Tips for Healthy, Happy Cats
Keeping your cat healthy and happy is very important to many pet parents. There are several steps you can take to be sure your cat is living its best life, such as making several sleeping spaces available, rotating toys and entertainment, having fresh water out and available, feeding the appropriate amount of food daily, having your pet microchipped, and routine visits to your veterinarian.
Cats sleep on average anywhere from 16 to 20 hours a day! Some cats are happiest when they are curled up next to their human companion or sometimes when lounging up high on a perch by themselves. Cats enjoy having options for sleeping – some prefer an area of solitude and quietness, while others enjoy sleeping near a window in the warmth of sunshine. Making sure your cats have choices will keep them happy and engaged during those essential resting hours.
Toys and Entertainment
When your cat isn’t sleeping, engaging them with various toys and entertainment can keep them active and happy. Some cats enjoy toys with feathers, bells, crinkling material, or lights and lasers. Rather than keeping all toys out all the time, constantly rotating and exchanging the toys available for your cat to play with can help improve their enrichment and keep them entertained.
Water and Food
Cats are notorious for not drinking enough fresh water on a daily basis. Many cats prefer very fresh water so either changing their water multiple times throughout the day or buying them a pet water fountain can ensure that your cat drinks enough water daily to stay hydrated and keep their kidneys healthy. Also, many cats prefer their water source not be located next to where they are fed or close to their litter box.
Feeding your cat the appropriate amount of food daily is important to make sure that your cat does not become overweight. Approximately 50-60% of American’s feline friends are considered overweight by their veterinarians. Being overweight increases your cat’s risk of developing diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and shortening their lifespan by a few years. Most indoor cats need approximately 200 calories of food a day. Just like with people, metabolisms vary, meaning some cats need more or fewer than 200 calories to be at a healthy weight.
If your cat accidentally gets out of the house or gets too far away from home, having a microchip can increase its likelihood of making it home. Cats with microchips can be scanned at veterinary clinics and animal shelters and as long as the microchip information is kept up to date by owners, it is a quick and easy process to get the cats back safely to their owners. (Learn more: Microchips Made Simple.)
Routine Vet Visits
Yearly physical examinations for healthy young cats or biyearly examinations for older patients can help veterinarians and owners recognize disease sooner and potentially treat or increase your cat’s lifespan with appropriate therapy. Your veterinarian will be able to monitor your cat’s weight, dental health, and can recommend lab work if needed.