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When it comes to taking care of a pet, one of the most important decisions an owner can make is figuring out what that pet needs. While the needs of each animal may vary, there are some basics that all pets need in order to be healthy. For cats, this includes things like food, water, vet care, and toys. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what cats need to stay healthy and happy.

Physical health needs of cats

Your cat’s physical health needs primarily revolve around preventing illness and disease and include such aspects as:

  • Preventive care — Preventive care forms the cornerstone of your cat’s overall health and wellness and consists of vaccinationsparasite preventionscreening tests, and dental care.
  • Diet — With 60% of the American feline population classified as overweight or obese, a healthy diet is critical to help your feline pal maintain an ideal body condition. Cats that are too heavy are more likely to develop osteoarthritis, urinary issues, diabetes, heart problems, and some cancers.
  • Grooming — Although cats are typically fastidious groomers, they can use extra help. Brush your cat regularly, even if they are shorthaired. Clean their ears of debris if needed, and brush their teeth daily if possible. Heavy or longhaired cats often require a sanitary trim or regular washing to prevent urine and feces from accumulating. 

Mental health needs of cats

Your cat’s mental health is also important for its physical health, as a bored, stressed cat can develop urinary issues, overgrooming, and a multitude of other problems. Help them out by providing tools for: 

  • Scratching — Scratching is an instinctive need for cats and allows for nail care, stretching, and scent marking. Provide a variety of scratching posts and surfaces to give your cat the opportunity to scratch in the appropriate areas.
  • Climbing — Cats feel safer when they are up high, and climbing towers and cat shelves can fulfill that need. 

Common health issues in cats

Without adequate health care that focuses on their mental and physical needs, cats are more likely to develop numerous health problems. Common health issues include:

  • Obesity
  • Dental disease
  • Ear infections
  • Skin allergies and infections
  • Urinary tract disorders
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease

By providing regular wellness care for your feline friend, you can help prevent or minimize their risk for certain health conditions. Contact our team to schedule your cat’s next preventive care visit.