Top Health Tips for Your Cat

Cats are often thought of as solitary animals and low maintenance pets. Those of you who share your lives with feline companions know, however, that they’re incredibly social and love to play and cuddle. This bond between cats and their people is extremely beneficial to both. Here are a number of ways that you can keep them protected and with you for a good, long time.

Nutrition
Unlike dogs, cats are obligate carnivores. This means that they need meat to survive. There are certain amino acids and other vitamins that they cannot produce on their own, such as taurine and arginine, without which they can lose their sight or even die. Other obligate carnivores include axolotls, salmon, and raptors. As a result of their need for meat, there are many benefits that can be provided by a raw diet. First, raw diets contain those precious organ meats that offer the things that they need the most. Second, raw diets tend to be processed less, which means fewer opportunities for contamination. Thirdly, raw diets do NOT contain the numerous fillers that traditional diets do, which can cause weight gain and a number of other health issues.

Entertainment and Exercise

Have you ever had a cat who scratched your carpet, paced incessantly, or destroyed furniture? They’re likely in need of activity. It’s important to make sure that there is plenty for your cat to do around the house so that they don’t direct their abundant energy elsewhere. Do you have plenty of appropriate scratching surfaces for them, both horizontal and vertical? If you find that your cat is turning their back on scratchers you’ve gotten for them, but still going after your favorite chair, it’s time to consider alternatives. The type of material makes a difference, too. Sisal, driftwood, carpet, cardboard, and more are available these days. Make sure they have plenty of options. 

Cats may sleep a lot, but they still need plenty of exercise. Food puzzles can be good options for cats who eat too fast or who are food motivated. Toys that they can wrestle with and kick are often hits. Automated or remote toys may be tempting if you are gone for a significant period of the day, but see if there is somewhere you can try them out with your cat before committing. Some cats will adore these, especially older cats who cannot get around as easily as they did when younger. Others will be afraid of the sounds they make and avoid them at all costs. There are so many options for ways your cat may entertain themselves and for ways for you to play with them. And an active cat is a happy, healthy cat.

Feline-Human Bond

No matter how often people say that cats are aloof and solitary, those of us who share our lives with them know better. Cats bond very closely with their people and both benefit as a result. People can provide cats with a healthy diet and plenty of activity while in an indoor environment that will keep cats (and local birds) safe and healthy for a lot longer. Meanwhile, the benefits of cats’ company to their humans are myriad. They reduce stress and risk of heart disease, they can actually make it less likely for your children to have allergies, they can help you sleep better, and they provide essential companionship. People integrate cats into all parts of their lives and the more we learn about them, the longer we can provide them with a good quality of life.

Bonus

Among the things that people and veterinarians are becoming more aware of are the potential beneficial impacts of certain essential oils on your cats’ health. Essential oils can be used safely in cats, helping provide another layer of immune system support (for wounds) and calming effect (for anxiety), among other health benefits.  Make sure to choose oil brands which source and extract responsibly, and where possible, contact a certified veterinary aromatherapist or holistic doctor comfortable in using essential oils.  Simple steps like placing 1 drop of lavender oil around wounds can assist in microbial control, or petting your cat with blends containing chamomile can provide soothing effects.   

And of course, we are now much more aware of the ways in which hemp can help support your pets’ health. A whole plant hemp product, such as Canna Companion, supports healthy digestion, neurological function, mobility, immune system function, and demeanor. While endocannabinoid systems support is usually not needed in kittens and young adults, mature and senior cats often have a more difficult time adjusting to their new forever home, and hemp can help reduce that temporary anxiety. Kittens and young adults may benefit during times of physical stress, like spay/neuter procedures and injury recovery. If you have any questions about which hemp product is best for your cat’s needs, feel free to contact us

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