Purr-fect Ideas for a Happy and Healthy Feline
When you understand the nuance of cat logic, felines make wonderful pets. While they might seem indifferent at times, studies have shown that owning a cat can be both physically and mentally beneficial to your health. In other words, a happy cat means a happy home.
Since September is Happy Cat Month, we’ve put together a quick-and-easy list of things cats want and need to live the purr-fect life.
Cats Need to be Chipped
Whether your cat lives a sheltered indoor life or wanders the great outdoors ridding your property of mice, microchips are a good idea – in addition to the traditional collar and tags. Known as “chipping,” the process involves a hypodermic needed and a small microchip enclosed in a rice-sized glass cylinder. That small chip is painlessly injected between the shoulder blades.
Once installed, the chip contains a unique identification number that is registered with a nationwide database. That number can be used to reunite you with your pet, should they show up at a pound or other cat facility.
Yes, chips can fail over time. And yes, chips can migrate under the skin making it hard for shelters to identify your pet. But, the rumors about chips causing cancer aren’t true. That rumor comes from the fact that cats can develop a type of cancer called fibrosarcoma, which may occur at any injection site.
Just about any veterinarian can help you chip your cat, but it’s up to you to keep that number updated with your current phone number and email address. Simply login to the online database you receive when chipping your pet, enter your cat’s unique ID and verify your information once a year.
Coastal Tip: You’ll find a universal pet microchip lookup at www.petmicrochiplookup.org.
Cats Like being Healthy
Talk to your vet about properly vaccinating your pet. Then, stay on top of those vaccinations to ensure they don’t lapse. While you’re at the vet, ask about flea and tick control options. This is especially important for outdoor cats that come across parasites on a regular basis.
Coastal Tip: The American Association of Feline Practitioners keeps a list of cat friendly vets at www.catvets.com.
Cats Don’t Use Birth Control
Kittens are adorable. The Internet will attest to that. But those kittens grow up fast, which is why shelters are full. Spaying (female cats) or neutering (male cats) at around 5-months cuts down on the unwanted-pet population and can add to the health and happiness of your pet.
Spayed female cats live longer, helping them avoid uterine infections and breast tumors. Contrary to the popular rumor, spayed cats are no more likely to become overweight than their non-spayed counterparts. Plus, a spayed cat won’t go into heat every three weeks during breeding season.
Neutered male cats are better behaved and less aggressive. They also live longer, avoiding testicular cancer and prostate problems.
Cats Love Food (sometimes too much)
Cats are obligate carnivores. They need meat in their diet. When you’re picking up a bag of food, look for meat as one of the main ingredients.
Cats can eat too much. Instead of leaving a heaping bowl of food out at all times, establish a set feeding time, and only dish out the manufacturer’s suggested serving.
Cats like consistency. If you plan to switch to a new brand of food, introduce it slowly by mixing their old food with the new over a period of days or weeks. Their stomach and your carpet will thank you.
Cats like privacy (especially when they’re eating). Cats will eat better and be more at ease if there aren’t people stomping around where they eat. Just move their bowls (water and food) to an out-of-the-way location behind a chair or in the back of the laundry room.
Cats are Social
If you have the room and can give them the attention, get your cat a playmate. Your local shelter is likely bursting at the seams with unwanted kittens and cats. By adopting one, you’ll be helping out your local agency, plus you’ll be making your pet that much happier.
Cats are a wonderful addition to any family home, and Coastal Farm & Ranch has all of the food, toys, feeders, beds, crates, collars, medication, and expert advice you need to keep your feline friend happy and healthy. Just stop by the Coastal store near you and check out the aisles of pet supplies.
Catering to Your Cat
- Exercise your cat by leaving out paper bags, tissue paper or other toys.
- Play with your cat using laser pointers, feather toys, sticks, or anything else your cat enjoys.
- Give your cat a place to scratch, like a post covered in carpeting.
- Get your cat a buddy by adopting a second cat (they’ll bond and keep each other company).
- Train your cat to do simple sticks, such as “sit” and “stay.” Use treats as an incentive.
- Make feeding time more interesting with a food puzzle.