Your Cat's Health from 1 to 8 Years
Your Cat's Health from 1 to 8 Years

A Comprehensive Cat Care Guide

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Cats are said to be one of the most intelligent creatures on this planet. They are the ideal embodiment of agility, mobility, speed, and grace. However, between ages 1 to 8, cats go through numerous transitions, equivalent to a teenager transitioning to middle age. As a caregiver, you need to ensure that you provide your cat with everything it needs to stay healthy – rich sources of nutrition, freshwater, etc. A cat's health needs to be monitored closely and any abnormalities should be reported to the vet. In fact, pet parents should care for their cat right from its kitten stage. It will help you keep any older cat health problems at bay in the long run. If you are unaware of how to care for cats between ages one to eight, read on. We made a list of everything that you need to know about caring for a cat!

Ways to maintain cat health

As a first-time pet parent, it can be difficult to navigate your way through your cat’s needs and wants. Here are a few things you must ensure to keep your cat healthy:

  1. Brush your cat every day

    Cats have a habit of licking their fur to groom themselves. This results in the production of hairballs in their system. Brushing or combing your cat daily can help reduce the number of hairballs in its digestive tract. This is a simple way to make grooming easy for your feline friend and help keep its system clean. 

  2. Provide sufficient food and water

    Cats are carnivores, they rely on meat as their primary source of nutrition. Pet parents must remember to include meat in their cat’s diet. Avoid feeding dry food in large quantities, as it can have a negative impact on your cat’s health. Cats derive most of their water intake from the food that they consume. Canned foods contain almost 78% water, whereas dry food contains only 5% to 10% water. So, too much dry food or only dry food can leave your cat dehydrated. And dehydration is one of the leading causes of older cat health problems. So, keep your cat nourished and hydrated at all times. 

    At IAMS™, our range of wet cat food not only contains high-moisture levels but also proteins, vitamins, and minerals. We make sure that your cat receives all the right nutrients to have a shiny coat and healthy immune system.

  3. Place multiple litter boxes for your cat

    As far as litter boxes go, every cat should have its own. It is also advised for pet parents to keep an additional box for emergency situations. Furthermore, placing litter boxes at the right location is also important. People usually place litter boxes under their furniture, in the basement, or in dark corners. Cats may not always be comfortable with such settings. They prefer having an eye on their surroundings while doing the business. So, if you notice that your cat is not using the litter box, try changing its location.

  4. Figure out why your cat is peeing outside the litter box

    It is frustrating when your cat does not use the litter box and dirties other areas of your home. The best way to resolve this issue is by finding out why it is doing so. First, take your cat to the vet to rule out any cat health problems like urinary tract infections. If illnesses are not the root cause, try changing the location as well as the litter box.

  5. Train your cat to use a scratching post

    Another issue that pet parents face is their cat scratching different surfaces or ripping home decor fabric to shreds. Scratching is an instinctive behavior for cats.  They do so to express different emotions. Many cat parents are oblivious to the fact that their pet needs a scratching post. Place it in a spot where your cat can easily notice it. You can also sprinkle some catnip on the post to attract your cat.

  6. Spay or neuter your cat

    Neutering or spaying your cat is beneficial in multiple ways. Cats generally get aggressive as they go into heat. Female cats are very uncomfortable during this period and unneutered male cats tend to fight with each other. These fights can also result in the transmission of diseases through scratches and bites. Other than that, female cats can conceive at just four months of age, and raising a kindle of kittens can be stressful.

  7. Most common cat health issues

     If you are a new cat parent, you must keep an eye out for common cat health issues. Going for routine health check-ups is highly recommended so that you can spot any early signs of kitten health problems.

  8. Vomiting

    Vomiting is one of the most common cat health issues and it can happen due to many reasons. Your cat can vomit because of hairballs, eating something inedible, diabetes, urinary tract infection, etc. If you notice your cat heaving abdominally or drooling, take it to the vet immediately.

