Even though most New Year’s resolutions are abandoned within a month of making them, the New Year is a good time to start fresh and create some healthy habits. The following 6 habit will keep your cats happy and healthy not just for a few weeks, but for the rest of their lives.
1. Feed a species appropriate diet
Nutrition is the foundation for good health. Cats are obligate carnivores and they need meat to thrive. If you’re not already feeding a raw or grain-free canned diet, consider making this the year you make the switch. Your cats will thank you for it. You’ll find a wealth of information on feline nutrition, including my recommendations, right here on The Conscious Cat.
2. Keep your cat’s teeth healthy
Dental disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for cats, and, if left untreated, can lead to serious health problems including heart, kidney and liver disease. The best way to prevent dental disease is through brushing your cat’s teeth, and it’s not as hard as you may think to get a cat used to regular brushing.
3. Regular veterinary check ups
The American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends a minimum of annual wellness examinations for all cats in its Feline Life Stage Guidelines. Semi-annual wellness exams may be indicated for older cats, and cats with recurring health problems. Changes in health status may occur in a short period of time, and by the time cats show symptoms, a disease may already be progressed to a stage where treatment will be more complicated and more expensive.
4. Enrich your cat’s environment
At their core, cats are still wild animals, and while we’ve invited them into our homes to share our lives, we can’t expect them to completely give up all their instincts. We have to look at our living space from the cat’s point of view and provide an environment that keeps them stimulated. When cats’ needs are not met, they will be stressed, and this stress will often demonstrate itself in behavior issues such as inappropriate elimination, scratching, and aggression toward other cats and even the humans in the household. Accommodating cats’ needs is critical to ensuring that they are happy and healthy.
5. Learn as much as you can about cat health
The more you know about feline health, the better off your cat will be. Your cat’s veterinarian is your most important source of health information, but don’t be afraid to ask questions or research issues on your own. We pride ourselves on bringing you well researched, current information about feline health, nutrition, and behavior, adn we hope that you will make this site a regular stop for all your cat health information. Better yet, subscribe to our daily updates so you never miss anything!
6. Help cats who are less fortunate than your own
Even though we’d like to be able to, we can’t save every cat in need of a home, but there are things you can do to help less fortunate cats, from donating money to your favorite shelter, to fostering cats for a local rescue, to volunteering time at a shelter to give the cats some love and attention.
Here’s to 2016 being the happiest and healthiest year for your cats and for you!