National Cat Health Month

Cats are loveable and affectionate; they’re the 2nd most popular pet in the United States. Their mysterious nature led to many myths or misconceptions that have influenced our ideas about cat care. February is National Cat Health Month and is the perfect time to focus on the health of your cat.

By nature, cats are independent and appear to be self reliant. One common misconception is that cats do not need regular veterinary care. According to a recent survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) approximately 79% of people took their dog to the veterinarian for routine or preventive care compared to approximately 48% of people who took their cat. Many cat parents state that taking their cat to the vet is too difficult. They only take them when they need care. However, cats are expert symptom hiders and by the time cat parents realize their cat is sick it probably is more serious. Routine and preventive veterinarian visits are essential to your cat’s health.

Another myth is that cats do not need to be groomed. And, yes, while cats do a great job of grooming themselves it is important to establish a regular grooming routine. When you groom your cat you can check for any changes or issues with
their fur, claws, and check for lumps. Also, as your cat ages they will need more help in their grooming.

Another misconception is that cats do not need special playtime. Even though you don’t have to take a cat for daily walks, it is essential to keep your fur baby active. Spending a few minutes periodically throughout the day helps your cat remain healthy and active.

The myth that cats are solitary animals who prefer to be left alone and who do not enjoy time with people is one that most needs to be debunked. Another variation on the solitary myth is that cats are low-maintenance; you can leave them alone for days as long as they have food and water. True, you don’t need someone to come and “walk the cat” but it is important to have someone check on them at least once a day. If possible, encourage socialization with at least one other person so that when you are away you have someone they know and trust to check on them.

A healthy cat is a happy cat. Most cats love attention, cuddling and snuggling. Spending time enjoying your cat is essential to their total health and well being. ©