Dr. Steven Reed says he wants to talk today, as we turn to fall, about our feline friends and kitty care. The number one thing he wants to talk about, the big decision is, does your cat like to spend time outdoors? He says the truth of the matter is indoor cats, cats exclusively indoors have an average life span of 13 years of age. The cats that spend all of their lives outdoors, like barn cats has an average life span of three years so if you do the math, cats live longer the more time they spend indoors.
Number two if your cat is going to spend more time indoors, it is very important to provide environmental enrichment. Unless the cat has ten thousand square feet of space to hunt in, that is an unnatural situation, so you want to take the space you have and enrich it. He says if you go to the Buffalo Zoo you’ll see they do a nice job giving polar bears blocks of ice with salmon in it or a lion with a refrigerator box, so for your cat, boxes are great, cat toys are great, little toys, they don’t have to be expensive, things that they can fetch, things that they can run around, little catnip mice, your local pet store has many options.
Play with your cats actively. Don’t just leave cats around. In fact, put the cat toys away until you’re going to play with your cat. Dr. Stevens says play with them a minimum of five minutes twice a day.
Number three is preventative care. If you cat is an outdoor cat especially, but also an indoor cat, preventatives are important. Dr. Stevens says your cats can bring diseases into your house, actually even if they never leave your house surprisingly enough. He says if have your cat on a good quality preventative, a flea and tick product like BRAVECTO or an all-in-one product like Revolution available at your vets, it can do a great job not only protecting your cats but also your family.
Finally, a once-a-year visit with your vet even if your cat is not due for vaccinations. Vaccinations for cats are getting stretched out. Dr. Stevens says they don’t always happen every year, but we find all kinds of things like an owner today didn’t know the cat had fleas, ingrown toenails, ear infections, dental disease, all kinds of things we can find in your cat that your vet can do for you.