll want to get a “cat’s eye view” of your home in order to remove anything potentially hazardous.

3. Be Mindful of How Many Cats you bring Home

Keep in mind that if you add more than 2 cats to your household, territorial behaviors, such as eliminating outside the litter box, can start. Keep a watchful eye on your cats behaviors, and if any problems arise make sure to contact your veterinarian to discuss these problems.

We must also note that, if your cat does start going to the bathroom outside the litter box, you should talk to a veterinarian. Do not just assume that this is a behavioral thing, as it can also be a sign of a urinary tract infection or other physical ailment.

4. Enrich Your Cat’s Environment

Many cats are indoor-only, as there are many dangers that lurk outside. Keeping your cat indoors will save you money at the vet and will almost undoubtedly help your cat to live longer. However, this doesn’t equate to cat happiness. Felines are natural hunters, and when they are outside they’re chasing, smelling, and exploring their surroundings. So, if kept indoors, you will need to enrich their environment to keep them active and stimulated.

A great way to enrich your cat's environment is with toys! All cats are different. Some love laser pens while others love the fishing lures with a toy at the end. Try a few different types of toys and see what your kitty likes best.

And most importantly, give them an outlet for their scratching, or your furniture and curtains will pay the price! Put a scratching post in a couple of high-traffic areas in your house to allow for ample access. If your cat is resistant and still getting into mischief, you can cover the scratching posts in catnip to make them more desirable to your playful pal.

5. Make Their Vet Visit a Priority

Whether you adopt an adult or senior cat or a young kitten, make sure a visit to the vet is at the top of your list of priorities. You'll need to ensure proper cat vaccinations and that your cat’s been tested for FeLV (feline leukemia), to get them on flea and tick preventative, and that all cat deworming protocols are being followed. Your vet wants to work with you to ensure you get your cat on a solid path to wellness!

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6. Brush Your Cat Often

Brushing your cat daily will reduce the risk of hairballs developing in their digestive tract. Although it can be easy to lull yourself into a place of complacency if your cat is a good groomer, this still won’t help them to remove the loose hair that can cause hairballs.

Make the brush your cat’s best friend instead of their worst enemy by associating brushing time with something positive, such as getting a treat.

7. Spay or Neuter Your Cat

Most adoption agencies will take care of your cat spay or neuter for you, which is a huge benefit of cat adoption.

Not only does spaying/neutering control the cat population and the ensuing high euthanasia rates associated with overpopulation, but it can also prevent a cat from getting very uncomfortable by going into heat, or developing other health issues down the line.


Happy National Adopt a Cat Month! If you’re on the fence about whether a cat would be a welcome addition in your home, please feel free to give us a call. We want your cat adoption experience to be just purrrrrfect.

 

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