There are very many things that you can do to care for your cat’s health, some of which may seem obvious, and some not so obvious.
Among the more obvious things is to ensure that your kitten has all of the vaccinations that he needs to get him off to a good start in life and to protect him from some of the nastier diseases – some fatal – which can affect cats if not protected. Your vet will ensure that you are fully aware of the vaccinations required in the first few weeks. However, after that, you need to take your cat to the vet for an annual check-up and boosters to certain vaccines.
There are also a couple of potentially fatal diseases – feline leukemia and feline AIDS – which for some reason are not regarded as “core vaccinations” but against which your cat should be protected.
Potential Dangers In The Home
Having got the obvious out of the way, there are many potential dangers in your home of which you may not be aware.
Sadly, washing machines and tumble driers can be fatal. This is one of the most common accidents in the home for cats, so you should ensure that you check before every use.
It goes without saying that medicines and tablets should be kept out of sight, preferably locked in a medicine cabinet.
Cords on blinds and electrical cables have a fascination for cats. However, they can get caught up in them and then panic, causing damage to limbs and even strangulation. Try to hide all electrical cables under rugs or behind furniture.
Small items such as drawing pins, paper clips and rubber bands can be great fun to play with, but dangerous if swallowed. Keep them out of sight.
Keep household cleaners and chemicals in cupboards. In particular, pine-based cleaners can be exceedingly toxic. Anti-freeze is another common thing to have around the home or garage, but tastes sweet, so cats will drink it. Anti-freeze – even a few drops – will cause serious kidney damage.
There are several plants which can kill, the most notable of which is the lily. Lily pollen will cause kidney failure.
While cats are very good at landing on their feet, if they fall from a height from a window or balcony the result is usually a five point landing – all four paws plus the chin. This can cause broken jaws. In addition, there can be damage to limbs, spine, ribs, and internal injuries and bruises.
Pet insurance these days is a must. You never know when your cat may suffer injury (such as in a road accident) or long-term health issues which may lead to considerable vets bills. Veterinary fees are not cheap, but you have a responsibility to see to it that your cat gets whatever treatment it needs, regardless of cost.
Obviously, your cat’s health will be supported by being fed top quality foods rather than some of the cheap varieties which are on offer. The cheap foods often contain large amounts of grains which do not give your cat much nourishment, but simply provide bulk. Quality food is more expensive, but far better for your cat’s health.
Don’t always go by the product which is the most heavily advertised. There is one dog food, for example, that vets advise never to feed, since they see dogs with liver problems at the age of only four who have had a constant diet of that particular product. In order to ensure that your cat gets the best diet, discuss his needs with your vet.