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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Give Your Cat A Longer

And Healthier Life

It does not matter what kind of cat you own, there is a few things you should be aware of to better the quality of life for your cat. You need to understand that your cats everyday lifestyle is directly related to his/her overall happiness, behavior and vitality.

Many people (I didn't say you) see cats as the perfect 'low maintenance' companion. Just refill that bowl of kittle, and clean a litter box once a week... done. What many people don't realize is even though their cat can get used to a life of free feeding and couch sitting all day, that lifestyle is opposite what nature intended for this creature.

For that reason it is no surprise most indoor cats in the U.S are overweight and have health problems when they get old. We all usually rather not think of the far future, but if you really care about your pet don't you want it to live long and strong?

In nature, a cat eats mostly protein in the form of meat, a bit of fat and almost no carbohydrates. Imagine for a minute of your cat having to survive in the wild, how active it would be, protecting itself and finding prey. I'm not saying you need to simulate a tigers life for your indoor cat, but just open your eyes to the natural needs of your cat.

To keep your cat healthy and fit for a longer life your cat needs less dry food, less boredom and sitting around, more meat, more action, interaction and attention from their owner. I know not everyone has enough time to play with the cat all day, but just a few minutes a day can make the difference.

For example, make the decision to stop filling up the bowl of dry food and try to have meal times. It's OK if your cats bowl is empty, your cat doesn't NEED to be fed every time it feels like it. You might think your cat knows how much it needs to eat for its own good, but it is just a fact that your cat will eat from boredom just like you!

Once you decide to have meal times for your cat/s, you can easily fit that schedule to yours. For example, give out a meal in the morning before going to work and then again during your own dinner time. It might take a little while for you and your cat to adjust, but doing this will benefit your cat in the following ways:

Your cat will appreciate, anticipate and enjoy the meals more than ever, because it will actually be HUNGRY for it.

Since you are the one giving those meals, your cat will love you more.

Your cat will lose weight and reach old age happier and healthier.

You'll end up spending less money on food (oh, that's your benefit).

These benefits will become the foundation of your cats better life, better health and better relationship with you , IF you go a step further and give the right food during those meal times. This is not hard, just read labels and give your cat more protein. Instead of only dry food, focus more on what kind of meat your cat likes. Find that type of meat product for cats, with minimal moisture and rich in protein. Mix it up for your cat with a bit of kittle or none at all.

Other than meal schedules, interaction with your cat is very important. If you're not home a lot, leave your cat with toys and things to explore. This is a challenge, especially for city apartment cats but why not make your cat happier if you could easily do so. Of course a happier cat means much less behavior problems that usually arouse from boredom and lack of attention.

Something fairly new that I'm doing for interaction time with my cats is clicker training. I know it sounds a bit crazy, like you could train a cat... You'll be surprised! I've already taught both of them to do a few tricks. Anyone could do this, with the right instructions, and this type of interaction really transforms your relationship with your cat.

Cat clicker training is based only on positive reinforcements, so it's pretty much a game for the cat and you'll be amazed how smart your cat really is. Opening up this channel of communication is not hard and could help you build good behavior patterns. After only two weeks of cat clicker training, I noticed both of my cats are much happier. I really feel they are thanking me... it's weird, but amazing.

Come learn more about that and everything else with Sammi and Isla at cat-love-story.com

Thanks for reading,

Sammi and Isla
http://www.cat-love-story.com/ or more on health
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Eyal_Barta