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Does Your Cat Have Nine Lives?

By: Renae Hamrick, RVT

Read By: Pet Lovers
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Of course, there are also hazards associated with living indoors. These hazards, however, are more easily controlled than those of the outdoors. To cat-proof your home, follow these steps. You know what curiosity does to a cat.....

Pick up and put away anything your cat may eat that is not edible. Cats tend to chew on things around the home and those items may pose a choking or intestinal obstruction hazard. String, yarn, dental floss, ribbon, rubber bands etc. are very common intestinal obstructions. Even a small, thin piece of innocent-looking string can make a cat very ill. Also, be careful with the electrical cords, as some cats like to chew these and may be electrocuted.

If your cat wears a collar, make sure it fits appropriately. In her climbing about, a cat wearing an over-sized collar may get caught on something and hang herself. Be sure you can comfortably fit only one finger between your cat's neck and her collar. If you can fit more, it is probably too loose. There are also break-away collars available that will disengage at the latch if your cat is stuck on something. Also be mindful of anything else your cat may become entangled in, such as a bra hanging on a doorknob.

Do not have toxins accessible to your cat. Many cats enjoy chewing on plants. Not only can this be annoying, but it can also be fatal to your cat. See PetPlace's list of toxic plants. Also keep ALL medications in a location completely unaccessible to your cat. Rat poison, potpourri, cleaners, and antifreeze are other potential hazards.

Stabilize your furniture. Cats love to jump and climb. Be careful to not have unstable furniture, decorations, or appliances that may fall over if they jump on or in them. Though cats are quick, it is very likely that a tumbling household item could cause injury or death.

Separate your cat from dogs when they are unsupervised. Even if your dog and cat appear to get along famously, they should not be left together when you are away from home. One moment of frustration, rough play, food aggression, etc. could leave your cat injured or dead. When not at home, it is best to either crate the dogs, or separate them in a different room than the cats.

Feed Quality Food

Ask your veterinarian what cat food he or she recommends. You should never feed your pet a generic or store brand food, as this nutrition is not ideal. Also, never allow your cat to eat a diet of only dog food. If your kitty enjoys sneaking a piece of dog kibble here and there, be sure she is eating from her cat food bowl as well. There are vitamins and amino and fatty acids that a cat must have in her diet that are not necessarily supplied in a dog's food. Cats also require more protein than a dog. Proper nutrition will keep your cat healthy and give her the best chance at a long life.

Playtime, Love, and Attention

Playtime is beneficial to a cat in multiple ways. It provides exercise, bonding time with the kitty's owner, and it allows the cat to use her hunting skills. Stalking furry mice, running after a laser pointer, and batting at a fishing pole toy are all excellent ways to help your cat stay psychologically and physically healthy. Sedentary cats become obese and are then at increased risk for health problems such as diabetes, joint disease, and others. Inactive cats also become bored and unfulfilled, which can lead to depression and behavior problems.

A healthy lifestyle should keep your cat acting young for a long time. Her zest for life and fearless curiosity may make her seem like she has the fortune of multiple lives, but she only has one, so cherish every day you spend with her.

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