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Cat Care Tips

Banfield, The Pet Hospital®

Good preventive care begins with careful attention to the basics:


A healthy diet that provides proper levels of energy and nutrients is the foundation for well-being and disease prevention. Your cat needs a protein-rich food with the highest quality amino acids, such as those found in most premium Pet foods.

Your pet also needs "life cycle feeding," which means a different diet depending on your cat's age. For example, a kitten needs a diet rich in calories and minerals for a more active lifestyle and for healthy, growing bones and muscles.

An older cat on the same diet could quickly get fat. The best food for older cats is restricted in fat and supplemented with fiber.

Work with your veterinarian to make a lifetime of good decisions about nutrition for your pets.


Vaccination protects your cat from many viral diseases, including feline infectious peritonitis (FIP); feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infection; and herpes virus infection.

These organisms cause a wide range of disease symptoms, from sneezing to death. Just like a child, your cat needs to be protected at an early age and given boosters as an adult.

Parasite Control

Many kittens are born with worms, which attach to the intestinal lining and can cause painful diarrhea or life-threatening conditions. Intestinal worms stunt your cat's growth and energy level by competing with your pet for nutrients, and some types of worms can be transmitted to humans.

A veterinary hospital uses a microscope to check for worm eggs in your cat's stool sample. The veterinarian recommends deworming medication at the appropriate time for your pet. In fact, all kittens are routinely dewormed to treat intestinal worm infections.

Giardia is a microscopic parasite that can cause serious intestinal inflammation. If infected, pets may exhibit diarrhea, weight loss, depression, decreased appetite or vomiting.

Left untreated, the infection may cause your pet to become increasingly debilitated and susceptible to other infections. There may also be a risk that giardia is transmissible between pets and humans, making you subject to the same health threats.

A veterinarian also helps you with the pests that assault your pet from the outside, like fleas, ticks, lice, and mites.

Spaying and Neutering

As your pet's voice and keeper, you will make many important preventive care decisions, one of which is whether to spay or neuter your cat. Scheduling this important surgery early in your pet's life helps prevent many future problems, among them uterine infections, cat fights, roaming, spraying, and overpopulation.

Spays (which are technically known as ovariohysterectomies) and neuters are routine and generally safe, but they are major surgeries that require general anesthesia and an all-day stay.

Spays and neuters are usually performed when the pet is 4 to 6 months old. To help you make the right decisions for your pet, ask your veterinarian to discuss all surgical options with you.

Routine Check-Ups

Think about the regular care we receive throughout our lifetime from pediatricians, dentists, physicians, allergists, ophthalmologists, and so on. Why settle for anything less for your pet?

Pets age an average of seven years for every one of ours–which makes regular care so critical.

Make appointments for health checkups twice a year for your cat. These professional evaluations will help you make sure you're on track with your cat's healthcare. Keeping your pet up-to-date on all aspects of healthcare gives your cat the best chance for a long, happy life.

Information provided by Banfield, The Pet Hospital® . To find the closest Banfield in a PetSmart store near you, click here.

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