  9. Fleas

    Fleas bother almost all furry pets and are a common cat health problem. Fortunately, this is a problem that can be treated easily. Look out for signs such as:

    • Hair loss

    • Skin infections

    • Excessive scratching and itching

    • Frequent licking 

    Regardless of any signs, pet parents are recommended to get their cats checked for fleas regularly.

  10. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)

    Female and male cats who are unfit, overweight, or consume a lot of dry food tend to get FLUTD. Co-existing with multiple cats, sudden lifestyle changes, and stress can also influence the occurrence of this disease. Here are a few symptoms that cat parents can look out for:

    • Dehydration

    • Loss of appetite

    • Frequent vomiting

    • Visible discomfort while urinating

    • Licking around the genitalia

    • Blood in their urine

    • Urinating outside the litter box

    Your vet can recommend the right treatment according to the type of FLUTD your cat has.

  11. Eye problems

    Eye problems can occur because of many reasons such as glaucoma, cataracts, conjunctivitis, inflammation, different viruses, retinal diseases, and trauma. Symptoms that suggest eye problems include watery eyes, red eyes, gunk deposits in one or both eyes, cloudiness, white or red lining, and squinting. The best you can do is wipe off any dirt or gunk from your cat’s eyes and take it to the vet.

  12. Diarrhea

    Eating spoiled foods, liver diseases, cancer, infection, The most common positive sign of great health in cats is grooming. In fact, they might even attempt to groom other pets or you. If you notice your cat licking you, that means it is trying to groom you, suggesting that they feel comfortable around you and trust you.and other health issues can cause diarrhea in cats. Common symptoms of diarrhea are watery or loose stools. This condition can last for days, weeks, or months, depending on the cause. If your cat is suffering from this condition, make sure you provide it with a lot of fresh water and take it to the vet. 

Signs of a healthy cat

You now know how to provide and care for your cat, and what problematic signs you need to look out for. Now let’s explore the signs of good cat health:

  1. Good grooming:

    The most common positive sign of great health in cats is grooming. In fact, they might even attempt to groom other pets or you. If you notice your cat licking you, that means it is trying to groom you, suggesting that they feel comfortable around you and trust you.
  2. Purrs:

    If you can describe your cat as a pet who purrs a lot, rest assured that your feline friend is happy and content with its life. Cats tend to purr when they receive back scratches while some cats may purr generally, indicating that they are happy and at peace.
  3. Relaxed and comfortable:

    A cat that is always on alert will have its back arched and ears flattened. Happy cats, on the other hand, can be spotted relaxing and sleeping. Certain positions like sitting with their paws tucked in and eyes almost closed tell us that they are at ease.
  4. Dilated eyes:

    Cats dilate their eyes suddenly when they are happy. Some people presume that they do this just before becoming aggressive, but that is not the case.
  5. Lifted/twitchy tail:

    Just like dogs, you can tell a lot about a cat from its tail. When a cat feels confident, it will hold its tail high and twitch the top when it is happy.
  6. Good appetite:

    A hungry cat is a happy cat! If your cat eats well, gets excited about meals, rubs against your legs, and guides you to where you store its food, it means that it is excited about its meals and has a good appetite.
  7. Sound sleep:

    Cats are known for their naps. They can sleep anywhere, anytime, indicating that they are happy. If your cat likes sleeping on you or near you, it means that they trust you.
  8. Playful attitude:

    Playful pets are happy pets. A playful cat loves to run and jump around, or play with toys as well as their pet parents. This suggests that it likes its surroundings and has bonded with its caregivers.

  9. Forward-facing ears:

    If your cat has forward-facing ears, it is a good sign because it signals that it is receptive. Upset cats tend to fold their ears against their head.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What are the 5 signs of a healthy cat?
  2. Here are 5 signs of good cat health:

    • Purring
    • Lifted tail
    • Playful nature
    • Healthy sleep habits

  3. What health issues can cats have?
  4. Here are some common cat health issues:

    • Vomiting
    • Loose stools
    • Crying while peeing
    • Eye abnormalities

  5. How can I help my cat get healthy?
  6. If you want to maintain your cat’s health, take your pet to the vet regularly for an annual medical examination. Along with periodic health check-up, ensure that you:

    • Give your cat meat-based meals
    • Provide freshwater
    • Allow easy access to litter boxes

  7. How can I check my cat’s health?
  8. To monitor your cat’s health, look for signs of illnesses like vomiting, diarrhea, and problems during urination. These symptoms suggest that your cat might be falling sick. Signs such as good sleep, healthy appetite, and a playful attitude suggest that your cat is healthy.

