How To Be A Purrfect Cat Owner

Our feline friends are without a doubt one of the easiest pets to keep. You won’t have to walk or train your cat, and she’ll take care of her own grooming needs. Most of our feline friends also spend a rather ridiculous amount of time sleeping, which also helps make them easy keepers. However, Fluffy does need more than fresh water and kibble to stay happy and healthy. A local Holly Springs, MS veterinarian offers some advice on being a great cat owner in this article.

Making Your Home Safe For Your Cat

Our feline friends don’t actually have nine lives, but it’s not too hard to see where this misconception came from. Fluffy does have a knack for getting into—and sometimes narrowly escaping—mischief.

Petproofing is a must, especially for frisky felines. This entails removing or securing anything that isn’t safe for Fluffy. That list includes plastic bags and ties; anything ropy or stringy; anything small or sharp, such as beads, buttons, safety pins, jewelry, and small toy parts; and toxic plants. 

Chemicals and medications are also a concern. Poisonings are one of the biggest reasons for emergency visits, and, sadly, are one of the main causes of death for household pets.

Here are some of the things that are toxic to cats:

  • Automotive products
  • Fertilizer
  • Pesticides
  • Cleaning agents
  • Paint
  • Drain openers
  • Detergents
  • Rodenticides
  • Bug Spray
  • Medicines, whether prescription or OTC

Keep these things out of paws’ reach! Cats only need to walk through a puddle of chemical cleaner or get a little spilled on their fur to be in trouble. Ask your Holly Springs, MS veterinarian for more information. 

How Do You Keep A Cat Happy?

Keeping your kitty entertained will go a long way here. 

Our feline pals are hunters by nature, so they are driven to mimic the hunting behaviors and skills that would help them score dinner in the wild. It’s always cute seeing Fluffy pouncing on and chasing after things! Provide your frisky little furball with a variety of playthings, and try to play with your kitty for at least a few minutes a day.

Keep in mind that our furry friends all have their own individual tastes. Some like wand toys, some want catnip mice, some want to chase that little red dot from a laser pointer, and some are purrfectly happy playing hockey with an ice cube or bottlecap. Experiment a bit, and see what your cat likes. If you have multiple pets, offer a variety. Gizmo and Mittens may have completely different tastes here!

Give Your Cat A High-Quality Food

Feeding a kitty isn’t exactly rocket science. However, there are a few things to consider. Your cat’s exact dietary needs should be based on her age, health, and lifestyle. You will also have some decisions to make, such as whether to offer wet food or kibble, and whether to free feed her or give your pet her meals at specific times. Ask your Holly Springs, MS vets for specific advice. 

That said, choosing the right brand may be the trickiest part. Modern companies have advertising gimmicks down to a science. Many pet food manufacturers employ slick tactics to help their products look like the best. 

Get into the habit of reading labels. As with human products, pet food manufacturers must label their products in order of proportion. The ingredient that is listed first is the main ingredient. Therefore, meat, fish, or poultry should be listed first on the label, and more often than other ingredients. Avoid brands with long ingredients lists that read like science projects. 

Always go slowly when changing brands. Otherwise, you could upset that furry belly.

Like any other animal, kitties also need fresh water available at all times.

Keep Your Feline Friend Inside

Fluffy is much safer indoors! Outdoor kitties are exposed to a wide range of hazards. These include cars, weather, chemicals, stray cats, predators, parasites, and, unfortunately, some people. 

There’s also the fact that cats are, well, fluffy little serial killers. Fluffy hunts and kills many types of animals, including several threatened species. Grounding your pet will also help protect local wildlife.

Make Your Home Cat-Friendly

Kitties can be equally happy in a small bedroom or a huge mansion. However, no matter how big your home is, there are simple things you can do to make it more cat-friendly.

One thing that will help is adding some cat furniture. A good scratching post or board is a must! A cat tower is a purrfect option, as it will provide not only a scratching post, but also a lookout point.

Make your home fun for your furry friend by giving her vantage points and things to explore. A comfy window seat can keep a cat occupied for hours. Birdwatching is one of Fluffy’s favorite activities! If you want to go all-out, offer your cute pet a catio or even an enclosure!

Provide Your Pet With Regular Veterinary Care

Kitties are fairly hardy, but they aren’t nearly as invincible as they think. In fact, these little furballs are quite small and fragile. 

First things first: we recommend that all kitties be microchipped and spayed or neutered. This ideally should happen while Fluffy is still a kitten. However, the procedures can also be safely performed on adult cats.

Wellness care is crucial, and can protect your pet from a vast array of dangerous parasites and diseases. Fluffy will need the core vaccines, which include rabies; (FCV) feline calicivirus; (FHV-1) feline herpesvirus-1; (FPV) feline panleukopenia; and, for kitties under a year old, (FeLV) feline leukemia. Your vet may also recommend some non-core vaccines, such as (FeLV) feline leukemia for cats older than one year), Chlamydia felis, and Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccines.

You’ll also need to keep up with your cat’s parasite control. This is important even with indoor cats: parasites such as fleas, ticks, and mosquitos can and do get inside. There are many different products to choose from, so talk to your vet.

Additionally, you’ll need to watch for signs of sickness. Our feline friends can be tricky here, as they tend to try and hide signs of sickness until their conditions have become quite severe. Some of the signs that Fluffy isn’t feeling well can be quite subtle, so it’s important to keep a close eye out. 

Here are a few things to watch for:

  • Grumpiness
  • Lethargy
  • Reduced Appetite
  • Poor Grooming
  • Withdrawal
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Litterbox Avoidance
  • Respiratory Issues
  • Discharge
  • Fever
  • Disorientation
  • Uncharacteristic Behavior Or Vocalizations

Contact your vet right away if you spot anything amiss. The sooner an issue is diagnosed and treated, the better! 

Make Your Cat Feel Loved

Our feline friends are very emotional, and get extremely attached to their humans. It’s important for your cat to feel loved and safe. Spend time with Fluffy every day, and just pay attention to her. Many kitties are lap cats, who love curling up on their humans as we are reading or watching TV. 

Even just talking to your feline pal can get that motor going. Some cats will talk back, while others will just listen. The point is that your feline pal will know that you are trying to communicate with her. That will definitely help with bonding. 

Do you have questions about cat care? Contact us, your local Holly Springs, MS pet hospital, anytime!


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