Celebrating Happy Cat Month with what you need to know

Indy Style

Did you know? September is Happy Cat Month, a celebration of the health, well-being, and importance of our feline friends.

Thomas F. Dock, Director of Communications/Public Information Office, Noah’s Animal Hospitals, shares what cat owners can do to keep their cats happy!

1) Recent studies have shown that our feline friends receive less care than our canine companions. While dogs average 1.6 visits to their veterinarian per year, cats average less than 1 visit per year (0.7 visits per year). It’s estimated that about 75 million cats live in our households here in the US.

2) Clients report these reasons for not taking their cat to the veterinarian:
a. 54% say that their cat is not sick or injured
b. 21% cite cost of care as main reason for avoiding veterinary care
c. 17% say that their pet does not need vaccines
d. 4% say that transporting their cat is too troublesome.

3) What’s important to remember is that our cats do need care just as often as our canine friends. Pets age faster than we do, they really can’t talk to us, and, very vital for cats, they will hide their illnesses. This is very common for animals who are both predator AND prey.

4) Feline enthusiasts can help their four-legged friends by focusing on a few key things:

a. Nutrition…cats need CAT food as they are obligate carnivores. Without meat in their diet, cats can suffer from eye issues, skin problems, or even serious heart issues. Ask your veterinarian about proper feline nutrition.
b. Preventive care: Just because your cat “looks” ok doesn’t mean that he or she is ok. Many illnesses, like kidney failure, heart issues, arthritis, or even parasitic infections may not show overt signs until the disease is more advanced. Schedule at least one visit with the veterinarian each year…two is even better.
i. Likewise, don’t just say “no” everytime when your pet’s doc recommends bloodwork…this is one way we can get an early step ahead of significant issues, like hyperthyroidism or renal failure.
ii. Remember, the cost of prevention is always much less than the cost of treatment!
c. Mental stimulation…is your cat an active hunter…pouncing on stuffed animals, stalking your feet, or maybe racing throughout the house? Consider feeding toys that make the cat solve a puzzle or invest in teaser toys to increase the kitty’s activity.

5) Don’t just get the cat carrier out when vet visits come up…let your kitty explore the carrier so that when you NEED to get the cat in it, you will have less of a fight!

6) Learn more about your cat’s needs by visiting websites like http://catalystcouncil.org/ or https://catvets.com/.

7) We love the independence of our feline friends and the aloofness of their love, but let’s not forget that they need the same level of care that our other pets get.

To learn more, visit www.noahshospitals.com.

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