With cats it is like with humans: a healthy diet alone is not enough if it lacks regular visits to the doctor, exercise, mental variety, and interaction with other humans or animals. The all-around package is therefore important so that your cat has a long, healthy life ahead of him. This checklist gives an overview.
Cats are true companions for life: they can easily live to be over 20 years old. So that you can spend as many years with your kitty as possible, you should enable her to live a healthy cat life on several levels. In addition to nutrition and health checks at the vet, this also includes, for example, dental health and fur care.
Numerous animal welfare organizations give tips on how the velvet paws can stay fit, healthy, and, of course, happy for as long as possible. And with this checklist, cat owners can ensure that their cat leads an all-round healthy life:
Basic Requirements for a Good Cat Life
- Balanced nutrition;
- Healthy weight;
- Tooth and fur care;
- Safe, cozy, and cat-friendly environment;
- Clean litter box;
- Chipping and registering.
High-quality cat food that is tailored to your cat’s needs is the cornerstone of healthy cat life. Of course, this also includes fresh, clean water, which your kitty should have access to at all times. Treats, on the other hand, should only play a subordinate role and make up a maximum of five to ten percent of the cat’s diet. If your cat suddenly eats less or not at all, or has gastrointestinal problems, you should visit the vet.
When it comes to food, it is just as important to keep an eye on the weight of your four-legged friend. In fact, around two-thirds of cats in Germany are too fat. The majority of owners consider their kitties to be of normal weight. The reason for being overweight is often a lack of exercise and a diet that is too high in energy. But because being overweight can have health effects – for the joints or diabetes, for example – you shouldn’t let your kitty put on too much fat.
By designing your home in such a way that it is safe for your cat and that it can retreat to quiet places, that it keeps its litter box clean and that it regularly looks after its teeth and fur, you are also contributing to a healthy life for your kitty.
Also important: have your cat chipped and register with a pet register. This increases the chance that you will find your cat again if it should run away.
Health Checklist for Your Cat
- Annual health check at the vet;
- Keep vaccination status up to date;
- Spaying and neutering the cat.
No question about it: regular visits to the vet are important. This is the only way to identify possible illnesses or injuries in good time and, in the best case, to treat them. In addition to the annual health check-ups, you should also make sure to refresh your cat’s vaccinations if necessary.
You should also think about neutering – especially for outdoor cats. In this way you not only contribute to curbing the further multiplication of stray cats – on average, neutered cats also live four years longer than their uncastrated conspecifics.
Also Important: Fun and Games
Without exercise, play, and intellectual challenge, life would be pretty boring – for your cat too. That is why it is just as important for her health that she gets variety. Therefore, plan small hours of play and use interactive toys to ensure that your kitty’s body and head stay equally fit.
Of course, everything is in moderation and in such a way that your cat does not exhaust itself. And then of course a few relaxing moments together on the sofa should not be missing – when your kitty enjoys being petted and cuddled.
Checklist: Basic Equipment for Your Cat
A few things are essential for everyday life with a cat. These include, among others:
- Food bowl and water bowl;
- Interactive toy;
- Comb and brush;
- Scratch tree;
- Pet crate;
- Litter box;
- Cat bed or cozy retreat with a soft blanket and/or towel.
Even if you have been sharing your life with a cat for a long time: It can help to keep asking yourself whether all of your cat’s needs have actually been met. Then you can readjust again if necessary – and hopefully, look forward to many more beautiful years with your kitty.