Cats are cute pets who definitely know how to steal the limelight. But, unlike humans, they do not understand how to look after themselves and often need help to stay healthy. Thus, National Cat Health Month is an important part of a cat parent’s annual calendar. Besides ensuring your fur baby’s well-being throughout the year, you must dedicate more time to their health in this month. The National Cat Health Month celebrated nationwide is a critical reminder to pet owners to care for their felines.
What is the National Cat Health Month?
Cat parents throughout the US celebrate February as the National Cat Health Month.
While most cat owners give time to their pets’ health needs, some do not get enough time to visit the veterinarian often. This special month dedicated to cat health serves as a reminder to give extra love and care to these babies. It is especially important for cats that cannot be cared for the same way as domestic cats, such as those in shelters.
History of the National Cat Health Month
Cats have always been beloved pets, even as early as 8,000 years ago. The Ancient Egyptians kept cats for religious and social practices as they killed venomous snakes. Eventually, Greek traders brought them to Europe around 3,000 years ago, and Vikings took some with them; cats went global!
People started taking more care of cats, making them a part of their families. Felines became the most popular house pets in the US by 1993. Since they have become a favorite in America, cat owners have been concerned about their health. So, we now have a complete month entirely dedicated to their well-being.
Why is the National Cat Health Month Important?
National Cat Health Month is a reminder and opportunity for everyone who does not get time to focus on their cat’s health. It reminds us that the feline cannot tell you about their health issues, and you must address them in time.
- It lets us ensure our cat’s physical and mental well-being
- It helps us understand more about pet care and give them the best life
- It gives us more time to spend with our adorable fur babies
How to Observe the National Cat Health Month
You can look after your cat the entire year, but there are special February days dedicated to your cat’s health. Here is how to observe the National Cat Health Month.
Overall Wellness Checkup
If you rarely get time to take your fur baby for an overall checkup, February is the best time to do so!
Cats usually do not show early signs and symptoms of a health issue until it has progressed. The vet could identify and diagnose potential diseases and underlying health issues. Regular cat wellness exam is critical to nipping the problem in the bud.
Take Care of their Healthy Smile
Besides being the National Cat Health Month, February is also the National Dental Health Month. Thus, you must care not only for their stomach, lungs, and kidneys but also their teeth. It is the best time to take your cat for a dental exam.
Get your Fur Baby Vaccinated
National Cat Health Month is also an excellent opportunity for your cat’s vaccinations to protect them from serious illnesses. You may discuss cat vaccination at home with your vet or get an appointment to vaccinate your fur baby.
Ensure a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is as important for pets as it is for humans. You must ensure your cat’s healthy diet by consulting their vet and avoiding food items that can be toxic to them.
Especially when cats get old, they need extra care and nutrients to stay energetic. Add different food options and snacks so they do not get bored with the same routine. Moreover, you can get interactive feeders to keep them engaged while eating.
Keep Your Kitty Active
Besides maintaining a healthy diet, you must keep your cat active to avoid potential health issues. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to obesity and diabetes, making it difficult for your cat to lead a healthy life. Get your cat engaging toys to keep the feline running around.
Maintain a Grooming Routine
Grooming your cat’s coat is critical to their health and well-being. Brushing their coats every week and taking them for a monthly cat grooming session is best to avoid matting. However, in case you could not do that lately, this is the moment.
Focus on their Mental Health
Often, we cannot understand why our feline is aggressive or behaving in a particular way. One of the main reasons could be an underlying mental issue such as anxiety. This National Cat Health Month, take the time to learn about your cat’s mental health and the triggers to avoid upsetting them.
Monitor the Litter box
The litter box is one of the initial indicators of an underlying medical issue that might aggravate with time. Keep an eye on your cat’s litter box to observe changes in their litter habits. You must report abnormalities to the vet for further assessment.
Spay or Neuter your Cat
Cats mature at around four months; if you have not neutered them yet, it is the right time to think about it. Neutering or spaying cats is vital to maintaining their mental and physical health. Unneutered cats are on heat through half of the year, which is not a pleasant sight when they cannot mate. So, you must neuter your cat if they turn four or five months old this February.
Other Things to Do in National Cat Health Month
While most cat parents know about National Cat Health Month, some might not. Post pictures of your pet’s activities throughout the month to spread the word. Use the hashtags #Cat, #CatHealth, and #NationalCatHealthMonth to reach other cat owners.
Buy your Kitty a New Toy
Cat Health Awareness Month is not only about taking care of your cat’s physical health but caring for them overall. So, what’s a better way to show affection than a toy?
You can choose from various options like cat toys mouse, robot cat toys, stuffed cat toys, and many more. Buy a toy that suits their interest and spend time bonding with them. It also improves your cat’s mental health and relieves anxiety.
Understand their Needs
Kittens have unique needs at different stages of their life from the day they are born. Realizing these needs ensures that anything you do does not harm them, even if the intention is good. Your fur baby cannot communicate their needs to you, yet you can learn them from online resources and their vet. Learn about dangerous plants and foods they must avoid to keep safe.
Spend Time with Your Fur Baby
The National Cat Health Month is a reminder to care for your cat’s health and love them more. If you have spent little time with them lately, it is the perfect time to cuddle and play with them – make them feel loved more!
Volunteer at a Shelter Home
This month is dedicated to the well-being of all cats, including street cats and those in shelters. Organize a fundraiser for the feral cat shelter, donate food, or arrange medical expenses for these felines. As this month focuses on cats’ well-being, contribute to it in whatever way you can.
Keep Your Cat Healthy Throughout the Year
Though National Cat Health Month is an ideal opportunity to catch up on any overdue grooming sessions or vaccinations, you must focus on your cat’s health throughout the year. Here’s how you can ensure your feline’s well-being:
- Ensure all vaccinations are in time to avoid medical issues.
- Get your cat neutered or spayed when they are four months old.
- Take your fur baby for a yearly medical checkup despite no signs or symptoms.
- Ask your vet for a suitable cat food recommendation for your feline’s needs.
- Give your kitty preventative medication and the best shampoos for fleas, ticks, and worms.
- Take your cat for a mental health assessment if they behave aggressively for longer periods.
- Monitor your cat’s weight and litter, and report any abnormalities to the vet.
The Bottom Line
The National Cat Health Month, celebrated in February every year, reminds cat parents to care for their pet’s well-being. As cat parents, you must take your kitty for an annual overall checkup, ensure dental health, and focus on their mental health. This month is a reminder to spay or neuter your cat, keep them active, maintain a proper diet, and take them for grooming sessions. Moreover, you may also volunteer at a cat shelter to help those felines stay healthier.