Veterinarian - San Diego
1540 Morena Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92110

619-275-0888

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By Heather Beeson of Morena Pet Hospital
September 06, 2013
Category: Pet Care
Tags: Untagged

 

Hey cat owners (and potential cat owners), did you know that September is ‘National Happy Cat’ month?  Of course, here at Morena Pet Hospital, every month is happy cat month and to help you and your furry felines celebrate, we are listing a few of the top essentials to keep your cat happy, healthy, and safe...year-round!

Some of you may be wondering what exactly makes a cat happy.  Many owners may agree that more so than just the necessities of food and water, a happy cat must have proper nutrition, an enriched environment, a clean bill of health, and of course lots of TLC. 

We decided to ask our staff of highly trained veterinarians and technicians their thoughts on this topic.  Here were some of the happy cat essentials that made our list…

Proper Nutrition

Proper diet is an important part of your cat's health.

  • Dry food is composed of primarily carbohydrate coated with fat to make it appealing to cats. Fed "free choice" most indoor only, spayed and neutered cats tend to over consume and become overweight, thus predisposed to obesity related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease later on. This is why we recommend feeding set amounts at meal times.
  • By offering canned food daily, we actually feel the cat's cravings to overeat carbohydrate-rich dry food is reduced. In addition, the extra moisture in canned food may help in preventing or slowing the onset of kidney disease later in life.

Should your pet need a new diet due to health concerns or you are just looking for a healthy alternative to your current brand, we are happy to consult with you at your cat's next visit about nutritional recommendations to help keep your cat healthy.

Enriched Environment

A happy cat, especially if indoor only, requires much love, attention, and active playtime. Some ideas to provide enrichment include: toys, treats, nature sounds, stimulating dvd or television programming, another playmate!

Toys

One of the easiest ways to make a cat happy is with a new toy! Cats are natural hunters and love chasing, pouncing, and stalking prey (even fake prey).  Making sure there is no shortage of cat toys in your home will help to enrich your cat’s environment.  Since cats tend to have different preferences when it comes to toys, you will have to pay close attention to what really motivates your cat to play. 

Be sure to visit our previous blog article How to Make an Indoor Cat’s Environment More Entertaining!, for some of our top-rated cat toys and products

Safely Experience the Outdoors

Screened-in porches and decks provide the perfect opportunity for indoor cats to safely experience the outdoors.  Supervised walks outdoors with a harness and leash or cat-stroller can also provide an indoor kitty with a relatively safe outdoor experience.

Scratching Posts

Cats should have designated cat scratching posts to stretch and care for their claws.  Scratching is an important aspect of feline behavior, so providing a cat post or carpeted wall climbs is a good way to keep kitty happy (not to mention your couches and furniture as well).

Plenty of Cat Beds

Cats are no strangers to napping.  They love finding soft, comfortable spots to take refuge in and get away from it all.  Providing some cat beds, soft blankets, or window cat perches are all great options for kitty.

Visit the Veterinarian

Someone had to say it! Although some owners may dread a trip to the veterinarian, it is important to point out that regular (at least annually) physical examinations can help detect problems in their early stages, before they become serious illnesses requiring prolonged treatment. Preventative medicine is the easiest, least expensive and most important way to keep your pet healthy.

Acclimate Your Cat to the Carrier

One way to help make the veterinary experience more enjoyable for both you and your cat is to get your cat comfortable with the pet carrier.  The goal is to familiarize your cat with the carrier so he/she will enter freely and associate the carrier with positive experiences.  For additional tips, refer to our blog article, Tips on Getting Your Cat to the Veterinarian.

Microchip

A lost pet can be one of the most heartbreaking experiences and painstaking realities that even the most responsible pet owner may have to face. Fortunately, many are returned simply because they were microchipped. This unique form of identification is an easy, yet permanent way to bring your pet home quickly should he/she become lost.

Each microchip has a unique number. This number, along with information about the owner and pet, are added to a national pet registry. Most veterinary hospitals and animal shelters have electronic scanners for detecting and reading these implanted microchips. If a lost pet is found and a microchip is scanned it is easy for you to be contacted.

Flea and Parasite Prevention

Mosquitoes, Fleas, and Ticks are more than just a nuisance; they also carry troublesome diseases and parasites, such as heartworms, tapeworms, and Lyme disease.  The best way to keep your pet, home, and your family pest-free is to prevent them from entering your door!  The currently available flea and heartworm medication is safe, effective, and available in once-a-month doses.  We would be happy to help you make the best choice for flea, parasite, and heartworm prevention for your pets.

September's Happy Cat Month is the perfect time for those without a cat to consider adopting one (or two) from your local animal shelter or pet rescue group.  If you already own a cat, perhaps you may consider adding a playmate? After all, kittens tend to require even more time and attention.  Indoor only kittens may do better with another kitten or an adult cat as a mentor.


References:

Happy Happy Cat Month. CATalyst Council. http://catalystcouncil.org/newsroom/?ID=57. September, 2013.

Did You Know September Is Happy Cat Month? (Yes Really). PetMD. http://www.petmd.com/blogs/healthyassurance/2013/September#.UiptFX-sLbg. 2011.

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