The health of a cat can fluctuate based on a range of factors. Despite them having the reputation of just laying about doing nothing, they can actually get themselves into all sorts of trouble. With that said, here’s what you can do to help improve the overall health of your furry friend.
The Life Expectancy Of A Cat
Before you start worrying about the health of your cat, you need to think about the average life expectancy of your cat. As a younger cat with health issues is more likely to be able to be helped through care, whilst an old cat will need a more delicate medical approach.
Roughly, cats live an average of 13-17 years. This is primarily referring to indoor cats, as outdoor cats can see that figure halved with dangers outside, mainly through car hit and runs, and other animals hunting. Outdoor cats are explorers who can sometimes travel up to a mile away from their home before returning, so you can imagine the dangers.
Of course, some cats will live longer through good health, genes and nature factors, with some living to their 20s. But you should know that older cats are more prone to diseases and other health factors, whilst young cats primarily have their health damaged physically.
How Grooming Can Help
Famously, cats are cleanliness crazy, which means that they usually groom themselves, but that’s not to say you should do nothing. Consider brushing or combing your cat daily, as this will help cut down on hairballs entering your cat’s digestive systems.
You can get your cat into a habit of grooming, with a brush before a meal in order to reward your cat for the act. Hairballs are not only bad for the inside of your cat, but most of the time they will actually throw them back up, causing a mess.
Diet Is Everything
You can’t talk about the health of a cat, without mentioning its diet. For cats, it’s important to know that meat is an important part of their diets. There are two main types of cat food, that is dry and wet. Dry food is good as it lasts longer than wet food, and used moderately it can be a great addition to a food bowl.
However, it’s important to get fresh wet food in there too. Cats need a balanced diet, and if they have too much dry food, then that will mean they will get too much carbs put into their systems, which is not good for cats.
Balance can be achieved by monitoring food and buying brands that your cat enjoys, it’s important not to overfeed, as that causes further issues.
Supplements To Get Them Important Nutrients
Sometimes, you will need to source other means of getting protein and health boosts into your cat’s belly. One common way is by using an organic bone broth that is powder based, that can be used to help rehydrate dry food, or be used as a tasty healthy treat.
Consider purchasing organic bone broth for cats from Native Pet. They offer flavors in beef or chicken and contain plenty of naturally sourced nutrients, that can help boost a cat’s immune system and strengthen its heart. If your cat happens to be intolerant to gluten, then you’ll be happy to hear that they offer it gluten-free.
These supplements are used in moderation, usually as an add on to a meal. You shouldn’t use supplements as a replacement for food, unless it’s in dire circumstances.
Keep An Eye On Weight
As a cat owner, you’ll be aware of how greedy cats can be if you let them get into the routine of having food as soon as they go to their bowl and meow. As such, you should try to stick your cat to set times of eating, as if not, their weight can grow very quickly.
A cat who is heavier will see his life expectancy drastically reduce, as it will not only grow lazier, but it will lose strength in core muscles, and put strain on its heart. Cats are prone to diabetes, high blood pressure as well as general organ diseases. In some cases, cats in poor health will start to see their motor systems start failing, meaning their bones will not be able to support their weight.
Watch The Teeth
The teeth of your cat are an interesting one, as the mouth is designed for cleaning, as you will have probably noticed of a cat, but tooth decay and mouth diseases can still brew. Teeth at the end of the day are similar in humans as any animal, and will be prone to dental issues.
What you can do, is clean your cats’ teeth regularly. However, you should speak to your dentist first, as there could be some issues within the mouth that will need delicate work, and you sticking a toothbrush in could just make everything worse.
Assuming you get the go ahead, you have to find the right time to brush your cats’ teeth. If you know cats, then you know that they won’t just sit there and let you do it, because if you do, they will most likely scratch you.
You should wait until your cat is not in a playful mood, where they are calm and worn out. When they are docile, you will be able to delicately life their lips, and start massaging their teeth and gums with your finger for a short while.
Once they haven’t reacted to that, reward them with a treat, to help gain trust on the act. Once your cat is more used to your touch within their mouth, then you can move onto using a toothbrush instead of your fingers. When it comes to using toothpaste, you need to use cat specific toothpaste, as human versions will contain nasty toxins that will hurt your cat.
Train Your Cat To Use Scratching Posts
If you own a cat, you will know that they love to extend their claws and scratch anything around them, usually that’s your new sofa. Because of this, you should try to train them with a scratching post, to save them using their claws on furniture they shouldn’t be.
You could do this by placing a scratching post in the center of a room, where a cat will go to be social, as they love being the center of attention. They may not know what it is at first, so consider littering it with catnip to help attract your cat.
Once your cat starts using the scratching post, they will come to it more often than your sofa, in time you’ll be able to move it elsewhere, as to not block any walkways. Cat’s will end up thanking you for this, even if they don’t show it.
Regular Cat-Specific Vet Visits
These days, you can get vet access online via a video call 24/7, so you can get urgent medical assistance whenever you need it. Away from urgent visits, it’s a good idea to schedule a visit from time to time, in order to ensure they are doing well.
From a young age, you should start to do weekly visits for their first few months, before moving on to annual checks when they mature. Vets will be able to do generic checkups or keep tabs on an ongoing problem to see if any changes made are having an effect.