“Happy Cats are Healthy Cats”

Lynn Baer, DVM, Cat Specialist, shares her top tips for cat owners to ensure well adjusted, happy cats.  Lynn says, “happy cats are healthy cats and happy cats make owners happier and healthier, too”.

  Tip #1) Recognize the fact that indoor only cats have no choices of their own in life

They are completely reliant on what we offer them.  We choose their litter box size, shape, location and litter substrate. We choose where they are fed, what they are fed out of, and what foods they are offered.  We choose their toys, their beds, their bowls, and everything within their lives.  Cats have few choices of their own.   They would be happier given more choices of their own and once owners understand that and begin to expand their options, cats would remain healthier and happier. 

Tip #2) Bring the outdoors in 

Cats are held captive within four walls for their entire lives.  Open the blinds, open the windows, grow grass, bring leaves and branches in for them to smell. Again for owners to be more aware of the fact that their cats have never walked on grass or soil, experienced changes in temperature, smelled different smells, or had the ability to walk around the block to explore new surroundings.  Owners should evaluate every opportunity to enhance their indoors cat’s lives by bringing new things into the home.  Build catios, window units or other alternative opportunities for cats to experience the outdoors.  At a minimum place window seats around the house (off the ground), build vertical spaces for them to climb, train them to walk on leashes, erect cat proof fences, etc.

 Tip #3) Play, play, play and more play

Indoor cats are bored, depressed and inactive.  Owners don’t generally play with their cats daily.  Cats need exercise, mental stimulation and fun.  Having a basket of toys for cats is not enough.  Owners should actively engage with their pets by using wand toys, laser lights, throwing blankets over furniture to create tents, rotating toys daily.  Adding silvervine, catnip, and valerian to their arsenal of toys will give cats new experiences.  Using foraging toys for food rewards, making cats hunt for some of their food all help to stimulate their body and mind.

Tip #4) Lots of scratch posts – both vertical and horizontal for cats to scratch on. 

I am completely opposed to declawing (having never performed one in my entire career).   Scratching is a form of communication and also gives cats the ability to stretch their muscles.  It is important they have great areas and substrates to scratch on.  It makes them happy.

 Tip #5)  Seek out cat only veterinarians

Don’t allow a veterinarian who declaws to treat your cat.  Take your cat to a vet at least once a year for a good physical exam and blood work.  Cats are notorious for hiding pain and illness and if an owner thinks their cat is sick, they are likely very sick.  Pay attention to any changes (no matter how small) and seek veterinary care immediately.  Age is not a disease and many owners ignore signs of illness as due to advanced aging.  That is not in a cat’s best interest.  Owners need to advocate on behalf of their pets and insure good medical care.  Seek second opinions.  Good veterinarians encourage owners to do so and are never offended by it. 

 Tip #6) Cats need wet food more than dry

Wet food is lower in calories and higher in protein and moisture.  It is extremely important to feed cats at least 5-6 times daily.  Don’t feed one brand or diet only.  Variety is the spice of life and cats are used to eating birds, squirrels, rats, mice, chipmunks, bugs, etc.  One diet or one brand is not normal.  Either is feeding once or twice a day.

 Source:  The Purrington Post

Editors Note:  Find many of the toys, scratchers, outdoor enclosures and cat furniture mentioned in this article right here.

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How to be the best cat owner you can be

 

Guest Blogger:  Jessica Brody –http://www.ourbestfriends.pet.  Jessica enjoys writing about cats and dogs.  See her blog for additional photos and posts).

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A cat is a great pet who can be just as loving a companion as a dog. It’s important to know, however, that cats are not dogs. They react differently to situations, learn and “train” differently, and require differing approaches to care. Here are some tips for being a great cat owner.

Know how to properly feed your cat

 Cats are carnivores, plain and simple. You can’t feed your cat a vegan diet and expect it to stay healthy.

“Money saved by buying cheap cat food will be spent hundreds of times over on veterinary care. Cats are obligate carnivores and need a good source of meat protein. They do not need large amounts of grain fillers, especially corn, which is a cheap source of protein used by many cat food manufacturer,” notes The Spruce.com.

Check your cat’s stool. If it appears too dry, you might want to switch to a wet food diet for a while or at least alternate between wet and dry food throughout the week.

And remember – don’t feed your cat milk, despite what all of the cartoons say. It can be harmful to them in many cases.

