Felines are naturally very agile, active, and avid hunters. However, their current status as house pets with minimal to no exercise and a bad diet has led to a spike in feline obesity. This has led to a rise in obesity-led diseases like diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, lethargy, kidney issues, and a lot more. While your veterinarian can provide you with the required treatment, it isn’t a long-term solution. Curbing symptoms doesn’t guarantee that the disease won’t return. The key is to tackle the root issue which is obesity. However, cats are moody animals, so it isn’t always possible to push them to exercise all of a sudden. In such cases, a holistic and natural approach is the way to curb these diseases and ensure your cat’s health and well-being.
So, what are these tips and tricks you can practice when opting for a holistic approach for your feline friend’s health & well? Well, here you go!
Tap Into Your Cat’s Natural Hunter Instinct
Cats are natural hunters. They are very fast yet patient when it comes to hunting. They can go days without eating to catch good prey and feast on it. This is the very same reason they don’t drink a lot of water and survive solely on the water they get from the animals they hunt. Any weak cat who cannot defend itself and keep itself well-fed in the wilderness can become prey to bigger animals. To ensure your cat can stay tapped into their natural self, you can use a toy mouse or any other battery-operated toy shaped like a cat’s prey.
Introduce these toys slowly into your cat’s daily routine and make sure you allot a dedicated time slot to let the cats hunt these moving toys. It would be fun to watch your cat be the hunter it is while getting the required exercise daily.
Dedicate Time For Interactive Play
Although cats love their space and don’t like to interact the way dogs do, they sure love their human. While they might not crave your attention a lot, they sure do love the time spent with you. A happy cat is a thriving cat. Spending some time daily for interactive play with your cat can help not just your pet but you as well. Moreover, instead of spending one long hour after a long day, you can spread out those sessions into short ones throughout the day.
Maybe start the day with a 15-minute playtime in the morning with a squeaky toy, laser pointer, or even a ball or yarn. Depending on your day, you can add two to three additional play sessions to keep your cat active throughout the day.
Go Vertical When Building A Home For Your Cat
Cats are amazing climbers. They can easily climb poles and trees at lightning-fast speed. This in the wilderness helped them burn a lot of calories and stay fit. Moreover, it also made it easy for them to catch birds or snatch their eggs for food. However, in your home environment, your cat doesn’t get a chance to explore this side of theirs. To give them an environment where they can explore their wild side, build them play areas that have vertical perches. You can also get cat beds made in the shape of a tree. If your cat isn’t a climber, you can entice them by placing their favorite treats on these perches. This will promote a positive reinforcement of healthy habits. With time, once the cat starts doing this on their own, you can stop placing treats. Some cat tree beds even feature scratch posts or exercise wheels to keep them engaged for hours. If you are looking for a great option, you cannot miss the Hey-Brother Multi-Level Condo for cats. Made of engineered wood, this tree-shaped condo furniture has plush perches, scratch posts, and even a hammock for your cat to enjoy.
Keep Tabs On Your Cat’s Diet
While feeding cats packaged food now and then is fine, it is important to give them homemade food to keep them healthy for years to come. Homemade food is a part of this holistic routine. Moreover, it is important to ensure that your feline friend’s diet is primarily made up of healthy protein with a little bit of healthy fat and some fiber to avoid constipation. While cats mostly have a protein-based diet, their lifestyle isn’t the same as it used to be. Given the hours they spend away from nature, it is important to add some fiber to their diet to ensure they can pass the stool with ease.
Another crucial thing most pet parents get wrong is keeping their cat’s bowl filled with food throughout the day. While cats are picky eaters, it is important not to give them access to food 24/7. However, it is also important not to give them food at an exact time. For example, if you want your cat to eat food at 7 PM, you can shift the time half an hour ahead or earlier. This creates an eating window instead of just a specific time. Doing this avoids issues like acid reflux or bile vomiting in case you are ever late in giving your cat food to eat.
Help Them Socialize
Cats are popular as lone beings. They love their own company. However, when tamed well, they also socialize with other cats or even dogs depending on their temperament. When cats spend time with one of their kind, it helps them distress. As we all know, stress can be a big contributor to obesity and other health issues in both cats and humans. So, your cat must have dedicated days when they can socialize and de-stress.
A holistic approach to your cat’s health is the key to their long and happy life. While getting your cat treated for any existing illness is important, it is also crucial to focus on the root cause and eliminate it with the help of nature. Additionally, when portion-controlling your cat’s diet or cooking for them, make sure you consult your veterinarian to understand what they can eat and what they can’t. Their diet will vary depending on their existing health conditions. So, make sure you plan a visit to the vet at the earliest to understand what will work. This rule of thumb applies to playtime as well. If your cat is obese, they might not be okay with long play sessions. It can also stress their heart. So, ask your veterinarian what would be best for your feline friend.