Do you know the signs to watch for in a healthy cat and how to keep your feline friend in tip-top shape? We will go through some basic cat care ideas which even many experienced cat owners may not be familiar with.
Let’s start with nutrition and a cat’s environment. How many times were you told to give cats hard food for their teeth? Well research over the years has found that cats fare better on a primarily canned, low carbohydrate diet. This has several benefits such as improving urinary system health and helping to keep cats at a healthier weight. What about those teeth? A better idea is brushing when possible, quality dental treats and regular evaluation with cleanings as needed by a veterinarian. The other significant issue, particularly for indoor cats, is environmental enrichment through toys and daily play time with an owner.
What about when you suspect your cat is sick? What signs should you look for? Cats are very good at hiding problems, but an observant cat owner can watch for several clues. One of the easiest things to check for is a healthy coat which is a sign of both proper diet and adequate grooming. Unfortunately, poor grooming is often a sign of significant, later-stage illness. So we also can check for some earlier clues. Is your cat drinking more – is he spending more time at the bowl or faucet or is there more urine in the box? Is your cat eating more or less? Have you noticed any weight loss? These can be a signs of several diseases in cats such as thyroid, kidney or diabetes which can be treated most successfully when caught early. For that reason, annual exams and bloodwork are a good idea in our feline friends!
Author: Dr. Renee Hanan