Regular Cat Care
re you adding a new kitten or
being as dominant and not having
Nutrition
A
cat to the family? Maybe you
the tendency to roam as much.
It’s import-
already have a furry feline friend,
Our veterinarian can recommend
ant that
but you’d like to learn more about
when your cat should be spayed or
your cat
how to care for your pet. Regard-
neutered.
gets the
less of whether you’re a cat owner
nutrition
Eye Care
or plan to be one in the future,
he or she
Don’t forget about your cat’s eyes!
the following tips are intended to
needs in
A good home eye exam can reveal
help explain all the ins-and-outs of
order to
any tearing, crust, cloudiness, or
these mysterious creatures, and
have op-
inflammation that may indicate a
how they are best cared for.
timal health, but it’s also import-
health problem. If you see any-
ant to reduce the risk of obesity.
Health
thing that looks abnormal or is
Shockingly, an estimated 53%
Whether you own a kitten or a cat,
cause for concern, please bring
of cats are overweight or obese.
your feline friend should see our
your cat to see our veterinarian as
Even just two pounds above your
veterinarian at least once a year
soon as possible.
cat’s ideal weight can increase its
for an examination and annual
Dental Care
risk for developing diabetes, heart
shots - and immediately if she is
Because approximately 70% of
disease, hypertension, arthritis,
sick or injured. These visits should
cats display signs of oral disease
and cancer. The average ideal
also increase when your pet enters
by their third birthday, the im-
weight for a cat
into her senior years. Kittens and
portance of taking care of your
is about 10 to 12
cats have different needs; there-
cat’s oral health is more para-
pounds, which
fore, require different treatments.
mount than ever. Damage to the
varies by breed,
Vaccinations
tongue, teeth, palate, and gums
and the ideal daily intake for a
Which vaccinations your
can lead to many health risks for
10-pound cat is 275 calories.
cat needs will depend on
felines. This is why regular vet-
Your first step should be to ask
his or her age, breed, health
erinary dental appointments are
your vet for food recommenda-
status, location, and more.
so important. With annual dental
tions and how many calories your
exams, our veterinarian can spot
Kittens should receive a series of
cat should be eating per day. And,
any potential problems before
vaccinations beginning around
don’t forget about water! Your cat
they develop into more serious
six to eight weeks, with boosters
should have fresh, clean water at
diseases. Also, brushing your cat’s
periodically until about 16 weeks.
all times.
teeth daily will help maintain a
To determine which vaccinations
healthy mouth in-between dental
Certain foods should always be
your cat needs - and when - ask
cleanings.
avoided when feeding your cat.
our veterinarian for recommenda-
Cats can become obese from
tions.
Allergies
eating too many carbohydrates,
Parasites and allergies can cause
Spaying and Neutering
which can lead to diabetes. Be-
your cat’s skin to itch, which could
By spaying or neutering your pet,
cause of this, do not feed your
result in skin that is red, inflamed,
you are doing more than just
cat any dog food and keep treats
scabbed, or worse. This is why
helping to control the pet home-
to only 5-10% of the diet. Also,
it’s important to examine your
lessness crisis. After being spayed
do not feed your cat any foods
cat’s skin periodically to make
or neutered, your pet will live a
containing onion or garlic powder,
sure there isn’t any damage or
longer, healthier life as spaying
as these are poisonous for your
irritation. Any type of allergy
and neutering prevents many
cat. Lastly, when in doubt, always
could be affecting your cat’s skin
infections, cancer, and tumors.
bring your cat to see our veteri-
and should be investigated by our
There are also a variety of behav-
narian if something seems off. We
veterinarian.
ioral benefits, such as males not
would also be happy to provide a
Copyright 2016 PawsTime • June 2016
diet recommendation for your cat or kitten.
All cats should have a breakaway collar and visible
ID that includes your name, address, and telephone
Skin and Fur Care
number. A microchip is also highly recommended so
Regular brushing removes dirt, dead hair, and skin
that if your pet wanders off, he or she can be returned
flakes from your cat’s coat, which improves the over-
to you.
all condition of her skin.
Litter Box
Grooming
Every indoor cat needs a litter box, which is best put
Even though cats self-groom, some cats still need
in a quiet, more private location in your home. Be
professional grooming every now and then to keep
sure to clean the litter box at least once a day by
them looking and feeling their best. If your cat fights
scooping out waste and replacing the litter if nec-
the grooming process and there is potential that
essary. Cats will not use a litter box if it is messy or
injury could occur to your cat or yourself, it would be a
smelly.
good idea to have your cat professionally groomed.
At least once per week, dump the entire box, wash it
Hairballs
with warm, soapy water, and replace it in the same
Let’s talk about hairballs. We all know the unpleasant
location. Try not to move the litter box, as this could
result of what happens when a cat has a hairball.
create confusion for your cat. If your cat will not use
Because cats groom themselves so regularly, hair
a litter box, this could be an indicator of an underlying
becomes stuck in the digestive track, which could
medical condition, such as a UTI. If this is the case,
obstruct the pathway for food and cause vomiting or
your cat should be examined by our veterinarian.
constipation. Although hairballs are mostly unavoid-
Scratching
able with long-haired cats, they can be minimized
Cats need to scratch, so rather than having him or her
through regular, professional grooming; routine
scratch the couch, pillows, and other furniture, give
brushing; hairball prevention products; and hairball
him an alternative. Provide your cat with a sturdy
prevention foods. Our veterinarian can recommend
scratching post, at least three feet high, with a stable
which products would be best for your cat.
support so it does not move or wobble. Cover the
Housing
post with rough material, such as sisal, burlap, or tree
Many people think their cats need to go outside, but
bark, which is great for conditioning nails. A scratch-
this isn’t true. Your cat can live a perfectly happy,
ing pad is also a good option.
healthy life indoors as long as everything is made
Entertainment
available to him or her inside. Your pet should have a
Don’t forget the fun! By providing your cat with
clean, warm place to sleep. And, it should be some-
entertainment, you prevent boredom and possible
where out of a main traffic area so your cat can relax
destructive behavior, as well as encourage exercise.
away from people if need be. If you let your cat out-
Many common household items can be fun for your
doors, be sure to monitor him or her closely and make
cat, such as cardboard boxes, feather dusters, ping-
sure to cat-proof your backyard. Don’t leave your
pong balls, paper bags, and more. Many cats enjoy
cat outside for too long - there are many dangers
looking out of a window to get some sun, or relaxing
to outdoor cats, such as moving vehicles, predators,
in their own kitty condo where they can play, hide,
parasites, infections, and diseases.
and climb to their hearts’ content.
Safety
Cats often entertain themselves, but regular play
Many substances that you may think aren’t harmful
sessions with your pet will provide the physical and
or dangerous are poisonous to cats. Toxic substanc-
mental stimulation that he or she needs.
es, such as antifreeze and pesticides, are dangerous,
as well as many plants. Lilies, for example, are deadly
Taking care of your cat could be brand new to you,
to cats if petals or pollen are ingested, and can result
or it could be second nature, but regardless of where
in immediate kidney failure. To read more about dan-
you’re at in pet ownership, we hope that you will
gers and other poisons to cats, you can
use these tips simply as guidelines. We are happy to
view a detailed list on ASPCA’s website
answer questions and address any concerns you may
at www.ASPCA.org.
have - and we look forward to seeing you soon!
Copyright 2016 PawsTime • June 2016