September is Happy Healthy Cat Month

Healthy Cat Month
 
One of every three households in the United States includes a cat. When you consider their playful, affectionate, and independent natures, it’s easy to see why. Cats have a way of making us laugh with their crazy antics and can dramatically increase our sense of well-being. In return, they depend on their human family for health and happiness. The CATalyst Council sponsors Happy Healthy Cat Month each September to raise awareness of how people can give their cats the best possible life.
 
Tips to Ensure Your Cat’s Health and Happiness
Cats sometimes seem to have a logic all their own. The CATalyst Council came up with these tips to help you understand and provide a comfortable environment for your pet:

Hiding places: Cats need a place to retreat when they feel stress and just enjoy having new places to curl up and take a nap. They also desire privacy at times. Cat furniture with built-in hiding places can help to meet this need. 

Mental stimulation and physical activity: A bored cat can become overweight and depressed, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money on cat toys. Waving a piece of string in front of your cat or tossing a toy mouse helps get him moving and makes him solve problems as well. It also gives you the chance to interact with your cat and deepen your bond.
 
Scratching opportunities: Your cat isn’t trying to destroy your furniture when she scratches on it. She is simply releasing her natural instinct to scratch. You can protect your furniture by placing several scratching pads around the house and redirecting your cat there when she starts to scratch. If the scratching gets out of hand, try placing soft claws over your cat’s claws to protect your furniture and other items.
 
Nutritious foods: Learn to read pet food labels so you understand whether the product offers quality nutrition or mostly fillers. It’s also important to limit treats and not give your cat food meant for humans.
 
Consider an indoor only policy: Cats who remain indoors avoid fights with other cats, picking up various diseases, and getting hit by a car. Creating an enriching indoor environment will help decrease your cat’s interest in going outside. If you do let your cat outside, make sure you supervise him and keep him contained in a fenced-in area. Since even indoor cats can sneak out, we recommend getting microchip identification for all cats.
Schedule Regular Preventive Care Exams
 
According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners, veterinary visits for cats decrease substantially after the first year of life. However, adult cats need regular check-ups just as much as kittens do. Cats between one and seven years old should come in at least once a year and older cats should visit us bi-annually. These appointments are just one more way you can ensure that your cat remains happy and healthy. To schedule an appointment, contact Grantsburg Animal Hospital at 715-463-2536 or Wild River Veterinary Clinic at 320-629-7474. 
 
Photo Credit: Olezzo / Getty Images
 

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