A Map to Your Cat's Health

True Nature Series

1/CAT PHYSICALITY 

Did You Know?:

Cat owners often aren't aware that their cat is under-exercising, or overweight. 

Insight:

Because African Wildcats must hunt for their existence, nearly all have ideal body conditions and are incredibly agile creatures.

True Nature Tip:

Engage in purposeful play with your cat on a regular basis. Wand toys, balls and exercise feeders satisfy her instinct to hunt in a playful way, help build and maintain muscle tone and strengthen the bond between you.

Watch Out For:

Inactivity could be a sign of arthritis. An increase or decrease of activity could be more serious such as thyroid disorder or dehydration. Consult your veterinarian if in doubt.

2/DEHYDRATION

Did You Know?:

Dehydration may be a problem, even when cats are seen drinking water with their food. 

Insight:

In the wild, cats get most of their fluid intake from prey, and tend to seek sources of running or dripping water rather than still.

True Nature Tip:

In addition to a bowl of fresh water, provide running water options for your cat, such as a cat fountain, and regularly check for signs of dehydration such as lowered elasticity in the skin or dry gums. 

Watch Out For:

Hydration is the physiological state of the balance of fluids and electrolytes. Just as it is for people, it's important for cats to take in enough fluid to maintain that balance. Inadequate water intake may lead to health problems for cats. As always, be sure to consult your veterinarian to rule out any issues.

3/LITTER BOX

Did You Know?:

Litter box behavior offers clues into your cat's overall health.

Insight:

In the wild, African Wildcats have been observed to urinate and defecate in different locations.

True Nature Tip:

Utilize one litter box per cat plus an extra, or one on every level of your home even if you have only one cat. Locate the litter boxes in peaceful parts of the home, away from areas frequented by a dog or potentially frightening objects like the washer & dryer or vacuum cleaner.

Watch Out For:

Excessive or minimal use of the litter box, or refusal to use it altogether, may be associated with serious health concerns like diabetes, thyroid conditions or urinary tract problems and should be discussed with your veterinarian immediately. 

4/GROOMING

Did You Know?:

Cats in the wild develop hairballs, too. One theory is that hairballs serve to protect the digestive tract from any sharp indigestible pieces like bones and feathers ingested from the whole prey and get thrown up weekly. 

Insight:

African Wildcats often groom themselves after eating as it provides relaxing tactile stimulation. However, adult female African Wildcats living in a colony have been observed sharing grooming responsibilities - both with kittens and amongst themselves.

True Nature Tip:

Our Hairball Formula and Indoor Advantage® dry adult cat foods contain natural fibers to help minimize hairballs. But feeding either recipe to your adult cat doesn't mean you're off the hook when it comes to helping her maintain her coat since there's a social component to grooming. Besides helping to remove dead hair, it may help bring you closer to together. 

Watch Out For:

An ungroomed backside can lead to constipation and other health issues, while overgrooming by your cat can lead to issues like blockages caused by hairballs. 

5/FEEDING

Did You Know?:

Many cat owners overlook feeding measured portions or incorporating enrichment activities into feeding.

Insight:

While feeding kibble is convenient for a cat owner's daily routine, it can mean missing out on opportunities to enrich their cat's mealtime.  

True Nature Tip:

Try serving a portion of her daily dry food in an exercise feeder to challenge your cat and give her the fulfillment of a successful "hunt."

Remember, an ideal body condition is important for your cat's overall health. To determine this, you want to be able to feel her ribs with gentle pressure. If you can't, she might be overeating. If you can see her ribs, she might be too skinny. Also, with her in a standing position, you want to see a waist behind her ribs when looking down at her back, and a minimal amount of abdominal fat when viewing from the side. 

Watch Out For:

Always monitor your cat's weight and adjust feeding quantities accordingly. Over or under feeding a cat can lead to serious conditions such as obesity, diabetes, thyroid disorder or intestinal dysfunction. Consult your veterinarian if you have concerns about her body condition. 

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