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Tips for Taking Better Care of Your Cat

Photo:
https://flic.kr/p/6wwxeR Photo by Andrew Watson (Flickr)

More than 40 million American households include at least one cat. While you may have heard that dogs are
considered man's best friend, cat ownership has steadily increased over the past couple of years. Because
cats walk in and immediately become part of the family, it isn't unusual for cat owners to look for ways to better
care for their "fur babies." How would you rate the care that your cat receives? Here are several frequently
asked questions about how to better take care of a cat.

Q: How often should I clean out the litter box?

A: Most cats spend their days inside the house, frequently requiring the use of a litter box. In order to maintain
the health of both the cat and other members of the family, it is important to
clean out the litter box at least once
a day. (If you use a clumping type of litter, you can go a little longer in between cleanings.) If the litter box is dirty
or smelly, a cat may avoid it altogether, creating more of a mess in the house. If a cat is
avoiding the litter box
despite consistent cleanings and eliminating around the house instead, it could be dealing with a more serious
health issue.

Q: Is my home cat-friendly?

A: Outside of clean water and a litter box, cats need some form of entertainment. While you and your cat share
a living space, it is important to provide it with
opportunities to play, explore, and even scratch. You don't need
to have hundreds of toys on hand: Just keep a few around that your cat enjoys playing with. Make sure that
your
cat has access to a window. Many consider this like a television for your pet. It can look at everything going on
and spend hours being entertained. And if you want to try to take care of your furniture, be sure that you have
specific scratch-approved areas. Cat trees, posts, and even tracks allow your cat to get some exercise and
take care of that urge to scratch.

Q: When should I take the cat to see a veterinarian?

A: Cats should see a vet
at least once a year for a checkup. At the visit, cats are weighed and all vital signs are
checked. This is a great opportunity to find out if there are any vaccinations that need to be addressed. Keep in
mind that different states have different requirements for
vaccinations for rabies. However, if a cat begins to
show significant changes in its behavior, a trip to the vet is advisable. Cats that are eliminating outside of the
litter box, changing its sleeping patterns, or changing its typical interactions with others in the home need to be
seen by a vet. By nature, cats tend to try to
hide any weaknesses, and a trip to the vet can provide both of you
with a little peace of mind.

Q: What type of food is best for my cat?

A: According to the FDA, the first thing a cat owner needs to look for on the label of cat food is the phrase
"
complete and balanced." This means that the food meets nutritional adequacy standards including passing an
Association of American Feed Control Officials feeding trial. Lots of items on the shelves carry this phrase, but
cat owners should
take a closer look at the ingredients included in the food before making a final decision.
Look for foods that offer
meat, veggies, and fruit instead of things like corn, soy, or wheat. You don't want to
feed your cat food from the table, but you still want it to enjoy a
nutritious, well-balanced diet from foods like Blue
Buffalo.

Q: How can I care for my cat's teeth?

A: Believe it or not,
brushing a cat's teeth regularly is the first step. In addition to preventing plaque buildup,
brushing helps decrease the chance of dental disease. The thought of tracking down the cat for a
tooth-brushing may not sound like fun, but it's actually easier than you think. It just takes
a small toothbrush,
veterinarian-approved pet toothpaste, and a couple of seconds. (Cats don't need you to spend as much time on
their teeth as you do your own.) Consider giving the cat a treat after the experience to create more of a positive
atmosphere. If you have concerns about plaque that is already building up, consider making an appointment for
a
professional cleaning.

Q: Should I spay or neuter my cat?

A: Your cat is a part of your family, and you want to do what is in
the cat's best interest. Because of the problem
of overpopulation, it is important to spay or neuter your pet. In addition to preventing unwanted and uncared-for
cats, it could help your pet lead a happier and healthier life. Cats that are spayed or neutered have a
decreased
risk of certain types of cancer. Pet cancer awareness is an important part of taking good care of your cat.

To learn more about the benefits of pets for veterans, visit the following links:

  
Blue Buffalo - All natural Pet foods.
  
Blue Buffalo - Healthy and holistic option for your cat.
  
Blue Buffalo Online Pet food Options.