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Cat Care: 10 Expert Tips on Health, Nutrition & More

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By Nicole Cosgrove

brushing cat's teeth

Giving your cat a nutritious and balanced diet is vital for her overall health. Proper care can prolong your cat’s life and ensure your feline friend is always happy.

You need to consider numerous things when caring for your cat. Here are some basic cat care tips for all cat owners.

The 10 Expert Tips on Cat Care

1. Brush Your Cat Daily

Cats are very clean creatures, and they spend most of their time grooming themselves. Ensure you brush your cat every day to decrease the hairballs that can form in the alimentary canal. Combing is essential as it removes loose hair and dirt from her coat and allows you to notice any change in her body.

In addition, brushing helps your cat to relax, and they enjoy it. If you want your cat to be cooperative, ensure you connect the combing with a happy occasion. For instance, if you brush your cat before serving it some food, it will relate combing with something yummy.

Cats don’t necessarily have to be bathed, but there are some instances that you have to bathe them. For example, you can wash your cat if she is sprinkled with unpleasant liquid or has fleas.

woman brushing the Persian cat
Photo Credit: ANURAK PONGPATIMET, Shutterstock

2. Clean Your Cat’s Teeth

Brushing your cat’s teeth can help prevent dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease. Oral health problems like a plague, gingivitis, and bad teeth can cause bacterial infection in the mouth, leading to feline diseases.

Brushing her teeth occasionally will help prevent all these health problems. You can ask for your veterinarian’s assistance if you cannot brush your cat’s teeth yourself.

3. Never Feed Your Cat Too Much Dry Food

Cats are carnivores by nature and mainly feed on animal products like meat. Giving your cat dry food is not good because they contain large amounts of carbohydrates, which is not ideal for cats.

Some common health issues that are associated with dry food include diabetes, hairballs, obesity, dental disease, kidney disease, cystitis, asthma, hepatic lipidosis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

To prevent such medical problems, give your cat food that is rich in protein, minimal carbohydrates, and moderate amounts of fats. Also, ensure your cat gets considerate amounts of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and fatty acids for a healthy life.

Besides, ensure your cat has better access to fresh and clean water at any given time. You will notice that your cat will drink more water after feeding on dry food since they have low water concentration compared to canned food. Nursing and elderly cats dehydrate faster than other cats; hence they need more water.

Gray cat eating from the bowl
Photo Credit: Skrypnykov Dmytro, Shutterstock

4. Better Housing

Cats love napping during the day. Ensure your cat has a clean and dry place for resting and sleeping. Line her bed with a soft, warm towel or blanket. Make sure you wash the bedding regularly.

You may want to keep your cat indoors to avoid being eaten by Coyotes. Outdoor cats are prone to risks such as being hit by cars or fighting with other cats. Besides, outdoor cats get infested with ticks and fleas, contracting infectious diseases.

5. Provide Enough Litter Boxes

The general thumb rule is to have one litter box for every cat plus an extra one. This means that if you have three cats, you need to have at least four litter boxes. One litter box per floor is ideal for multi-level homes and put every box in an easy-to-access area.

Please don’t place the litter box at dark corners of your house since your cats will not be comfortable using them in such areas. In addition, ensure that the litter box is not covered because your cat will not be willing to use it.

Ensure that the boxes are clean since cats don’t like using messy litter boxes, hence the need for regular scooping at least once a day. You also need to dump and refill everything every week. Wash the litter boxes with mild detergent and not with deodorants or ammonia.

Your cat can start urinating outside the litter box if the box is dirty or she has other medical issues.

orange cat digging litter box
Photo Credit: xamnesiacx84, Shutterstock

6. Trim Your Cat’s Claws

It would help if you trimmed your cat’s claws at least twice a month. This helps to prevent the nails from becoming too sharp, long, frayed, or broken.

Long claws can tear your furniture or clothing. They can also make your feline ally scratch you accidentally when holding her.

7. Purchase a Scratching Post for Your Cat

Cats enjoy scratching. If you don’t want claw marks on your valuable furniture, buy a scratcher or scratching post for your cat. Then train or show your cat how to use the scratcher.

Place the scratcher three feet high in the middle of the room where main activities take place. Your cat may ignore it if you position it at the far-end corner.

Scratching can help your cat pull off the older outer nail sheath, leaving sharp, smooth claws that may not destroy furniture or harm someone.

If your feline friend follows your instructions well during training, you can reward her with treats since they love them. This may encourage her to do better next time.

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8. Neuter or Spay Your Cat

Neutering or spaying your cat is very beneficial, and it’s a safe way to control your pets’ population. Taking care of dozens of kittens is stressful, and not many cat owners are willing to do this.

When female cats go into heat, they are very stubborn. Spaying helps prevent female cats from reproductive diseases such as ovarian cancers, uterine infections, and breast tumors. On the other hand, neutering prevents prostate problems and testicular cancer in male cats.

9. Select a Cat-Friendly Veterinarian

If you don’t have a vet for your cats, you can ask other cat owners to suggest a cat-friendly veterinarian in your location. Find a vet who specializes in feline health and anatomy for the best health of your cat.

Look for a veterinarian who resides near your home for a timely arrival in case of an emergency. The vet will advise you on various cat needs, vaccinations, and check-ups for your cat’s overall health.

Veterinarian examining teeth of a persian cat
Image Credit: didesign021, Shutterstock

10. Allow Your Cats to Play

Cats are very active and playful. They require physical and mental stimulation. Ensure you provide your cats with a wide range of toys to play with.

It is good to note that cats are different, and each cat has its preferences and tastes. You will find that one of your cats loves playing with a mice toy while a plastic spring toy amuses another. Therefore, make sure you provide plenty of toys for your cat to select for herself.

You can also encourage and train your children to play and treat your cats. Many kids don’t know how to treat pets.

Final Thoughts

Cats are lovely and intelligent creatures. Pet owners need to take good care of their cats for a healthy life. Cleanliness is the fundamental thing to do, ranging from cleaning your cat’s teeth, beddings, dishes, and litter boxes.

Cats usually hide their illness signs, so ensure you keep an eye on them to monitor any change in their drinking, eating, activity level, or litter box habits. You can consult your veterinarian if you notice any undesirable cat behavior.

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Featured Image Credit: cynoclub, Shutterstock

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