There’s a lot of tips for caring for your cat out there (several found in this posts predecessor, 4 Tips For A Healthier Cat).
Most of them boil down to a few simple things you can do to keep your cat healthy, but in any case are pretty standard at this point.
The benefits of brushing your cat (with the fewer hairballs and less fur floating around your house) should be obvious.
Keeping your cat hydrated with wet food is a simple and effective way to keep your cat in good shape.
Cat parents generally have a good handle on these tips.
Below are several ways that you can help your cat live healthier and longer that might not be so well known (or so obvious).
After all, the longer your companion is alive, the longer our adorable kittens will melt our hearts.
These lesser-known, but still important, pointers will help keep your cat in good health, while not taking a whole lot of your time and attention.
Some of them are symptoms to watch out for, and other easy steps you can take yourself.
Sometimes your furry friends’ breath is a product of more than their last meal.
As pets can’t tell us when their feeling sick, it can be up to us as pet owners to be aware of any potential health problems.
One method of tracking your cat’s well-being is the way their breath smells.
Cats’ breath is not the most pleasant thing, and it isn’t expected to be.
As carnivores, cats eat meat (even if it is ground up into the stinky food they beg you for every time you open a can in the kitchen).
A certain amount of bad odor is inevitable.
However, changes in the smell of your cat’s breath can indicate a change in the animal’s health.
A sweet smell may indicate the onset of diabetes while breath that smells of ammonia may indicate your cat is developing some kidney issues.
A generally unpleasant new smell can point to kitty needing its teeth cleaned.
Now, sticking your nose in your cat’s mouth probably isn’t a splendid idea, depending on their temperament, and in any case, it’s not a lot of fun.
But, you probably catch a whiff of your cat’s breath on a regular basis, whether you want to or not.
Simply pay a little more attention next time.
Don’t Forget To Wash The Ears
Cats tend to be prone to a few specific ailments.
Kidney disease and urinary tract infections are both very common.
Ear infections are another popular cat illness and can potentially lead to another common condition: respiratory infections.
A simple way to reduce your feline friends’ chances of an ear infection is to make sure their ears are clean.
Removing excess ear wax can prevent dirt and other crud from collecting in their ears, which lessens the chance of infection later in life.
The procedure for cleaning is straightforward, as long as your can convince your cat to stay more-or-less still.
You’ll need some cleaning solution, which you can get from your vet’s office or a pet store. It’s best to use something specifically meant for cats.
You’ll also need a cotton ball, paper towel, or something that is not likely to leave lint behind.
Use the solution and cotton ball to wipe away grime and ear wax from the inside of your cat’s ear.
It is important that you don’t put your finger or anything else, in any way, down into the cat’s ear canal. Doing so can cause damage as well as possibly irritating your cat.
Your cat probably doesn’t enjoy trips to the vet, and you probably don’t either.
Car rides can be stressful and unpleasant for your pet, particularly if it’s an indoor animal.
Cats usually find creative ways to let us know they are displeased.
However, just like you should get a checkup every year (even if you’re like me, and don’t), your cat’s health should be monitored by a professional on a regular basis.
As mentioned above, cats can’t tell us when they’re sick or hurting.
There’s a lot we as pet owners can do to look out for our pets and help them when they’re ill.
Frequently, however, signs of illness can be subtle, or not become noticeable until a condition has become more severe.
A regular check up can often catch these indications before the ailment becomes a serious health problem.
Veterinarians are trained to look for certain symptoms, and unsurprisingly can often spot problems before they’re a big deal while they can still be treated quickly and cheaply.
Show Lots of Love
Now, it’s difficult to show statistics that a well-loved cat will live longer.
The measurable impact of affection on lifespan is nebulous at best.
However, your cat will certainly enjoy their lives much more if you show them lots of love, which is arguably more important than length anyway.
Love can take the form of physical affection, like cuddling and petting, but it can also be shown in the care you take with your cat in other ways.
Grooming is, of course, a good way to show your cat love while also caring for their health.
Just paying attention to them throughout the day and interacting with them on a regular basis are also good ideas.
Bored cats are unhappy, so play with them regularly to keep them engaged and energetic.
Playing provides a lot of the exercise they’ll need to stay healthy.
An active, curious cat will be happier, get more exercise, and be healthier.
All the little ways you show your cat you love them will add up to a (probably) longer, happier life.
Cat’s aren’t our property, their our family.
They provide companionship, love, and an excuse to smile on days when things get you down.
Despite having the reputation for being standoffish and irritable, most cat parents know their pets are affectionate and loving.
But they do need our help to take care of themselves.
Grooming, wet food, and all the other tips are helpful, but what will really keep your cat healthy and happy is all the love you share with it.