  • All About Kitten Fleas
    All About Kitten Fleas
    All About Kitten Fleas

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    When you snuggle up to your new feline friend and notice them scratching a tad too often, it might be a sign of kitten fleas. Along with causing itching and discomfort, this dreaded parasite can also transmit diseases. In fact, during extreme cases, fleas can even cause anemia, especially in little ones like kittens. However, don't worry, we have the purrfect guide for you to handle these pesky invaders.


    Kitten flea remedy

    • Assessing your kitten's flea situation

    Before jumping to any kitten flea remedy, you must evaluate the situation. Depending on your kitten's age and weight, your approach will vary.

    Points to remember:

    1. Kittens under 12 weeks should not be introduced to chemical flea prevention products.

    2. Always check product guidelines to ensure they are suitable for your kitten’s age and weight.

    3. Only use products designed for cats, as our feline friends process chemicals differently than dogs.

    • Effective steps to tackle fleas on kittens

    1. Comb your kitten: A fine comb can effectively remove visible fleas.

    2. Bathe your kitten: If your kitten is of suitable age, use a flea and tick shampoo made for sensitive skin. For younger kittens, you might want to try non-medicated, tear-free soaps like a baby shampoo.

    3. Clean the environment: Your battle against fleas isn't just on your kitten. Wash all bedding in hot soapy water and vacuum carpeted areas thoroughly. Empty vacuum bags or canisters outside. Sprays can help eradicate fleas and their eggs indoors.

    4. Protect the Yard: Even if your kitten is an indoor kitty, fleas might sneak in from outside. Using sprays can be an effective way to safeguard your yard.

    • Safe flea treatment for kittens under 12 weeks

    When it comes to flea treatment for kittens under 12 weeks, options can be limited. Young kittens are particularly sensitive, and many treatments suited for adult cats can be harmful to them. Here's how to proceed:

    1. For kittens under 8 weeks old, your safest bet is to use a flea comb. This tool, when dipped in hot, soapy water between brushes, can help you physically remove and kill off adult fleas.

    2. Another effective method for very young kittens is bathing. A gentle bath with warm water and a fragrance-free dish liquid or natural baby shampoo can be effective in reducing the flea population. However, be sure to make this a quick affair to prevent your kitten from getting overly cold or scared.

    • Essential oils: Not always a kitten's best friend

    Natural sounds great, doesn't it? But here's a cat-sized caution: Avoid essential oils as a kitten flea remedy. Many essential oils are toxic to cats, even in minimal doses. Some flea treatments boasting 'natural' ingredients might contain these oils, which could pose risks for your kitten. Always read labels and, when in doubt, consult with your vet.

    • Safeguarding kittens from fleas: Age-appropriate treatments

    For kittens older than 8-10 weeks and weighing more than 1.5-2 pounds, topical treatments become an option. A golden rule here is always to ensure the chosen product matches your kitten's age and weight.

    • Picking the best kitten flea treatment

    It's essential to strike a balance between effectiveness and safety. Prescription treatments from your veterinarian typically offer the most robust protection against fleas. However, there are over-the-counter options available, which might be more accessible for some pet owners. No matter your choice, the key is to read labels carefully and avoid harmful ingredients, such as permethrin and certain essential oils.

    Fleas might be pesky, but with knowledge, patience, and the right tools, you can keep your kitten flea-free and happy. Always keep your veterinarian in the loop and ensure any treatment or remedy you use is age and weight appropriate. Remember, a flea-free kitten is a happy kitten!