This post is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, a research-driven pharmaceutical company that stands for innovative healthcare products for people and animals for more than 130 years, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.
If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know I’m a certified crazy cat lady.
Mish and Rosco are my first babies, and I can’t imagine life without their wonderful weirdness in it. I always giggle at Mish’s little bird chirp (the kid can’t meow to save his life) and Rosco’s flappy little cow belly (see below, seriously).
We had a bad scare with Mish last month with lots of vet visits, special care, and TLC. It made me realize even more how important it is to do everything you can to keep them healthy day-to-day so they’re in their best shape in case they ever do get sick. So I’ve teamed up with the maker of PUREVAX® Feline Rabies vaccines to share 5 tips for how to keep your cat healthy.
1. Take your cat to the vet annually and keep him vaccinated.
Since cats are so self-sufficient (and often don’t go outside at all), it can be easy to forget that, just like people or dogs, they need an annual wellness checkup. Vaccination is an important tool to help protect cats against rabies, and it’s especially important for cats since they’re more likely to be infected with rabies than any other pet in the U.S., and can catch it from the bite or scratch of an infected animal.(1)
Not to scare you, but since there’s no cure, vaccination is an important way to help protect your cats. PUREVAX Feline Rabies vaccines are the only rabies vaccines made specifically for cats, and they are safe and proven to provide effective protection. You can check out the PUREVAX Pure Protection site to learn more.
In case you need an annual milestone to remind you, August 22 is Take Your Cat To The Vet Day. If you’re forgetful, just add it to the calendar on your phone or email, and set it to remind me on the same day every year.
2. Make sure you know how much to feed your cat.
We didn’t realize for a long time that we were overfeeding Mish and Rosco, and it took a long time to get Rosco back down to a healthy weight as a result. Your vet can tell you how much your cat should be eating every day, or if you you can even just check the back of the cat food bag. If you realize you are overfeeding your little bestie, talk to a vet before putting them on a diet. You have to adjust cats’ diets really gradually to avoid any risk of fatty liver disease.
3. Keep the litter box super clean.
Cats are incredibly clean animals, and just like us, they like to use a clean, nice-smelling bathroom when they need to go. Make sure you’re scooping the litter box every single day. Ideally, try to change the whole box once a week or so, since eventually the litter — even freshly-scooped — starts to smell. We like to sprinkle a generous layer of baking soda onto the bottom of the box after cleaning and before refilling with fresh litter.
But do note that pregnant women should take extra precautions to avoid potential exposure to toxoplasmosis in cat litter. Andrei’s been doing the job since we found out we were pregnant — my hero. :)
4. Keep your cat stimulated.
It’s important to keep your cat stimulated — especially if he’s exclusively indoors like Mish and Rosco are. If your cat gets bored, they can start to act out or become lethargic. Fortunately, there are quite a few ways to keep a cat stimulated, entertained, and active:
- A scratching post or climbing perch
- A variety of toys
- A window with an exciting view, like a bird feeder
- A pot of cat grass or catnip*
Plus, giving your cat things they’re allowed to play with can help keep them from wanting to do things they’re not allowed, like scratching the furniture. It’s a win-win!
*See below for Rosco in a catnip coma… ;)
5. Brush your cat frequently.
Have you ever noticed a really stinky cat? Or caught a whiff of that “wet cat smell?”
Nope. You haven’t. Because cats keep themselves super clean, so there’s really not a need to give them baths like you do with a dog. But all that cleaning leads to hairballs, and hairballs aren’t pleasant for anyone involved. Plus, regular brushing can dramatically reduce shedding, just in case you don’t want people to know you have a cat until you actually tell them instead of guessing from your outfit…
1 Birhane MG, Cleaton JM, Monroe BP, et al. Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2015. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2017;250(10):1117-1130.
®PUREVAX is a registered trademark of Merial.
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