Cats are one of the most popular animals to have as a pet and for us here at the Humane Society, it is our top animal adopted each year. However, if a kitten or cat is in your family’s future, you need to know a few simple tips to ensure your cat stays healthy and happy in your home.
1. Know What to Feed Them
What you feed your cat can depend on its age, activity level and health. To find the right food for your cat, talk to shelter staff or your vet to see what is recommended. All animals digest food differently and your cat may need to go onto a special diet to get the nutrients he or she needs.
2. Visit Your Vet Regularly
Just like people, cats need to go to the doctor for check-ups, too. Visit your vet at least twice each year to make sure your cat is healthy and happy.
3. Watch Their Weight
Your cat can have serious health problems if it is overweight. By feeding your cat the proper food (and the proper amount), playing with them and also providing fun activities for your cats to do by themselves, then you can help manage their weight.
4. Don’t Get Bugged Out
Even indoor cats can get heartworms or fleas. The best preventative measure you can take is to provide year-round protection for your pets. Visit with your vet to see what steps to take to ensure your cat stays safe.
5. Know Where They Are
Whether your cat lives outdoors or indoors, there is a chance of them getting out, roaming or getting lost. To help protect your cats, get them microchipped. This small chip is just the size of one grain of rice and goes under the skin between your pet’s shoulders. If your cat turns up at any vet’s office, pet store or shelter, the cat will be scanned and your contact information will pop up so they can notify you that your cat has been found.
6. Keep Litter Clean
Use large litter boxes in your home. You want them to fit the size of your cat. So, buy one that is about the tip of the cat’s nose to the tip of the cat’s tail in length. If you have a kitten, buy one that is large enough to fit the cat as it grows into adulthood. Scoop the box daily to not only cut down on any odors, but also to provide a clean environment for your cat.
7. Make Time for Play
It is normal for cats to want to chase, pounce and catch things. Feed into their natural desire to do this by playing with them a few times a day. Not only are you letting them do what comes naturally to them, you are also giving them the exercise they need to stay healthy.
8. School Them on Scratching
Scratching is also common for cats. However, if you want your cat to avoid scratching your furniture, you will want to train them to use a scratching post. This will help them get rid of that urge to scratch, but keep your items safe from claw marks.
9. Pay Attention
Cats like routines. They are fairly consistent animals, so if your cat starts acting out of character take notice. There may be something wrong with them and you should contact your vet immediately.
10. The More the Merrier
Cats are social creatures. They love not only having human companions but also other animal companions. Visit the Humane Society of Greater Dayton and see if there is a new buddy for your cats there. We recommend you bring your pet with you to see how they will interact with the new cat before you adopt them.