Is Better Cat Care Worth It?
It is no secret that cats are the most popular pets in the United States, but if you are caring for a cat it can sometimes feel like your cat takes care of themselves. While it’s true that cats do not need as much attention as dogs, they still require basic supplies and vet bills can pile up if you are not careful.
Here are six tips to ensure that your cat is properly cared for.
1) Spay or neuter your cats
If you are not planning on breeding from your cats, spaying and neutering is an easy way to cut down on vet bills in the long run. In fact, it’s recommended by most breeders to have all pets fixed before they reach sexual maturity, but this does not mean you can’t wait until adult age for your pet if they will be indoor pets who never come into contact with other cats. If you do choose to let a female cat cycle, expect a litter a year and a hefty vet bill after each bout of kitten-hood. One more thing to keep in mind is that spayed and neutered pets are more even-tempered, but this is not always the case. Talk to your vet about the effects of spaying/neutering your specific pet.
2) Get your cat comfortable in their carrier
Putting a cat in a carrier can be a nightmare for both you and your cat, but it is an essential part of going to the vet. Whether you have a large or small carrier it should be made as inviting as possible by putting a soft blanket or towel inside and letting them sniff around before trying to put them in. Ideally it would be best to try and get your cat used to the carrier from kitten-hood so they don’t associate it with harsh feelings towards vet visits, but it is never too late to get them comfortable. The carrier should be used for transporting your cat to the vet only, so keep that in mind before storing it somewhere high.
3) Brush your cat regularly
Cats can very easily develop hairballs if they are not brushed on a regular basis, at least twice a week. Many cats enjoy being brushed or will even sit still for you while you pet them. This is often less stressful than trying to brush them with their wiggly bodies, especially for kittens who are just getting used to being handled by humans.
4) Make sure there are no other animals in your household that might harm your cat
Most people understand that dogs and cats do not mix well together because of how territorial dogs can be, but that does not mean you are completely safe. Other household pets such as ferrets, iguanas, turtles and others may also harm your cat if they feel threatened or simply do not like them. Talk to your vet about the types of animals you have in the home before bringing a new cat into the fold so they can advise you on how best to protect them from any dangers.
5) Take care of your cats paws
Cats spend most of their time walking around outside where there is gravel and other dangers that can hurt their feet, but even indoor cats need their feet protected. You might notice that after some time outside your cat begins to walk with shorter steps or gingerly his front paws down (this is often when they are in from the cold). If your cat’s paws become cracked, bleeding or infected it is important to take them to the vet and keep their feet protected.
6) Take care of your cats teeth
Just like humans, cats need healthy teeth and gums if they want to live a healthy life. Brushing your cat’s teeth can be extremely difficult, but there are many other options for cleaning their teeth such as chews designed specifically for dental health and other tricks you can try out. The best way to get your cat used to having their teeth brushed is by getting them used to it from an early age so that they do not associate it with pain or punishment later on in life. You might also want to talk to your vet about supplements that can clean their teeth from the inside out. Talk to your vet about which type of toothpaste would be best for your pet, and be sure to get it approved before using it near their mouth.
7) Keep cats indoors
Keeping a cat indoors will not only protect them from physical danger such as getting hit by a car, but they will also never come in contact with diseases such as FIV or rabies. Indoor pets can be just as happy and healthy as outdoor ones but the risk is far lower to keep them safe and sound at home.
8) Get regular check-ups at the vet
This should go without saying, but you should always take your pet in for yearly check-ups. Whether it is the vet checking to see if they need a physical or an infectious disease check, it is important to make sure your pet is healthy and protected from any dangers that might be out there. In addition you will want to pay attention when your cat starts acting strangely. Some cats become distressed at being in a separate area from their owner when at the vet, while others simply will not stop crying for no reason. Take note of how they behave when going in for visits so you can notice changes if something is wrong with them shortly after a visit.
9) Keep vaccinations up-to-date
Last but not least is making sure you keep all of your cats vaccines up-to-date on a regular basis. Of course this only applies to cats that venture outside, but many of these vaccines are not only good for the life of your pet but will also help guard against communicable diseases. [ARTICLE END]
In all seriousness, this is a horrible article. As with most pieces written by vets about cat care, it’s very heavy on emotion and light on actual facts. If you were to take the points in this article alone as your sole source for feline healthcare knowledge, then I’d advise you find a new vet ASAP. Any responsible cat owner would know exactly what they’re doing here – if their cat becomes ill or distressed during a vet visit it’s time to change vets, simple as that. For everything else, there’s Google (or me).