Preventative Cat Health

Cat health is largely a matter of preventing illness in your cat. If you take good care of your cat by feeding him a nutritionally balanced diet, getting him regular veterinary checkups and dental care, and treating his illnesses in a timely manner with appropriate medication, your cat could live a lot longer and enjoy better health throughout more of his life. Spending quality time with your cat also helps to keep him young, by toning his muscles and sharpening his mind. Read on to learn more about preventative cat health.

Vaccinate Your Cat

One of the simplest things you can do to protect your cat's health in the long run is get him vaccinated on an appropriate schedule. Kittens should receive their first set of vaccinations at eight weeks of age, with boosters at 12 and 16 weeks of age. Cats should receive vaccinations once a year thereafter.

Vaccinate your cat against rabies, but don't stop there. Vaccinations against feline leukemia and feline AIDS can prevent these serious, and often deadly, infectious diseases.

Your Cat Needs Veterinary Check-Ups

When you get your kitten, take him to the vet for a routine exam, and, of course, to have any necessary vaccinations administered. Your adult cat should receive veterinary check-ups every year. He should also receive a yearly veterinary dental exam and teeth cleaning.

Treat Your Cat's Illnesses Promptly

If your cat does get sick, treat his illnesses properly. Consult your vet if any symptoms last more than 24 hours. Administer any medications according to your vet's instructions. Do whatever you can to keep your cat comfortable and stress free until he recovers.

The same goes for any parasitic infestations. Parasites like intestinal worms and ear mites can cause permanent damage if left untreated, and they make your cat very uncomfortable. Fortunately, parasitic infestations are easy to treat.

Feed Your Cat a Balanced Diet

Feed your cat a nutritionally balanced diet to prevent health problems as he grows older. Cats are desert animals, and they've evolved to absorb most of their dietary moisture through the intestines as they digest their food. This means that cats need to eat food with a high moisture content, such as canned food. If your cat doesn't get enough moisture in his diet over the long term, he could develop kidney stones and other urinary tract problems. Feed your cat a mixed diet of canned and dry food to ensure that he doesn't develop urinary tract problems.

Cats need a high protein diet that contains certain vitamins and minerals, like taurine. If you feed your cat a commercial cat food, you can rest safe in the knowledge that he's getting the nutrition he needs. If you feed your cat a home cooked diet, consult your vet to make sure it's nutritionally balanced to your cat's needs.

Spend Time with Your Cat

Cats bond with their human owners, and they can get lonely and depressed if you don't spend time with them. Play with your cat to help him get exercise, especially if he's an indoor cat. Playing with your cat keeps his muscles toned and his mind sharp as he ages.