You could spend forever worrying about your cat when everything’s fine because they’re such precious animals, but when you know there’s something up with their health, then it can be even worse. It might be that their behavior has changed in some way, and you’re worried about your cat’s mental health, or else it might be that their eating routine has changed. While you can definitely worry too much, you should know what to look out for if you have a real concern. It might be their age that’s causing them to act differently, or their exercise routine, they might have a parasite or pest, it might be their diet, or it could even be an issue related to your cat’s mental health. Read on to get to the bottom of your cat’s behavior and to find out how healthy it is.
Requirements of Kittens and Senior Cats
There’s a lot to do if you’re either about to buy a new kitten or if you’ve just bought one. Firstly, you need to speak to a vet about organizing the correct vaccinations, registering with the vet itself, and it might also be worth thinking about an insurance plan. Then you need to prepare the house, removing anything that might be a hazard to your curious and delicate little kitten. You’ll need to make a start litter box training as well as mediating the new cat’s socialization with any existing cats or pets. If you haven’t done all of these things, then your cat might not be as healthy as it should be.
Senior cats, however, have different requirements. Senior cats need regular check-ups at their registered vets, possibly regular biannual check-ups, and if they do start to develop conditions associated with older cats, then it’s essential that you do all of the research necessary to understand their conditions and what help they need from you. They’ll need feeding smaller meals at more regular intervals, and it’s essential that they have a regular exercise routine – playing is an essential part of an older cat’s life, so you should watch out for signs of inactivity in your animal.
Exercise: Indoor and Outdoor
Your cat’s indoor exercise should consist of lots of playing with toys and running around. If you use toys to play with your cat regularly then you’ll notice roughly how long it takes them to get tired, and you can start to build up its energy levels. This is absolutely essential if your cat stays permanently indoors, but it’s still important if your cat likes to play outside. An outdoor cat will get a lot of its exercise from playing outside, but it can be a worry for pet owners because you may be afraid of accidents occurring when it’s outside. It might be that your cat is being bullied by another cat whenever it goes outside, which can result in stress, physical injuries, and even a sudden loss of appetite to go outside; it could, alternatively, be because you live near a busy street. Running around every corner of the house is a sign of stress in a cat, so it might be worth thinking about how your cat is getting along outside.
Diet, Weight and Overall Health
There are many aspects to your cat’s general health, and although many of these can be identified through regular trips to the vet, it’s always worth knowing what to look out for. A cat’s fur and teeth can both reveal ill health; look out for patchy or thinning fur, especially if your cat seems to be doing it to itself, and any sign of gum disease or painful tooth problems in the animal need to be treated by a vet as soon as possible. Are there any signs of your cat having problems with its eyesight? This should be noticeable if you use toys to play with your cat regularly, and a vet will be able to help you give the right support. Is your cat too over or underweight? Either way, you need to put in place a feeding routine that works for your cat. It might be that your cat doesn’t like dry food, in which case you should look into trying your cat on wet food instead. Research the top best cat food wet, and experiment with different textures and flavors of food until you’ve found one your cat enjoys.
Fleas, Ticks, Worms and a Check-up at the Vet
Fleas are probably the most common, and you shouldn’t let an infestation get out of your control. If you find fleas on your cat, then you need to work out the scale of the infestation to find the right solution. If your whole house is infested, then you’ll need to either use a flea bomb or else get professional help in. One of the many ways your cat can get worms is by licking fleas off its body and eating them, but there are many types of worms that they can catch in all kinds of different ways which all vary in severity. The important thing is that you don’t become complacent about worms – make sure they’re regularly treated against worms, and you can even check at the vets if they are carrying any parasites around with them. Ticks are also common, and like fleas, they can give your cat anemia if they consume too much of your cat’s blood, as well as Lyme disease. If your cat does have ticks, remember not to try removing them with your fingers – you need a tick hook to remove them properly. Your vet will be more than happy to check up on any of these or help you out with an infestation.
Just like humans, cats can have mental health challenges as well, and it’s essential that pet owners have a level of understanding of the issues that could be affecting their cat’s lives. Symptoms of stress, anxiety and discomfort can vary from dramatic vocalizations, pacing, sucking fabric and licking out chunks of their own fur, while the cause of stress might be something simpler. Is there a hierarchy among all of the cats in the household? Is your cat getting enough time to play? Is your cat having a tough time when out the house? All of these issues will need some attention, and it might be worth working out a strategy with your local vet if you’re struggling with any of these problems.