If you own a pet cat, then you must know they can be prey to all sorts of health conditions, from infections and injuries, to upset stomachs to chronic issues like diabetes.
Today we’re taking a look at lifestyle – from diet, to exercise and habits, is your cat living a health? And more importantly, what can you do about it?
One of the ways you can have the most impact on your cat’s health is by controlling their diet. This allows you to introduce nutrients they need, cut down excess food and help ensure they’re a healthy weight.
Most commercially available cat foods are labelled as ‘nutritionally complete’ – this means they contain all the nutrients your cat needs to be healthy. The most important thing you can do is check for that label and also make sure it’s the right food for your cat’s age range – kittens, adult cats and seniors have different requirements, so make sure you’re providing food that is healthy for your cat specifically.
If you let your cat out to explore, then you may find you’ve got a hunter on your hands. Many cats have the instinct to hunt and eat prey to a greater or lesser extent, and those cats will have success to greater or lesser degrees. An enthusiastic but unskilled hunter has a harmless hobby, but if your cat reliably brings down birds and brings home mice, then you may have a problem. Hunting can lead to parasites and stomach upsets and while a cat upset stomach, diarrhea and vomiting is often quickly recovered from, it’s still unpleasant for you and the cat!
There are two things you can do to help. First is to make sure your cat is protected from parasites. Most vets can offer you an effective all in one treatment for fleas, tics and worms that provides protection for weeks or months after use. This means when your cat’s outside, you’ve reduced the risk of them coming to harm.
If you’re worried about your cat hunting specifically, then there are some steps you can take. Keep them inside and feed them early in the morning and at dusk. This ensures they are full and safely indoors at the time when they’d otherwise be most keen to hunt. You can play with them more – games that involve stalking, chasing and catching can help to serve that hunter’s instinct and leave them less inclined to catch wild animals when outside.
Exercise is important for cat’s minds and bodies. It provides vital mental and physical stimulation.
You need to worry less about exercise for your cat if it goes outside – it’ll naturally be more active and have more stimulating surroundings. For indoor cats, you should try to provide 30 minutes of exercise a day. Try to keep a variety of toys you can rotate in and out of use to create variety, and put them away when they’re not in use to stop your cat growing too familiar with them. As well as balls and ribbons, think about places they can climb and explore, and puzzle feeders, to make dinner and breakfast times more interesting for them!
Putting in a bit of effort with your cat’s exercise will make them healthier, happier and improve your bond!