How to Keep a Cat Safe and Healthy

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,304
    Pet Expert Kat Miller provides tips on how to keep a cat safe and healthy.

    Kat Miller: Hi, I am Dr. Kat Miller at the ASPCA and we are talking about how to prepare for and care for your newly adopted cat. Now let's talk about keeping your pet safe and healthy for a lifetime.

    After you bring your new cat home, it's a great idea to take him or her to the veterinarian for a health check. That way you will know if there is anything that you can take care of right away or prevent and also get all the vaccinations up-to-date, if they are not already. Also talk to your vet about microchipping your cat, if he or she is not microchipped already. This is a tiny little tag that goes under the skin between your cats shoulder blades and it's a permanent way to identify your cat even if the collar with ID tag should slip off.

    Also be sure to take a photo of your cat and you with your cat. That way if he or she disappears, or if you get separated as in a natural disaster, you can not only find your cat but prove which one he or she is your cat. Keep your cats nails trimmed. Cats like to scratch and it's natural behavior for them to scratch when their nails grow. So keep them trim so that they don't get too long and uncomfortable. Brush your cat regularly, especially long haired cats. They need to be brushed everyday. Short hairs maybe a couple times a week. Check that your cat's collar isn't too tight, especially if you have a cat that's still growing. They grow faster than you think sometimes. Make sure that you can fit a couple of fingers between the cat and the collar. It's a great idea to accustom your cat to a cat carrier now before you really need it.

    Leave a cat carrier out in the house, leave the door open and feed your cat in it or just leave treats in there occasionally so your cat gets used to going in and out. Then you can very gradually start to close the door for longer and longer periods of time, always giving your cat rewards in there, so it's a positive experience. That way when it's time to go to the vet or on a trip, or evacuate in the case of a disaster, you are ready to go and so is your cat. Weekly at home health checks are a good idea to. Just feel your cat for any lumps, bumps, look for scabs. Check the ears and the eyes for any unusual discharge and note any changes in behavior, especially changes in eating or drinking habits. Take your cat to the veterinarian under annual basis for checkup and for vaccination updates. Also, cats need regular dental care, just like people do. Have your cats spayed or neutered, if she or he isn't already. This can prevent some common medical concerns, as well as we do see incidents of some behavior issues like roaming and urine spraying. Lastly it's a great idea to keep all of your cat's medical and vaccination records together in one place, so that if the cat has a health emergency or you need to evacuate or travel, you'll have everything you need for your cat's healthcare provider.

    I hope that these tips that we have provided today will help make a smooth transition into a very happy and loving home for you new cat. Thanks for watching.