7 Types of Cat Preventive Care New Cat Parents Should Consider
Waking up to a health emergency is one of the biggest nightmares of a cat parent. It's especially aggravating if you know you could have prevented it, yet you were unable to. You want to stay away from situations like this as much as possible. But if something does occur, you want to be prepared to address it before it worsens.
So, where should you go for assistance? Cat preventive care. You get not just one service but an entire program designed to improve your feline friend's health and life! But while it's good to have many options, it's also essential to understand each service and determine what your feline friend needs the most. So let's discuss more about preventative care and find out!
Why Invest in Preventive Care?
If you're a new cat parent learning the ropes of preventive care, you might wonder whether you really need it. Here are some of the best reasons to invest in it:
- Extend a pet’s life. Preventive care has a huge influence on your cat's lifespan. It will help you improve their overall health, potentially making their lives longer and happier.
- Cats tend to hide their pain until they fall very ill. So if you don't pay attention, you may miss something terrible happening to them. With preventive care, you can keep track of any minor changes and consult with your vet immediately.
- You’re not a veterinarian. Therefore, you shouldn’t attempt self-diagnosis on your cat. Doing so may lead to a worse situation. Investing in preventive care will provide you with lots of helpful information to assist you in monitoring and improving your cat's health.
- Prevent disease. Investing in preventive care makes your cat less susceptible to disease, less likely to contract parasites, and avoids worsening minor health issues. Examples are feline leukemia, cancer, weight loss, and gastrointestinal issues.
- Improve your life. A healthy cat makes a happy cat owner. Investing in preventive cat services enhances not only the quality of your cat's life but also yours!
7 Types of Preventive Care for Cats
Now you understand how essential preventive cat care is. This time, let's enumerate the different types of preventive care to understand what your pet needs best. They will help you make the most of the program, your time, and your financial investments. Here are seven of the most common preventive care services!
Scheduled Physical Exams
Preventive care for cats is primarily divided into annual and semi-annual physical examinations. It involves a detailed assessment of your cat's physical health, from ears and eyes to the skin and internal organs. It also includes your cat's basic description (breed, species, and sex) and patient records (environment, vaccine, diet, reproductive, and medical history).
The vet will see if there are any concerns and make recommendations based on that information. If there are any issues, the vet will ask additional questions to clarify the findings and, if necessary, recommend more diagnostic testing.
Grooming and Hygiene Plan
Good grooming promotes good health! While cats already know how to self-groom, there are still some things you can do as a pet parent to ensure optimal results. Preventive care can help you with regular brushing, trimming claws, petting and playing, and hair maintenance (for long-haired cats).
They might even recommend tools like slick brushes to make the task easier for you and more pleasant for your feline friend. And when it comes to hygiene, you'll receive advice or assistance when choosing a litter box and cleaning and controlling its odor.
Your cat's oral health is more significant than you may think. As soon as they reach two to three years old, they may develop a dental disease that requires veterinary care. When left untreated, the bacteria will spread through the bloodstream and other major organs, exacerbating the condition.
Dental care lets you keep your cat's teeth in good health condition through regular cleanings and dental examinations. These will help avoid common feline oral diseases, such as gingivitis, mouth ulcers, periodontal disease, and malocclusion. You can also ask help from a vet to teach you how to approach your cat and successfully brush their teeth at home.
Parasite Control (Flea, Tick, and Worming)
Unfortunately, your cat is at risk for both external and internal parasites. Insects like fleas grow quickly (especially in warmer environments) and stick around all year. Therefore, fleas, ticks, and heartworms need immediate treatment; they can carry and transmit dangerous diseases to your cat.
Furthermore, most parasite life cycles occur in the environment, so you are also at risk. But the good news is that preventive care can easily stop it. A vet will develop a prevention plan and provide parasite prevention products and medications for your feline pal.
Another aspect of preventive care is using conventional and non-conventional therapeutic fields of medicine to achieve your cat's optimal health. These include some of the most common alternative treatments, such as laser therapy, herbal therapy, acupuncture, and Chinese medicine.
They are all beneficial in their own way, but it is best to consult your cat's vet first. They will help you determine which type of alternative medicine or treatment can significantly help your cat have a healthier, happier, and longer life.
Neutering is the process of surgically removing your cat's reproductive organs. This is ideal if you don't intend to have kittens at home or want to reduce aggressive and sexual cat behavior. But neutering also has other health benefits, such as preventing mammary cancer and infections.
Cats are typically neutered at five months of age. However, it's always preferable to check in with feline practitioners first. This allows you to get a thorough understanding of its benefits and determine a good schedule for cat surgery.
Routine Lab Tests
Aside from annual physical examinations, there is also routine lab work. This involves a couple of tests, such as a complete blood count, urine and fecal analysis, virus tests, and more. They contain a wealth of information about your cat's health, including blood cells, sugar levels, kidney and liver function, electrolyte levels, overall wellness, and much more.
Your vet will use this information to establish baseline values, check abnormalities, identify surgical needs and develop a tailored wellness plan for your cat. The most important aspect is that these tests detect conditions a physical examination cannot. Since cats don't show symptoms of illness, this will help you detect early signs before they worsen.
At-Home Preventive Cat Care Tips
Prevention doesn't stop at the vet's clinic. You must continue to provide preventive care for your cat at home. Only then will it be truly effective in improving and maintaining your and your cat's lives. So here are some at-home preventive care practices you should consider.
Buying random cat food and feeding it to your cat is not how proper feeding works. There are a few things to think about, such as the nutrients in it and your cat's life stage. Also, take note of the appropriate number of treats you can feed and any potentially toxic ingredients in the food.
Cleaning the Litter Box
Your cat will ignore a dirty litter box in a noisy spot. Therefore, ensure to place one in a quiet but accessible area at home. Be sure to clean the waste at least once a day and refill it weekly. Additionally, avoid scented products when cleaning the box. If you've done all these and your cat still refuses to use it, talk to your vet; this behavior might involve underlying health conditions.
Housing and Outdoor Safety
Your cat should be safe and warm, whether indoors or outdoors. So provide them with a clean and dry place to sleep at home. Wash their bedding frequently and line it with a soft towel or blanket. When taking your cat outdoors, make certain they have an ID tag, collar, or microchip on so you can easily find them if they get lost.
Grooming and Handling
Brush your cat frequently to keep its coat clean and reduce shedding and hairballs. By doing so, you're helping your cat spend less time self-grooming. Meanwhile, when picking them up, place a hand behind their front legs and the other under their hindquarters. Always perform both activities gently to encourage your cat's cooperation and give them a pleasant experience.
Wake Up to Better Days With Your Cat
Preventive care is not an option; it's a necessity. It will help you and your cat avoid medical emergencies and live healthier, happier lives. Most importantly, you won't feel alone in your cat parenting responsibilities. You have a veterinarian to guide you and create solutions to ensure you're doing the best for your feline!
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You read that right; no more feeding and taking them to the vet! Go get your own lifelike cat today.
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