September is happy, healthy pet month and here are some simple ways to keep your kitty blissful and in good health!
One of the best ways to keep your pet healthy is to have them examined by a veterinarian. Kitties 7 and younger, it is recommended that they get exams and blood work once a year, but for our senior kitties and up, every 6 months is advised. Exams include a full head-to-tail physical and sometimes vaccines or a blood profile might be recommended. Blood work can assess the organs and help catch potentially fatal issues early. Some vaccines may not be necessary for your pet so talk with your veterinarian about what’s right for you.
Fleas can be a big problem in San Francisco! Fleas are resilient and some treatments are less effective than they used to be. Flea infestation can be massively frustrating and can cause health issues for you and your kitty. There are many choices when it comes to flea prevention; there are topical treatments, oral medications and collars to choose from and your vet can help you decide.
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Teeth brushing is a great way to help keep your cat's mouth clean and stink free! Dental disease sneaks up on you; weekly, if not daily, teeth brushing can help prevent gingivitis and other dental issues. Tasty flavored toothpastes are available for cats in a variety of flavors including chicken, seafood, malt, and even beef! Using a small baby toothbrush or “finger brush” (available here as well as most pet stores) massage the teeth and gums in small circular patterns- top, bottom, front, and back! We are aware most cats don't like brushing, but just the action of rubbing stimulates blood flow to the gums and promotes healing! Try to make it a positive experience with yummy toothpaste and by offering dental treats afterwards, or maybe a favorite toy/snack! Dental prophylaxis procedures (dental cleanings) under anesthesia are necessary to clean the teeth thoroughly and should be done regularly as directed by your veterinarian.
Grooming is not just for aesthetics. Routine grooming can help prevent matted hair, urine scalding, and more. Not every cat needs a lion-cut or panty-clip; but regular baths, brushing, and nail trimming helps keep your cat looking keen and feeling great!
The inside of your kitty is just as important as the outside, and diet is a great way to help maintain proper nutrition and health. Dry versus wet, prepared versus raw- with all the food types and brands out there its easy to get overwhelmed! Talk with your vet to see what diet is recommended for your cat's individual nutritional needs and be sure to wash food and water bowls daily with hot and soapy water.
Mental health is just as important as physical health when it comes to animals. Supplying a variety of toys and surfaces for your cat to climb and play on will help make them happy. Rotate toys periodically to avoid boredom and to keep things fresh. Play with your cat to bond with them and give interactive toys or a puzzle ball to stimulate their minds. Catnip is always a fun treat!