What Does a Cat Need to Be Healthy?
Although cats may seem as if they are largely self-sufficient and require little care, especially compared to their canine counterparts, realistically, they need just as much specialized attention to remain happy and healthy. To keep your feline friend in tip-top shape, ensure you’re meeting their physical and mental health needs.
Physical health needs of cats
Your cat’s physical health needs primarily revolve around preventing illness and disease and include such aspects as:
- Preventive care — Preventive care forms the cornerstone of your cat’s overall health and wellness and consists of vaccinations, parasite prevention, screening tests, and dental care.
- Diet — With 60% of the American feline population classified as overweight or obese, a healthy diet is critical to help your feline pal maintain an ideal body condition. Cats that are too heavy are more likely to develop osteoarthritis, urinary issues, diabetes, heart problems, and some cancers.
- Grooming — Although cats are typically fastidious groomers, they can use extra help. Brush your cat regularly, even if they are shorthaired. Clean their ears of debris if needed, and brush their teeth daily if possible. Heavy or longhaired cats often require a sanitary trim or regular washing to prevent urine and feces from accumulating.
Mental health needs of cats
Your cat’s mental health is also important for its physical health, as a bored, stressed cat can develop urinary issues, overgrooming, and a multitude of other problems. Help them out by providing tools for:
- Scratching — Scratching is an instinctive need for cats and allows for nail care, stretching, and scent marking. Provide a variety of scratching posts and surfaces to give your cat the opportunity to scratch in the appropriate areas.
- Climbing — Cats feel safer when they are up high, and climbing towers and cat shelves can fulfill that need.
Common health issues in cats
Without adequate health care that focuses on their mental and physical needs, cats are more likely to develop numerous health problems. Common health issues include:
- Dental disease
- Ear infections
- Skin allergies and infections
- Urinary tract disorders
- Respiratory tract infections
- Kidney disease
By providing regular wellness care for your feline friend, you can help prevent or minimize their risk for certain health conditions. Contact our team to schedule your cat’s next preventive care visit.