If you’re lucky enough to have a cat to call your own (or a cat to you its own!) then sometimes you’ll have to wonder: “Am I a good cat owner?”. You want to know you’re giving your pet the care it needs to live a healthy, happy life. Today we’re taking a look at this question to help you feel confident about the answer!
Common Health Problems
As a cat owner, you should be able to recognise and take some first steps when faced with common health problems. You should know, for example, be able to think of at least a couple of possible answers when you’re faced with the question “why does my cat keep throwing up?”
In general, it’s worth doing the research to recognise which symptoms require an urgent vet’s visit so you don’t ignore anything important. Other things you can treat on a case by case basis – and never feel ashamed to ask for advice from a vet. They’ll know it comes from you caring about your cat.
One of the most important ways you have to influence the wellbeing of your cat is through their diet. While you can feed a cat on raw meat , there are lots of different things you need to take into account to make it safe – it needs to be fresh (as fresh as if you were going to eat it yourself!), checked for bone fragments, which can cause choking and you need to prepare it carefully to avoid contamination with bacteria.
It’s easier and likely safer for your cat to buy purpose made cat food, which is marketed under a ‘nutritionally complete’ banner. This means it has all the nutrients your cat needs for a healthy life. Make sure you pick the right food for your cat’s age as well – kittens, adult cats and seniors all have different needs, and different foods to meet those needs.
Cats have lively, active brains and they need mental as well physical stimulation. This gets even more important if you’re not letting your cat go outside – to compensate for the lack of challenge and exploration they would otherwise find outdoors, you have to work hard!
You can build some games around food to help exercise the kind of instincts that would be stretched by hunting in the wild: food dispensing toys give your cat a challenge for their treats. You could also simply hide treats for your cat to find.
Play is very important for cats. As well as exercising their brain and body, it can help to expend the desire to hunt, lessening the chance that they’ll bring a mouse home for you. Not all cats like the same toys, so try a variety to find your cats favourite kind, and then get some different variations on it, to keep play fresh and exciting for them! This is the kind of thoughtfulness that marks out a really good cat owner.