September is Happy, Healthy Cat Month! Created by CATalyst Council, this annual event focuses on spreading the word about the health, welfare, and value of companion cats. It’s a great reminder to ensure cats are healthy, enriched, and receiving the preventative care they need.

Celebrating Happy, Healthy Cat Month

Not sure how to celebrate Happy, Healthy Cat Month? Here are some tips to keep your cat purring all year long!

Tip #1: Feed your cat a high-quality diet. Making sure your cat is receiving a complete and balanced diet is crucial for his overall health. It’s also important to make sure your cat is receiving all the necessary nutrients that he needs. One good example is taurine. Did you know that many cats are in need of an additional source of taurine? Raw meat and taurine supplements can help prevent a taurine deficiency!

Tip #2: Take your cat to the vet. Sadly, there are many people who think cats are self-sufficient, so they don’t take their cat to the vet for annual checkups. According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and a study by Bayer Animal Health, 83% of pet cats go to the veterinarian in their first year of life, and then never go again. 

All cats should go to the vet for routine exams, even if they are an indoor cat! Cats are pros when it comes to hiding illnesses, which makes routine exams even more important. Routine checkups and veterinary care are important for protecting your cat from preventable illnesses and detecting diseases earlier when they are easier to treat. 

Many cat owners find it difficult to take their cats to the vet. If this is you, check out these tips!

Tip #3: Consider getting your cat microchipped. Losing a pet is heartbreaking, so why not increase the likelihood that you’ll be reunited with your cat if he ever escapes or gets lost? Microchipping provides a reliable and permanent form of identification for our furry friends. It’s inexpensive and simple, and there are so many benefits!

Tip #4: Provide entertainment for your cat. Ensuring your cat has plenty of toys and entertainment will help keep his mind and body busy. Feather toys can be so much fun for both you and your cat! And not all toys have to be bought. Boxes, wadded-up paper, and flashlights can also provide many hours of fun.

Make sure you set time aside to interact and play with your cat. It doesn’t only provide much-needed stimulation; it also helps promote exercise, which is important for keeping your cat at a healthy weight. Overweight cats are susceptible to a variety of conditions, including arthritis and diabetes. 

Tip #5: Remember preventative medicine. Fleas, ticks, mites, heartworms, and the list goes on. Parasite prevention seems never-ending, but it’s so important! Flea and tick control, vaccinations, and heartworm preventive medication will help keep your feline friend happy and healthy. After all, healthy cats are happy cats! 

Tip #6: Give plenty of scratching opportunities. Scratching is a perfectly natural behavior in cats. It helps relieve stress, plus it’s good for their physical and emotional health. Providing your cat with a scratching post is so beneficial. Remember: by providing a safe place for your cat to scratch, your cat is less likely to tear up your furniture!

Tip #7: Provide a clean litter box. Keeping your cat’s litter box clean will help prevent messes around the house. Cats can be very particular about their bathroom habits, and they may refuse to use the litter box if it’s dirty. To prevent this, you should scoop feces out on a daily basis and regularly replace the litter and clean the box. If you have more than one cat, you should have one litter box for each cat in the home, plus one more. The Humane Society of the United States has great tips for preventing litter box problems!

Tip #8: Provide safe ways to explore the outdoors. There’s so much for cats to explore outside. The key is to keep him safe while doing so. Training your cat to walk on a leash might work, or you can look into creating a cat-friendly outdoor enclosure like a cat patio or catio! This allows your cat to experience and explore the outdoors while giving you the peace of mind that he is safe and secure.

Of course, keeping our cats healthy and happy isn’t set aside for just September. It’s a year-round responsibility. But our cats are worth it! We hope you find these tips helpful as you celebrate Happy, Healthy Cat Month!