At Viand Pet, we know how important it is to look after your pet's health and well-being. But as a first-time cat owner, or even a seasoned veteran, do you know what all that entails? You might think that cats are a low-maintenance pet, but the truth is, a lot goes into keeping our feline friends happy and healthy. When adopting a cat, use these tips to put your pet's health first.
Spay and neuter for better health and behavior
The most important thing you can do for your cat's health is have it spayed or neutered. Spaying and neutering not only stops unwanted litters of kittens, it prevents roaming, fighting, yowling, spraying, and other nuisance behaviors in cats.
Pay attention your pet's nutrition
The cheapest kibble on the shelf isn't necessarily the best for your cat. That's because cats are carnivores, but many dry cat foods are high in grains and carbohydrates. Feed your cat a meat-rich dry food like Viand Cat Food and supplement with meat or high-quality canned food for a healthy diet.
Don't overload on treats
Treats are a fun addition to your cat's routine, but they shouldn't make up more than 10-15% of a cat's daily calories. Treats can be used to help a nervous cat warm up, reinforce good behavior, or train cats to tolerate nail trims. CBD cat treats can even be used to soothe feline anxiety and arthritis. When choosing a treat, CBD or otherwise, pay attention to the ingredients to ensure a high protein content and no questionable additives like artificial colors and flavors.
Prevent dehydration with fresh water
It's not just what your cat eats that matters. Cats are prone to dehydration because, like most carnivores, cats evolved to get water through their food. However, most cat food doesn't provide enough hydration to meet your pet's needs. To encourage cats to drink water, Gallant suggests providing a flowing source of fresh water like a cat water fountain.
Practice litter box etiquette
All of that hydration is sure to keep your cat's litter box busy. However, you might find yourself facing litter box problems if you're not careful. As a rule of thumb, supply one litter box per cat plus one extra. Put the litter boxes in a private, but convenient location and scoop them daily.
Groom cats' claws and coat
The litter box isn't the only hygiene item on a cat owner's to-do list. It's also important to brush your cat regularly to prevent hairballs and matted fur and trim its nails. Convincing a cat to tolerate nail trimming isn't always easy. To make the process painless for everyone, PrettyLitter recommends getting your cat accustomed to having its paws handled before introducing nail clippers and be sure to use plenty of treats.
Train cats to use a scratching post
With a sturdy scratching post, your cat can help maintain its own claws ‑ and hopefully spare your furniture too! Cats' scratching post preferences vary, so experiment with a variety of materials including sisal, carpet, wood, and corrugated cardboard to find what your cat likes best.
Keep cats indoors and active
Cats do more than nap all day. The happiest cats get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy. However, you don't have to expose your cat to the dangers of the outdoors to keep it active. From laser pointers to puzzle toys to feathers and mice, cat owners have no shortage of options for indoor play. If you do introduce your cat to the great outdoors, opt for leash training or a catio rather than letting your pet roam free.
A healthy pet is a happy pet. As you prepare to adopt your first cat, make sure you're ready to give your pet everything it needs to live a long, healthy life. From plenty of TLC to a well-balanced diet from Viand Pet, the right care will ensure many joyful years with your cat by your side.