It’s “purr-fectly” normal to think of cats as independent, low-maintenance pets.
But don’t be fooled when it comes to cat care! Just because they don’t demand long walks or chew up your shoes, cats still need plenty of attention in other ways.
Whether you’re a first-time cat owner or you’re planning to bring home a new kitten soon, here are 3 cat ownership mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
Mistake #1: Buying the Cheapest Cat Food
We all love to save money, but beware of buying the cheapest cat food on the shelf. Cats are natural carnivores, so you’ll want a cat food high in protein (with a named protein source on the ingredient list and not just the word “meat”). It should also be low in carbohydrates.
Cheap filler carbs like corn can cause your cat to pack on the pounds, and many cats are allergic to wheat. In dry cat food, look for healthier carbs such as green peas, sweet potatoes, or potato starch.
When it comes to cat health, the extra money you spend on a high-quality cat food can be worth its weight in gold. Read those labels and make an informed decision.
Cat Obesity: A Growing Problem
According to a 2016 clinical survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 58.9% of cats are clinically overweight.
6 Health Risks for Overweight Cats
- Diabetes: obese cats are 2–4 times more likely to develop diabetes
- Arthritis: obese cats are 3–5 times more likely to develop arthritis
- Flaky, dry skin or acne: skin problems are two times more common in overweight cats
- Greater risk when undergoing surgery/anesthesia
- Poor liver function due to fat buildup in the liver
- Decreased lifespan/quality of life
Mistake #2: Not Spaying/Neutering Your Cat
Approximately 860,000 cats are euthanized each year in shelters across America, according to the ASPCA. Spaying and neutering does more than fight pet overpopulation … it can also benefit your cat’s health and happiness.
For female cats, spaying before their first heat cycle reduces the risk of mammary (breast) cancer. In addition, spayed female cats can’t get ovarian and uterine cancers.
For male cats, neutering has big behavioral perks. Male cats that have not been neutered often have aggression issues, loud yowling and urine-spraying problems.
Don’t let cost be a factor in your decision to spay or neuter. The cost of spaying or neutering a cat (normally around $200) is less than the cost of raising kittens for one year. There are many low-cost spay/neuter programs available.
Mistake #3: Ignoring Your Cat’s Dental Health
You wouldn’t dream of not having your kids brush their teeth. Well, your fur kid needs some TLC in the dental department too!
Unfortunately, dental care is one of the most overlooked aspects of kitten and cat care. This leads to gum disease, which affects two-thirds of cats by the age of three. Left unchecked, advanced gum disease can cause pain, tooth loss, bad breath, poor organ function, and even take years off your cat’s life.
It’s true that cats’ stubborn – er, unique – personalities can make it difficult to brush their teeth. Fortunately, when you give your cat a quality water additive, it does the same job of a toothbrush with none of the hassle.
Vets recommend Oxyfresh Pet Oral Hygiene Solution water additive because it’s tasteless, odorless, and powered by non-toxic Oxygene® to control plaque build-up and get rid of cat bad breath. All you do is add 1 capful to your cat’s water bowl each day. Easy!
Cat Ownership: You Can Do It!
Owning a cat 101 is to LOVE the cat … and you’ve already aced that! Now that you know the top cat care mistakes to avoid, you can make your cat even happier by taking better care of its health.
P.S. Some people love bread or long walks on the beach. We love your cat care questions. So let us know if you have any questions about what you just read. 🙂