Make sure your cat gets enough exercise

It’s a myth that cats don’t need exercise. Sure, they don’t need as much as a dog – but cats that don’t exercise can develop a bevy of health problems, including heart disease and obesity.

… How do you ensure that your cat is getting enough exercise? The best way is to simply play with them for 15-30 minutes. If you have a fenced-in backyard, let them run around for a while. Make use of laser pointers. Your cat really will chase them for a long time. If your cat is suffering from obesity…talk to your vet about this more extreme exercise plan.

Give them a place to scratch

Cats will scratch. Like death and taxes, it’s a certainty of life. Make sure your cat has plenty of scratching posts to utilize. Never ever consider declawing a cat, even if they live indoors 100% of the time. It’s inhumane.

 Ensure pet family cohesiveness

One of the biggest challenges cat owners face is making sure the cat gets along with the other household pets – usually a dog. It’s important to remember that dogs and cats socialize in different ways, so “training” your cat the same way you trained your dog is not likely to have an effect on their behavior.

What you need to do is be mindful of the energy of the animals in your household. “It’s your responsibility to keep the family balanced by keeping the dog at the highest level of calm-submissive behavior, allowing the cats to become calm-assertive in front of him,” notes famed trainer Cesar Millan.

If your cats are showing aggression toward each other, it’s a different story with a different set of solutions. First, you should never let cats work through their issues with fighting. It just doesn’t work like that for them.

“Never let the cats ‘fight it out.’ Cats don’t resolve their issues through fighting, and the fighting usually just gets worse. Interrupt aggression with a loud clap of your hands or spray from a water gun,” says the ASPCA.

Once you separate your cats just leave them alone. Don’t try to soothe them the way you might try to calm a dog. You can also try to separate your cats’ resources – food, water, and toys.

Do your research on proper cat care. There are a lot of myths out there about cats, and some of them can be harmful.

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

(Editor’s Note:  The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by guest bloggers on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of MyThreeCats.com or its staff.)

 

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Cat Takes Bullet for Child, is Hero

Opie is no longer an ordinary house cat.  Opie is a HERO.

A stray bullet entered the home of a York, PA family and, after bouncing off a couch, hit Opie. It may have hit the family’s son, instead.

The bullet skimmed Opie’s head and came out through his neck area, winding up across the room.  The mother is convinced Opie saved her son’s life.  Opie was taken to the animal hospital and was treated extensively for his wounds.  He survived the ordeal, and is currently resting at home.

See this video for more on this amazing story.  Of course, we all know, all cats are truly amazing.

 

 

 

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Miraculous Story – Frozen Kitten Saved by Man With CPR

A small, white kitten camouflaged by freshly fallen snow, was discovered frozen by the Bingham children playing outdoors.

The seemingly lifeless kitten was rushed inside their house.  A quick thinking father called his vet trained brother, Justin, who rushed to the scene and started to work on the motionless kitten.

After Justin dedicated an hour of rubbing the kitten and pumping his chest in an effort to get his blood flowing (see video at: Lazarus Kitty ), the miracle baby started to revive.  By the end of the day, the little guy was up on his paws and meowing. KittenMiracleBaby

The family named him Lazarus, after the Bible story of Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead.  Lazarus was adopted into the family, and is now romping energetically around their home.

Miracles  do happen!

 

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It’s National Pet Dental Health Month!

Did you know that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have dental issues before the age of THREE? 

In fact, The American Veterinary Dental Collage states “Periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition occurring in adult dogs and cats, and is entirely preventable.”

Pet dental health can be easy to neglect, but it is so important to get into the habit of caring for their teeth. If you start preventative care now, you may save your dog some suffering and yourself some cash. Make sure to talk to your vet about this issue. The two of you can work together to develop an acceptable at-home dental care regime.

For further information, such as how to begin brushing your cat’s teeth, don’t miss this article. They state that many cats will let you brush their teeth if you introduce them to it gradually. Just let them check out the kitty tooth brush for a while first and go from there.

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Did any of the information in this infographic surprise you or confirm that your pet already has a dental issue? Some of the symptoms were a surprise to me, like weight loss and loss of appetite.

Do you worry about your pet’s dental health? Are you already brushing your cat’s teeth? Let us know in the comments, and tell us about your dental care routine. We’d love to hear any tips or tricks you have for pulling this off.

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