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Cats have many health care needs, but pet parents might not know the recommended care schedule. Not all cats receive enough routine vet care, which can lead to poorer health. Avoiding preventative or routine care also means missed opportunities to stop health issues — like digestion blockages or tooth pain — from getting worse.
Cat preventative health care includes oral and digestive health and flea and tick preventive medications, essential for healthy living. When cats have access to proper health support, they can bounce back from minor conditions more easily. Understanding different preventative care practices and why they are important is the first step to ensuring cats can thrive regardless of age.
Pet parents need to help keep cats healthy. Daily, weekly, and monthly care practices may seem small, however, they make a big impact on a cat’s health in the long run. By taking their pets for preventative care, pet parents help cats live longer, healthier lives, avoiding many costly and potentially painful diseases.
There are many types of preventative care for cats. The following are health care practices essential for a cat's overall health and wellness.
Oral health care benefits more than the mouth. Dental diseases can cause inflammation elsewhere in the body, and mouth bacteria can spread rapidly, entering the bloodstream and causing harm throughout the body. From tooth loss to oral tumors to swollen or bleeding gums, many cat oral health issues can surface without routine dental care.
Thankfully, preventative dental care can help. A routine health check for plaque and tartar buildup, bleeding gums, loose teeth, or other problems can reveal other minor concerns the vet can monitor.
Tooth brushing is a preventative practice pet parents can do at home. When pet parents brush their cat's teeth with a soft, pet-appropriate toothbrush, they help remove plaque and food stuck to their cat's teeth. Like humans, tooth brushing is an excellent daily habit for preventing dental diseases.
A glossy, thick coat and well-moisturized skin are hallmarks of good health. Conversely, cats in poor health could have itchy skin or patchy fur, and they might also be more prone to skin diseases. Preventative care for a cat's skin and coat, such as regular grooming, medicated or soap-free shampoos, or a balanced diet and lifestyle, helps keep the skin and fur healthy and benefits overall health — especially nutritional supplements and dietary changes.
Check-ups are as important for cats as they are for humans. Regular check-ups help catch minor issues before they worsen, and they can find new illnesses or potential diseases a pet parent can't.
According to the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association, cats should have an annual check-up following customized diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative plans. Some cats may need more frequent check-ups to monitor issues.
A microchip is a tiny electronic chip with an identification number injected under the cat's skin. Vets can use microchip scanners to scan and display the ID number and pet parent contact info.
Microchipping is a preventative care practice pet parents hope they never need to use. However, it is essential for the safe return of a cat who got lost or bolted from home. Some cats have ID tags, but these tags can snag on corners or sharp items or even break off, defeating their purpose.
Flea and tick medications are another essential preventative care practice. By administering these medications, pet parents help ensure their pet avoids flea and tick-borne illnesses, such as:
Pet parents can also have a vet apply these cat flea and tick preventatives during a regular check-up.
Cats and humans alike benefit from a healthy diet and exercise routine. With nutritional foods in proper portions and regular physical activity, cats can avoid obesity and reduce their risk for many diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and arthritis. Plus, healthy digestive systems can prevent severe gastrointestinal disorders.
Whether they want suggestions for the best cat food, advice on brushing their cat's teeth, or help on a range of other topics, pet parents can reach out to Fuzzy vets for 24/7 Live Vet Chat. Become a Fuzzy member today and get direct access to caring vets ready to help solve any cat health question and concern.