Cat Health – Things Every Cat Owner Needs To Know
There are many benefits to educating yourself about cat health. A healthy cat will be able to enjoy life to the fullest, and will be the most affectionate and loyal companion you could ever ask for. And being diligent about your cat’s health has other benefits, too. Knowing the preventative measures to take now can save you from costly veterinarian bills in the future.
Here are some things you should know about some common cat health issues.
Is it dangerous for a cat to be overweight?
There’s a good chance you’ve seen more than a few “plump” cats in your time. But is being overweight really that bad for your cat’s health? It certainly can be.
Like humans, overweight cats can suffer from many health problems, including heart disease and arthritis. And not being “in good shape” can have a serious effect on your cat’s ability to enjoy life. For example, an obese cat might find it hard to get around, and any kind of activity will leave them short of breath. As a result, they might not be all that eager to engage in physical activity, which will just contribute to their weight problem.
How can you tell whether or not your cat is at an ideal weight for its breed? Well you can usually just tell by looking at a cat if it’s a little plumper than it should be. Another way to tell is by running your hands along your cat’s sides. If you can’t count their ribs, they are probably overweight.
Should my cat be vaccinated for feline leukemia?
Feline leukemia virus (or FeLV) is a retrovirus. And it’s estimated that as many as 3% of all cats suffer from FeLV. Cats suffering from feline leukemia are more prone to cancer and blood disorders. Cats with FeLV might also suffer from a weakened immune system. Things that wouldn’t bother a healthy cat can cause a cat with FeLV to become extremely ill. Their bodies also have a harder time fighting off infections.
One of the most worrisome things about FeLV is how easily it can be spread from one cat to another. The virus is found in the saliva, feces, urine and breast milk of infected cats. A cat with FeLV can infect another cat by biting them, sharing the same litter boxes, sharing food and water dishes, and even while grooming each other. And infected mother cats can spread the feline leukemia virus to their kitten not only while nursing them, but during birth.
Experts suggest that any cat that will have contact with other cats, especially those that are allowed to roam freely outside, should be vaccinated against FeLV every 12 months.
Is it healthy for a cat to be spayed or neutered?
Many cat owners have questions about spaying and neutering. Primarily, they wonder how healthy these procedures really are for their pets.
The fact is that your cat being spayed (for females) or neutered (for males) is a very good thing. On average, cats that have had their reproductive organs removed live longer than those that haven’t. Among other things, these cats won’t suffer from cancers related to the reproductive system, like uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, and testicular cancer. Pets that have been spayed or neutered also tend to be calmer, happier, and more affectionate. And male cats that are neutered are less likely to feel the urge to run off and get into trouble. So not only is spaying and neutering good for your cat’s health, it can also be beneficial to their overall well-being.
Can proper dental care help prevent heart disease in my cat?
It might sound farfetched, but it’s true. Proper dental care can cut down on your cat’s chances of suffering from heart disease. And that’s not all. Of course, as you might expect, poor dental hygiene can result in your cat suffering from tooth decay, tooth infection, and eventual tooth loss. But it can also lead to more serious, and less obvious, health problems, like lung disease and kidney disease.
Fortunately, it’s easy to make sure your cat gets proper dental care. First, you should brush their teeth once a week using a soft, child-sized toothbrush, and edible cat toothpaste. Choose cat treats and cat food that promote healthy teeth and gums. And make sure your cat gets a dental checkup once a year.
How do you keep your cat in optimal health?
There’s no great secret or mystery to keeping your cat in good health. In fact, all the things that apply to keeping us humans happy and health also apply to your cat.
Make sure your cat has a good, nutritious diet. Try to buy the highest quality cat food you can. The better the cat food, the lower the chances are that your cat will be stricken by certain diseases and ailments.
Make sure your cat gets plenty of exercise. Regular activity will keep their bodies in good shape. And if your cat is a little chubby, ask your vet about putting them on a healthy weight loss program.
Keep your cat groomed, and their litter box clean. Not only is keeping the litter box clean healthier for your cat, it’s the simplest way to prevent the dreaded litter box avoidance. Think of it this way. You can spend a little time cleaning the litter box now, or you can spend a lot of money hiring someone to clean your carpet later.
Do they offer cat health insurance?
As a matter of fact, you can get health insurance for your cat. Like humans, our pets can suffer from unexpected illnesses or accidents. And veterinary bills can be pretty high. In fact, it’s not unheard of for a cat not to get the medical attention they need because their owners simply couldn’t afford it.
Cat health insurance ensures that you can take your cat to the vet when they need it, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. In fact, most basic cat insurance policies will pay 80% of your cat’s vet bills. When you consider how much vet bills can amount to, that’s quite a savings.
By educating yourself about the most common cat health issues, you can take preventative measures that can save you from high vet bills. And can save your cat from suffering from a preventable ailment or illness.