Keeping Your Cat Healthy
By Mario Carini
Cats, by their nature, are independent and require little attention beside cleaning out the litter box, feeding and the stroking they get on their owner's lap. You can be sure that your cat will always come back to your home once he has had his fill of chasing mice and exploring the territory around your home.
But just because they are independent creatures does not mean that you can ignore their health needs. Like your own health, if you want Fuzzy around for a long time, you should be aware of certain health requirements your cat needs beyond insuring they get their distemper and rabies shots.
Stress is not just exclusive to humans. A move, the loss of human companionship or a change in family routine can lead Fuzzy to stop eating or claw up the furniture in frustration.
As a cat ages, free radical damage occurs and the best way to keep the cat healthy is by supplying them with herbs and anti-oxidants like quercitin and rutin to maintain their vitality.
We don't always think in terms of our pet's health assuming that all that's necessary is to feed it. Cat food alone doesn't provide the kind of nutrition that leads to a shiny coat of fur and good digestion. Just like you and me, your can also needs some herbal help as can be found in echinacea and reishi mushrooms. Prevention from sickness is just as important as it is for you.
One of the best ways to keep your cat healthy is by feeding it the kind of food that a cat really needs. A quality canned food meat diet is preferable over dry kibbles. The type of protein found in dry kibbles are often too high in plant-based protein. Cats are carnivores and require meat rather than grain in their diets. It's what they normally eat in the wild. Water is an essential element of the diet and you don't find much in a bag of Purina Cat Chow. Cats need to consume water with their food as the drive for thirst is not very strong in cats. Without water, the cat will experience kidney and bladder problems down the road.
And if you think your veterinarian knows what's best for your cat, think again. Even the prescription diets sold by veterinarians are not formulated for your cat's optimal health. They often contain corn, wheat and other ingredients that put a high carbohydrate load on your cat. Before you consider a vet for your cat, find out if they have a good knowledge of pet nutrition, especially for cats.
While millions of people suffer from the effects of diabetes, your cat can get it too! Because those dry kibbles are plant-based, they can affect the blood sugar levels in your cat. Dry kibbles is the junk food for a cat. The manufacturers coat the kibble with an enticing animal digest spray. This makes it difficult to wean a cat to meat-based canned food like chicken or beef just as it is to get your children to eat what's best for them.
Joint health is an important factor, even in a young animal. You should allow your cat to roam around in the outdoors. That provides them the exercise they need to stay flexible. An indoor cat becomes bored and lazy as well as fat. As a pet owner myself, I've observed my cat getting fat during the coldest months of winter and slims down during the summer when it feels more willing to romp in the grass rather than the cold and wet snow of winter.
While your cat may seem quite frisky and agile, joint health starts at an early age which becomes evident as the animal ages. Any abnormal development shows up in limping and restricted movement the older the cat gets. Hip dysplasia occurs in both cats and dogs, even in animals as young as 5 months old. It only gets worse as the animal ages. Osteoarthritis isn't limited to us humans..
If your pet limps and has limited mobility, consider giving it natural minerals such as glucosamine sulfate, methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM), devil's claw or boswellia serrata. Don't assume that your cat's limp is due to old age. Feed your cat the herbs and minerals it needs to stay agile longer. You can't do much if your cat has hip dysplasia, but it will see more mobility with less pain.
So if you want to have a healthy cat, consider these points. Feed it "muscle" meat, such as chicken or turkey rather than organ meats. Leave out the dry kibbles. By all means give it the shots it needs, but don't reply completely on your vet. Most vets have a poor education when it comes to nutrition.
By following the basic rules, your cats will live long and pain-free lives.
For more information on cats, go to www.cat-purrfect.com