February is National Cat Health Month. In the past, I’ve also written about the CATalyst Council declaring September to be Happy Healthy Cat Month, dedicated to finding ways to keep kitty companions happy, healthy and purring all year long. Keeping cats healthy should be the focus all year long, don’t you think? After all, they offer all kinds of health benefits to us.
Cats love us in countless ways, and we want to return the favor. All cat “parents” want to keep their felines healthy and happy, and I’ve updated my list based on what Karma-Kat demands and I know he needs. Check out the CAT-egorical Enrichment info! In the comments, please let me know which ones you already do — or share some feline favs from your furry crew!
11 Ways to Promote Kitty Purrs for Cat Health Month
Visit the Vet. Healthy cats are happy cats. Many owners dread vet trips with cats, even though a good number now work hard to be cat-friendly practices or ascribe to fear free techniques. Sterilizing your cat helps keeps cats healthy by preventing behavior problems and some types of cancer. Get tips for easing the angst for scared cats and getting your kitty fear free vet care.
Offer I.D. In addition to a collar and identification tag, owners should ask their veterinarian about microchipping their feline friend. If a cat ever escapes or gets lost, having this type of permanent ID will make a reunion between cat and owner much more likely. I’ve blogged about lost pets before . Learn more about pet ID and finding lost pets in this post.
Scratch the Surface. Cats need to scratch for physical and emotional health. Figure out what your cat likes to scratch–vertical, horizontal or angled position–and what kind of surface, and provide it. Giving legal scratch options keeps the furniture safe. Learn more here about cat clawing.
Prevent Problem Pests. No one likes fleas, ticks, mites or heartworms, especially your cat. Even indoor cats are at risk. Bravo-Pup goes outside and can bring creepy crawlies inside to Karma-Kat so they both get preventive medication.
Explore Beyond the Door. Yes! There are ways owners can safely take their cats outside to allow them to broaden their horizons. Teach your cats how to walk on a leash so they can periodically and safely experience the world outside their windows.
Train Good Habits. Cats can be trained to do fun tricks just like dogs, and the mental and physical stimulation is great for felines. Clicker training can boost the confidence of shy cats, too. Teaching your cat to sit, for example, is easy, and training your cat to sit on stools instead of counters will make you and your cat much happier. Karma-Kat comes when called, and waves (paws) and sits up for treats–and walks on a leash with his halter-vest. Yes, he knows what the “treat” word means! Training also helps you connect and strengthens your bond with the cat–she’ll finally believe YOU are smart when you can communicate with her!
Enrich the Environment. Keeping cats healthy goes beyond a yearly checkup and filling the food bowl. Cats were born to hunt, chase, climb, sniff, bite, and play. Since we want to protect our cats from viruses and parasites by keeping them inside, it’s up to us to give them indoor fun. That means engaging all of their senses. Learn all about why cats need enrichment and easy free ways to improve kitty health by relieving stress in this on-demand coaching call:
Register here for CAT-EGORICAL ENRICHMENT
You’ll get to ask questions throughout, and at the end, you’ll also get an Ecopy of DOES MY CAT HATE ME: Improve Behavior, Boost Health, & Mend Your Bond With Environmental Enrichment.
Slim Tubby Tabbies. Feline obesity is a huge problem in this country, and one way to combat it is for owners to make their cats work for their food. I love offering cats their meals inside puzzle toys or hiding it around the house on small bowls to stimulate kitty’s innate hunting instinct. That keeps the cat’s brain exercised, too. I use Doc & Phoebe’s Feeder and Karma-Kat has lost some weight, yay!
Create Crate Expectations. Many cat owners find that the worst part about taking their cats anywhere is getting cats into their carriers. Owners should work with their cat on making their carrier a safe, secure, and inviting place to be prior to veterinary visits or family vacations. Learn about crate training here.
Provide Prey Play. One of the easiest ways to make a cat happy is with a new prey toy. Cats love to play and turn wads of paper into pretend prey so you can give kitty “cheap thrills” to keep her happy. Learn more about how pets play.
Adopt A Furry Friend. Cats are social animals, and owners should consider adopting two cats or kittens at once to keep them company. Just be sure to properly introduce your newcomer cats to resident felines. With proper cat-to-cat introductions, you’ll have a match made in kitty heaven!
So what do YOU do to bring on the kitty purrs? Do tell!
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter.
Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE! Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!