Domestic cats can benefit from your careful examination and care along with the advice and care of a veterinarian. It is recommended that you take your cat to a vet twice a year so that any diseases or conditions can be monitored and addressed before they become problems. Here are some of the ways that you and a veterinarian can care for your cat:
Cat Digestive Examination: Tell your vet about the food that you are feeding your cat so that they can recommend a balanced diet that will keep your cat trim and healthy. A cat should be eating a high protein diet that is lean and moist. This can consist of fresh, canned, and/or frozen food along with dry kibble. Since cats are hunters, you should feed your cat once or twice a day and not leave uneaten food sitting in their bowl. Tell the vet if your cat has any vomiting or diarrhea, as that can be a symptom of other problems.
Cat Dentistry: Keep your cat's mouth clean and healthy by brushing their teeth once a week. When you brush your cat's teeth, look for any changes that should be brought to your vet's attention. Semi-annual veterinary dental exams will help to keep your cat's teeth clean and free from tartar buildup. During the dental exam, a vet will examine the strength of each of your cat's teeth and pull any that are loose or no longer viable. Your vet will examine your cat's gums and tongue at the same time to look for systemic problems that may be present.
Cat Nail and Paw Care: Once a week, check your cat's nails for breakage or splits in their claws. Clip the tip of your cat's nails with cat nail clippers if they are long or broken. File the sharp edges of their nails so that they are less sharp and cannot get caught on things when they are running and playing. While caring for your cat's nails, examine their paws and the pads of their feet for any sores or swelling. Report any problems with your cat's paws to your veterinarian.
Cat Ear Cleaning: Examine your cat's ears to make sure they are not torn and do not have any sores or red spots. If you see any problems, tell your veterinarian as you should never clean your cat's ears yourself.
Cat Exercise: To give your cat stimulation and exercise, provide them with a structure to climb on and scratch. This can range from a single scratching post to a cat tower with resting pods for hiding and sleeping. An exercise wheel can also be provided so your cat can run and play whenever they want.
Cat Grooming: Brush your cat once a week with a cat brush and/or comb that can rid your cat of any mats or tangles in their coat. Have your cat bathed and groomed by a cat groomer every 6 - 8 months so that their coat can be kept clean and trimmed. Examine your cat's coat often to look for fleas and ticks that they may pick up when they go outdoors. If you see any evidence of infestation, take your cat to the vet for advice on medication and preventative coat care.
Cat Vaccinations: Ask your veterinarian for a recommended cat vaccination schedule for your cat. Your vet will advise you of the core vaccines that all cats should have including distemper, rabies, and the herpes virus. Your vet will also tell you if any other vaccines should be given depending on the age of your cat, his or her medical history, and the location where you live.
Cat Spaying and Neutering: If you do not plan to breed your cat, you can spay or neuter them to keep them problem free. Your veterinarian can advise you of the specific age that your cat should be spayed or neutered.
Take your adult cat to the veterinarian twice a year for ideal care and management. With consistent home care and semi-annual vet examinations, your cat can be healthy and happy for many years. For more information, contact a center such as After Hours Veterinary Emergency Clinic Inc.