February is a big month for focusing on pet care and animal welfare.
Perhaps it is because so many people adopt orphaned cats and dogs during the holidays and now that the new pets are settled into their new families it is time to remind pet owners how to responsibly care for their pets.
Or maybe it is because we are facing the notorious “kitten season” and the animal welfare world would like to remind people how they can help prevent this explosion of kittens looking for their forever homes.
Whatever the reason, it is a month to celebrate cats and do the best we can for them to keep them healthy and happy.
Health and happiness
February is National Cat Health Month and is focused on cat health issues and what you can do to help your cat be in the best of health.
The San Francisco SPCA is honoring this celebration with a cat health tip a day. Instead of releasing one tip a day, they have listed all 28 cat health tips on their Happy National Cat Health Month - A Tip a Day page. Check it out to see how you can keep your cat healthy.
February is also National Pet Dental Health Month and more and more research shows just how important dental care is for your cat.
The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) reports that gingivitis and periodontal disease in cats have become widespread and can lead to serious health issues for your cat - including bad breath, gum disease and loose teeth. All of this can be very painful for your cat and can make it difficult for your cat to eat. In extreme cases, bacteria in the mouth are ingested and get into your cat’s system potentially causing liver and kidney disease and even heart failure.
Luckily, with regular dental care these conditions can be avoided or kept to a minimum. Regular check ups at the vet coupled with home care can keep your cat’s mouth healthy. Watch the Hill’s 4 Steps to Cat Dental Care for tips on how to brush your cat’s teeth.
Helping to diminish kitten season
The HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) has made February Spay/Neuter Awareness Month to help cut down the number of unwanted pets.
An estimated four million cats and dogs—about one every eight seconds—are killed in U.S. shelters each year. Many of these animals are the offspring of family pets. Others have been abandoned or lost.
Whatever the situation, spay/neuter is a proven way to reduce the overpopulation and numbers of unwanted animals entering animal care facilities.
February is also National Prevent a Litter Month focusing on the decrease of the cycle of birth and death by preventing unwanted litters.
Both campaigns are meant to raise public awareness of the necessity of spaying and neutering cats and kittens to cut down on the huge numbers of litters of kittens that become the responsibility of rescue groups and animal facilities.
Check with your local animal care facility or rescue group to see if they are offering low cost or free spay and neuter procedures. Many have standing programs and some offer specials during February.
SNAP is a good resource for low cost spay/neuter programs and has a list of veterinarians that provide reduced spay/neuter fees.
Do your part – spay and neuter your family cat(s), any orphaned cats that you care for or contact the Feral Cat Coalition to help with any orphaned cats you see roaming your neighborhood.
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Healthy, happy cats live longer
With today’s medical advances, improvement in cat food and number of health related products available, indoor only cats are living into their late teens and early twenties. Join us in celebrating cats not only in February, but year round and help them be healthy and happy – for them and for you!
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