Ways to Be a Better Cat Owner: Prevent Emergency Vet Visits
It is a big decision to bring a feline friend home. Cats are more independent than canines, but they still need a lot of effort, money, time, and effort. Before you rush to the local pet shop and buy the first kitten you see, there are some things you should be aware of to avoid making the same mistakes that new cat owners often make.
Be Sure to Spay or Neuter
As a cat owner, it's your responsibility to ensure that your pet is spayed or neutered and to do your part to help address the cat overpopulation issue. Spaying or neutering will help prevent issues such as aggressive behavior in your male cat or yowling in female cats when they're in heat- but, most importantly, it will eliminate the risk of ending up with a surprise litter of unwanted kittens that will be costly and time-consuming to care for and adopt out.
Spaying or neutering your cat also helps protect them from numerous health issues, ranging from cancerous tumors to bacterial infections. If you want to know when to spay a cat, get in touch with a local vet clinic.
Don't declaw unless under specific medical circumstances
Many vets consider it cruel and unnecessary to declaw a cat. It is also banned in many U.S. states. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation discourages declawing as an elective procedure and supports non-surgical alternatives.
As a cat owner, be sure to do your research to determine where you stand and make an informed decision, as cat declawing requires the surgical amputation of the end bones in your cat's toes and not just a trim of its nails. This is often a cruel and unusual practice, and should only be used in specific medical cases after talking with a vet clinic.
Build a relationship with your local vet clinic
Cats must receive the same care as dogs; some vaccines are necessary for all cats, regardless of whether they are indoor or outdoor cats.
It’s important that cats have access to annual examinations to help catch any problems that could result in more serious health issues. And it probably goes without saying, but you should always take your cat to your local vet clinic if it becomes sick or injured. Ask questions and research local veterinarians to ensure your cat has a happy, healthy life.
Proper litter box maintenance
As long as you keep your cat's litter box clean and choose a litter that doesn't irritate them (stay away from the scented litter, for example), most cats are more than happy to consistently use their litter box.
Maintaining your cat's litter box will involve cleaning, scrubbing and changing the litter. Your cat's litter box habits can also alert you to any potential health problems; cats that suddenly start urinating outside of their litter box, for example, can be a clue that they may be dealing with a urinary tract issue and need an immediate visit to the local vet clinic or urgent care vet.
Choose the Right Food
There are many options for cat food available to pet owners, with varying prices. However, you'll want to be sure to feed your cat a food that meets their nutritional needs, such as foods that are a rich source of meat protein and without large amounts of grain fillers such as corn, which is often found in some lesser-quality (and cheaper) cat foods.
You can do your research and find the best food for your cat. This will help you save money and reduce your vet visits. All pet foods with an AAFCO-approved nutritional warranty are considered nutritionally complete and balanced.
Know where your cat is at all times
Although many cat owners believe their cat deserves to be free and enjoy the fresh air, there are many dangers outside. Your cat could be attacked by wild animals or your neighbor's dog, or even hit by a car.
Understand Basic Cat Behavior
New cat owners may expect their four-legged companion to greet them at their door and snuggle with them as a dog. They may also become frustrated by typical feline behaviors that humans don't always fully understand, such as their penchant for seeking out high or enclosed places to observe you instead of curling in your lap on the couch.
As a cat owner, it is important to remember that cats are independent creatures with strong instincts. It might take some time for your cat to get used to you and adapt to your lifestyle. You can give your cat years of companionship and love, but only if they are willing to be open to you and accept that they are just being cats.
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