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How To Be A Purrfect Cat Owner 

February 15, 2024

Kitties are known for being easy keepers. You won’t have to walk or train Fluffy, and she’ll take care of her own grooming needs. Our feline buddies also spend a rather ridiculous amount of time sleeping, which also helps make them easy to care for. However, in order for Fluffy to stay healthy and happy, she needs more than fresh water, kibble, and a spot on the couch. In this article, a Maui, HI vet answers some frequently asked questions about caring for your cat.

What Is The Best Way To Keep My Cat Happy?

Because they are hunters by nature, our feline friends are often driven to mimic hunting behaviors and skills that would help them score dinner in the wild. It’s always fun to see Fluffy chase after stuff! It’s important to keep your kitty entertained. Provide Fluffy with a variety of toys and play with her for at least a few minutes each day.

All cats have their own personal preferences here. Some like wand toys, some want catnip mice, some want to chase a laser pointer, and others are purrfectly happy playing hockey with an ice cube or bottle cap. Experiment a bit, and see what Fluffy likes best. If you have multiple pets, offer them a variety so there’s something for everyone. 

How Much Veterinary Care Do Cats Need?

Even though cats are hardy, they aren’t nearly as invincible as they think. In fact, they are quite small and delicate.

All cats should be microchipped and spayed or neutered. This ideally should happen while they are young. However, the procedures can also be performed safely on adult cats.

Wellness care can keep your pet from contracting many dangerous diseases. Rabies, feline calicivirus, feline herpesvirus-1, feline panleukopenia, and (FeLV) feline leukemia are the core vaccines that Fluffy will require. Your vet may also recommend non-core vaccines, such as (FeLV) for cats over the age of one, Chlamydia felis, and Bordetella bronchiseptica.

You’ll also need to keep Fluffy safe from parasites. There are many different products to choose from when it comes to preventative care for your feline pal, so talk to your veterinarian about which product is best for you and your pet. Even indoor cats can be infested with parasites like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.

It is also important to watch for signs of illness. Cats can be tricky here, because they tend to hide signs of illness, sometimes until the issues have become quite severe. Take immediate action at even the most subtle signs that Fluffy isn’t feeling well.

Some things to watch for include loss of appetite, poor grooming, hiding, litterbox avoidance or issues, unusual behavior or vocalizations, respiratory issues, fever, vomiting, and lethargy. If you notice anything amiss, contact your Maui, HI veterinarian immediately. The sooner an issue is diagnosed and treated, the better.

What Should I Feed My Cat?

Fluffy’s dietary needs depend on her age, health, and lifestyle. Although it’s not rocket science, there are some things to consider. You will also have a few decisions to make, such as whether to feed your cat wet food or kibble and whether to free-feed her or give her meals at specific times. Ask your veterinarian for advice.

It can be tricky choosing the right brand. Companies have perfected marketing gimmicks, so many manufacturers employ clever tactics to make their products look good. 

Read labels carefully. Just as with human products, pet food manufacturers must label their products accordingly. The first ingredient on a pet food label is the ingredient that is highest proportionally. Meat, fish, or poultry should appear at the top of the ingredient list, and more often than other ingredients. Avoid brands with long ingredient lists that sound like science projects.

When switching brands, go slowly. Otherwise, you may upset your furry friend’s belly!

You may want to get your pet a drinking fountain: cats enjoy drinking running water.

How Do I Keep My Cat Safe? 

Fluffy has a knack for getting into mischief and sometimes narrowly escaping it. Unfortunately for her, cats do not actually have nine lives. She may not have gotten that memo, though.

Keeping Fluffy safe indoors starts with petproofing. This basically involves removing or securing anything that isn’t safe for her. That includes anything small or sharp, such as beads, buttons, safety pins, jewelry, and small toy parts; plastic bags and ties; anything ropey or stringy; and toxic plants.

Poisonings are one of the main reasons for emergency visits, and unfortunately, poisonings are one of the leading causes of household pet deaths. Some dangerous items here include automotive products, drain openers, fertilizers, paint, detergents … basically anything that would be considered unsafe for a child. Keep in mind that 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 Maui, HI veterinarian for more information.

How Do I Make My Home Cat-Friendly? 

It doesn’t matter how big your home is, you can easily take a few steps to make it comfy and fun for your feline buddy. Adding cat furniture will help. A scratching post or board is a must! A cat tower will provide not only a scratching post, but will also serve as a lookout point for Fluffy.

You can also make your home fun for your furry friend by giving her vantage points and things to explore. It is easy to keep a cat occupied for hours with a comfy window seat. Fluffy loves bird-watching! 

If you want to go all-out, create a catio or enclosure for your pet. Giving your feline pal empty boxes and creating lots of comfy napping spots for her will also help get that motor going.

How Do I Make My Cat Feel Loved?

Kitties are actually very emotional. It’s important for Fluffy to feel loved and safe. Spend time every day with her, and just pay attention to her. Many kitties enjoy curling up on their owners as they read or watch TV.

You can often get your feline pal’s motor going just by talking to her. Some cats will respond, while others will simply listen. The point is that your furry friend will know that you are trying to communicate with her.

Toys and playtime are also important here. Kitties need entertainment and enrichment, just as people do. 

Last but not least, let your furry pal snuggle up with you when she likes. This will be good for you both! Snuggling up with a purring cat can be very relaxing!

Should I Keep My Cat Indoors? 

Fluffy is bold and adventurous, but you’ll need to limit her explorations. Man’s Second Best Friend will be exposed to a wide range of hazards as soon as she goes outside. Vehicles, weather, chemicals, stray cats, predators, parasites, and, unfortunately, some people, are some of these dangers.

Don’t forget that cats are, well, fluffy little serial killers. Fluffy has been proven to kill many different types of animals, including several threatened species. Grounding your pet will also help protect local animals.

Contact us, your local Maui, HI pet hospital, if you have questions about cat care! We are dedicated to offering top-notch care! 

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