Hey all you cat moms and dads! Did you know that September is the official month for celebrating your feline companion? Cats are family too, and it’s important to keep them healthy. Take care of your kitty's needs so that you can spend as many years together as possible.
Practicing Prey Instincts
Although they spend much of their time indoors, cats are still naturally inclined to live and behave as they once did in the wild. Felines will always be natural born hunters, and much like their domesticated canine counterparts, that internal need must be satisfied. If not, they get bored and become destructive.
While it does depend on your cat's specific energy levels, many felines aren't opposed to going for walks. You can find cat harnesses online or at just about any pet store. Be sure to avoid retractable leashes as they can become tangled if your kitty decides to climb up a tree.
Cat owners who spend a lot of time at work may find it difficult to give their companions enough exercise. If this sounds like you, don't worry! A laser pointer or motion toy works just as well for the days when you're just a little too tired for a walk.
Meowlitosis and Other Dental Issues
Whew! Does your cat's breath smell a little worse than usual lately? If so, it could be one of the first signs that something is wrong. Periodontal disease is one of the most common problems that veterinarians see in felines. While it is a natural part of aging, more severe issues such as tooth resorption can arise.
Small lesions form around the gumline, sort of like what you'd see with gingivitis in a human. If left unchecked, the inflammation increases over time causing a breakdown of the root tissue, and the tooth eventually retracts.
Veterinarians are still unclear as to the exact reason behind tooth resorption. What we do know is that there's a direct link between poor oral hygiene and the gum inflammation that initiates root destruction. If it’s been awhile since your cat has seen the dentist, make an appointment this month!
Preventing Feline Leukemia
Did you know that Feline Leukemia Virus is the most common cause of cancer in cats? This disease is spread through bodily fluids such as urine, saliva, and blood. Feline Leukemia progresses similarly to the way that AIDS and HIV do in humans. It is incurable, and slowly destroys your cat's immune system.
The good news is that a vaccine does exist, and it can be administered to kittens as early as nine weeks of age. Believe it or not, FLV is most often spread through mutual grooming and milk. So, if there's any chance your female kitty might become a mama, make sure she's vaccinated against the virus first!
Even if your cat tests positive for the disease someday, it doesn't necessarily mean that the end is nigh. Many felines live for three plus years after being diagnosed, and with a great quality of life I might add.