7 Things Vets Want You to Know about Your Cat

January 17th, 2017 by Daniel Mudrick

Do you share your home with a fluffy and cuddly feline friend? Caring for a cat – or two – is a joyful experience.

While cats may be less work than dogs, they still need plenty of care and attention. Like any pet, a cat is a long-term commitment and responsibility, and they provide you with endless love and entertainment.

Here are 7 things vets wish people knew about caring for their cats:

1. Your Cat Is a Carnivore

Although some people follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, it isn’t the right diet for your cats! People are omnivores, but cats are natural carnivores. They don’t digest plant matter well, and they require an essential protein called taurine that is only found in animal muscle and tissue. Domestic cats get their key nutrients from dry kibble or canned cat foods, both of which contain animal products.

Don’t forget to think about more than just what you feed your cat – portion control is also important! Weight control and management is the #1 thing you can do to lengthen your cat’s life.

2.  Cats Hate Dirty Litterboxes and Don’t Want to Share

Your cat is a clean freak, which means you should be cleaning the litterbox at least once a day! It’s a good idea to scoop solid waste daily, and replace the litter once a week. Keeping a clean litterbox encourages more frequent urination, which can help reduce the chance of your cat developing a deadly urinary tract condition.

Cats are not great at sharing, so if you have more than one cat at home you’ll need to get each one its own litterbox, and the location of the litter boxes should be in a quiet, out of the way location!

3. Some Houseplants Are Toxic to Cats

Some Houseplants Are Toxic to CatsNot sure which plants could be harmful to your cat? Check out this list of hazardous substances from Pet Poison Helpline so you can avoid bringing plants into your house that could be toxic for your cat.

If you believe your cat has eaten something poisonous, please call or visit a pet emergency hospital as soon as you can.

4. Cats Need to Have Their Teeth Brushed and Cleaned

It’s true! Cats have almost as many teeth as humans do, and their teeth also build up plaque and tarter. Caring for cat teeth is pretty similar to what you would do for your own teeth. You can brush your cats’ teeth at home (but make sure to use a cat-specific toothpaste), and bring them to a veterinarian for a yearly dental checkup.

Read our blog post “Before and After: Why Does Pet Dental Cleaning Matter?”

5. Vomiting Isn’t Normal for Cats

It’s a common misconception that vomiting is normal for cats. An occasional and isolated bout of vomiting isn’t usually a cause for concern, but if it’s happening frequently it could be caused by food allergies, parasites, or other more serious health conditions. If your cat is vomiting regularly, it’s a good idea to visit a veterinarian for a check-up.

6. Cats Are Masters at Masking Pain and Illness

Cats Are Masters at Masking Pain and IllnessYou likely won’t notice anything is wrong if your cat is developing a health condition, because cats are very good at hiding pain and other symptoms of illness. Please have your cat checked by the vet at the first sign of any change from normal routine.

Vets are trained on how to spot changes to a cat’s health before they advance and become more difficult to treat. This is why your cat needs to see a vet for a regular check-up at least once a year!

7. They Need Regular Parasite Prevention

Did you know intestinal parasites are one of the most common infections in cats? You may or may not notice signs, so stool testing should be done at least annually for your adult cat.

Check out this additional article from Dr. Andy Roark, ‘7 Things Vets Wish Cat Owners Knew’.

Knowing how to properly care for your cat will help ensure they live a long, happy, and healthy life! 


Clarkson Village Animal Hospital works hard to provide the best possible care for your cat. We are a 24/7 emergency animal hospital with a vet always physically on site. Book your cat’s next appointment now.

Get your cat in the carrier and to the vet without anxiety. See our free tip sheet on stress-free cat travel.

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About Daniel Mudrick

I'm the owner and founder of Clarkson Village Animal Hospital, a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital that's open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Clarkson Village Animal Hospital has always been a dream of mine, and by caring for one patient at a time, the hospital has continued to grow. During those rare times when I'm not at the hospital, I'm at yoga, hiking, gardening, and spending time with my family. I also enjoy reading to stay current on the most recent advances in veterinary medicine.

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