Cats are some of the most majestic and, at the same time, goofy animals on the plant. They all have their own personalities and funny quirks, but they all need the same few things to stay healthy. We all want our furry little friends to be with us as long as possible, so here are a few tips to keep your kitty rabbit kicking your forearms for years to come!
1. Nutritious Food
It's pretty easy to walk in to any store and find the cheapest cat food that comes in a 25lb bag for $15, but that certainly isn't going to be the best choice for your fluffy companion. Quality, nutritious food can sometimes be hard to pick out in the crowd. Even some of the large brands with a good reputation slip in some not so good ingredients from time to time, so it's important to make smart choices when it comes to your cats kibble.
For example, my cat Zazu has a very sensitive tummy and it took us weeks to find a healthy kibble that agreed with her. One great way to bypass some of those troubles is to consult a veterinarian or a trusted natural pet food store. Many times, they will have knowledge from their own experience and experiences of others to back their suggestions. Either way, though, make sure you're feeding your furbaby wholesome food to ensure they live the happiest life possible.
2. Veterinary Care
This one should seem obvious, but you would be surprised that the amount of cat owners who avoid taking their pets in for yearly check ups. Vets usually recommend that cats be spayed or neutered, as well as microchipped in case they do end up outside somehow. One great way to make this as easy and painless for both of you is to set up a payment plan with your favorite vet. At our local vet, we set up and pay a small monthly fee (I think ours is $30/mo per cat) and that covers all check ups as well as the cost of getting your kitty fixed.
The great thing is that it spreads all the payments out instead of having a $300 bill to pay all at once. Plus it encourages us to make the vet visit since we're already paying for it. I am unsure if all vets offer this type of plan, but check with yours and see if they do. I can assure you it's worth the money to keep your furry family member healthy.
3. Keep Them Safe
Again, you're thinking "Tyler, could you be giving us anymore obvious advice", but I assure you this one is particularly important. Keeping them safe is much more than just keeping cupboards closed and doors shut, it has to do with having proper pet-proofing because the last thing we want to see is our animal have an encounter with a car or a predator. The saying goes that cats have nine lives, but in reality they only have one and its important to protect them.
Cat-proofing can be a challenge as they can pretty much make anything into a toy and cause mischief in a number of odd ways. My cat, Adobe, is obsessed with plastic bags. She loves to stick her head inside the handle of Target bags and run around like she's wearing a super hero cape. Although cute, we get worries that with the wrong move, she could get hurt or suffocate. We have to take extra special care that no bags get left out. For other cats, plants can be a problem if they like to munch on them for a snack or even sharp objects like safety pins or thumb tacks.
Cat-proofing is much like kid-proofing, it seems simple until you realize how many things they can and will get into! As long as you're actively trying to keep your pets environment safe, you're doing a great job!
4. Stimulation and Play Time
This may be the most important one besides healthy food. Cats have instincts that make them natural born hunters. Simulating that activity with play time is crucial for their happiness and also helps them bond more deeply with their owners. Taking 15-20 mins each day to play with a string toy can make a huge difference to your cats activity levels and will tap into the hunter inside every kitty.
Now, some cats aren't as playful as others and there are some great, all-natural ways to promote healthy play. One great option is high quality catnip. Catnip gives cats a euphoric sense of energy and can help initiate that playful behavior which is so important to their health. If your cat doesn't react to catnip, try valerian root or silver vine as those are both fantastic and safe catnip alternatives.
We all want our cats to live as long as possible, but there are some keys to making sure your cat is happy and healthy. To ensure this, make sure you're feeding them healthy food, are taking them to the vet, are keeping their environment safe and free of hazards and give them the proper attention and play time. If you do all of these things consistently, your kitty is one lucky feline and I'm sure they know it. :)
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