Feline and Feeling Fine: Tips for Keeping Your Cat Healthy

Photo courtesy of http://www.zootoo.com

Regular vet visits are a key part of maintaining your cat’s good health.

Our cats provide us with comfort, companionship, and fun. And in return, they depend on us to help keep them safe and healthy. To maintain your cat’s good health, regular visits to the vet are a must.

But recent studies show that one-third of cat owners only take their animal to the vet when their pet is noticeably sick. While cats have a reputation for being very independent, our feline friends need regular checkups to avoid allowing small problems to grow into major ones.

Dr. Michelle Gaspar, the veterinary advisor for the all-natural cat litter Feline Pine, urges owners to make these vet visits a priority. “Contemporary clinical practice considers a thorough physical exam as the cornerstone of feline veterinary care.”

Regular vet checkups can also uncover hidden medical issues that have the potential to develop into larger problems. “As we know, cats who appear healthy to the clients aren’t necessarily so,” Gaspar adds. “Providing feline patients our medical expertise on a regular basis benefits the kitty, client and our hospitals.”

Remembering annual checkups can be a challenge, so Feline Pine offers a page on their website where visitors can sign up for an annual reminder e-mail. This service is part of National Take Your Cat to the Vet Week, which the company began promoting last year.

Between vet visits, here are some simple ways that cat owners can keep their pets healthy and happy.

Establish regular feeding times. Scheduling meals of equal proportion can help prevent obesity in cats. Studies have shown that between 25 and 40 percent of cats are overweight, a condition that can lead to more serious health problems. When you help your cats become accustomed to a regular eating routine, you help them maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Better grooming, better health. Brushing your cat’s fur and trimming his claws are more than just beauty rituals. Keeping your cat’s coat free of excess hair can help to prevent hairballs — a benefit for both pet and owner! And to prevent ingrown nails, make sure your cat’s claws are not too long. When trimming, be sure to clip only the sharp tip, never the pink section — and if you’re not sure how to trim, ask your veterinarian to show you.

Know your cat’s patterns. Living with your pet daily means that you are in the best position to notice any problems that might arise with his health. Be aware of signs that indicate your cat may be experiencing a medical issue. Emergency symptoms such as vomiting or bleeding are obvious indicators that something’s wrong, but subtler signals can also be important tip-offs.

Owners should watch for significant changes in cats’ behavior — a social kitty spends the day under the bed, a pet with a previously healthy appetite turns away from food, or an active cat no longer seems interested in playing with favorite toys. All of these could be signs of more serious problems.

Be prepared. Many organizations, such as the Red Cross, offer DVDs and books with valuable first aid information for cat owners. Also, don’t be hesitant to ask your veterinarian to show you how to administer any prescribed medication or recommended care.

Do you have a special method for keeping your cat in great shape that you would like to share with other pet lovers? Why not create your own website with Living Years Pets; an easy to create, affordable and highly engaging website to celebrate your beloved pets. It will allow family, friends and colleagues, from around the world, to communicate and frequently relive precious memories forever.

Story and photo from http://www.zootoo.com.

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