October 29 is National Cat Day. The Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) honors this day by encouraging potential cat owners to not only adopt a furry friend from a rescue or shelter but also to practice responsible cat ownership throughout the pet’s life.
The phrase “Who rescued who?” couldn’t ring more true than for loving cat owners who adopted their feline friends from rescue organizations and shelters. Each year, an estimated 4 million cats enter shelters, and, unfortunately, about 1 to 2 million are euthanized. Choosing to adopt a cat from a shelter or rescue organization means saving a cat’s life. The National Cat Day website broadcasts this message in honor of its celebratory day on October 29.
The Texas Veterinary Medical Association honors this day by encouraging potential cat owners to not only adopt a furry friend from a rescue or shelter but also to practice responsible cat ownership throughout the pet’s life. Some of the basic tenets of responsible cat ownership include:
- Regular exams with the veterinarian, addressing issues including dental health, skin allergies and health issues that arise with age
- Keeping cats up-to-date with vaccinations, including rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia (FVRCP) and feline leukemia
- Maintaining a healthy weight for your cat by feeding a healthy diet and incorporating exercise into its lifestyle
- Reducing financial stress by putting pet health care in one’s family’s budget
- Making sure the cat has proper identification, whether it’s by microchip or a collar with your contact information (ideally both)
- Ensuring the cat is kept safe from the elements, making sure it is protected during times of extreme cold or heat and always keeping it properly hydrated
- Establishing natural disaster preparation plans in the event of emergencies, including creating an evacuation kit
- Having spay or neuter procedures performed to curb the pet overpopulation problem
Fulfilling these components of cat ownership is the best investment you can make in your cat’s life. “Preventative care in veterinary medicine not only includes vaccinations but now encompasses a wide variety of life stage-specific options,” said TVMA Chairman of the Board Aaron Rainer, DVM, MPH, who practices in Richmond, Texas. “Your veterinarian can guide you in making these important decisions for your family’s pets.”
Partnering with your veterinarian is a crucial component of responsible cat ownership. TexVetPets.org allows this collaboration to continue online in between visits to the clinic by offering a reliable source of accurate pet health information that is peer-reviewed and written by TVMA members—the veterinary professionals of Texas. When you’re in need of information on ownership topics such as clinic etiquette, zoonotic diseases, weight-loss plans and caring for senior pets, visit the cat wellness section of TexVetPets.org at https://www.texvetpets.org/article_cat/cats/.