Cats constantly rate as one of the most popular pets in the world. In fact, for many people, cats become a member of the family. It is easy to see why. They can be affectionate, independent and easy to take care of. However, you cannot ignore your cat. You need to know your cat's habits and behavioral tendencies. This is especially true concerning your cat's health. If you know your cat, it is easier to tell when something is wrong. Lack of energy, reduction in appetite and bathroom habits going bad are all early signs of illness. If you know your pet well enough, you'll know when something is not quite right. Here are 5 tips that can help you identify health concerns early.
Tip 1 - Keep an Eye on Your Cat's Weight
This is an important part of caring for your cat. Just like it does in people, obesity leads to many diseases such as diabetes. You should regularly weigh your cat. This can be done at the veterinarian's office or at home. You don't need technical equipment. Bathroom scales will be OK. If your cat won't go onto the scales, weigh yourself holding the cat and then weight yourself without the cat. The difference in weight would be the weight of the cat. If you notice any major change in weight and shape you should notify your vet as this could be an indication that something is not right.
Tip 2 - Watch Medications
A lot of illnesses may cause you to seek medication and other solutions to get them back on track. Make sure you follow your vet's advice in this area. Some people attempt to administer their own medication. On occasions, dog owners may be advised to give their hound half an aspirin but this should never be attempted with a cat. Aspirins can be fatal. Make sure your cat receives any medications, including yearly vaccinations, from the vet. Also, make sure your vet shows you how to safely administer any medicine.
Tip 3 - Grooming
Make sure your pet is groomed at regular intervals. Cats are good at trying to keep themselves groomed, but occasionally they will need help from you. Regular grooming helps keep their hair from matting, removes loose hair and helps keep the skin free from diseases and parasites.
Tip 4 - Feeding
Diet is a staple to good health care. Many veterinarians are now recommending that you feed your cat canned food rather than dry food. There are three advantages for serving canned food. First, dry food contains too much plant protein as compared to animal protein. Cats are different from dogs or even humans. They are strict carnivores. They need a lot of animal protein and cannot take plant protein and convert it like dogs or humans do. Second, the amount of carbohydrates in dry food is too high and third, the water content in dry food is too low.
Tip 5 - Clean Litter Area
Most cats easily learn to use a litter box. Sometimes, however, they may suddenly stop using the litter box and go on the floor, bed, or other location. Although this may occur because of an aversion to the litter box itself, it may be the result of a urinary tract infection. If your cat suddenly stops using the litter box, check with your veterinarian.
As you become more familiar with your pet's habits and behavior, it becomes easier to identifying potential concerns before they can grow into major problems. Knowledge of your cat can improve the quality of your cat's life and provide you with a friend for a long time.
Merle Zunigha has owned, or rather more correctly has been owned by, cats for over 30 years. His first cats were two stray kittens that had been chewed on and had whiskers singed. His latest friend, Nibbles, recently passed away after 18 years of friendship.