(Family Features) As a cat owner, you do your best to take care of your pet. But there may be some things you don’t know about cats that could affect its health and happiness.
For example, a survey conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Purina ONE found that only 3 percent of respondents thought that playfulness is a sign of a healthy cat. Here are eight other cat facts that can help you keep your kitty thriving.
- Cats require more protein than dogs. Dietary protein is digested and broken down into individual amino acids. While dogs require 10 essential amino acids, cats require the same 10 plus one more: taurine.
- Cats need physical activity to maintain their muscle tone, alleviate stress and burn off excess energy. Yet 76 percent of cat owners say their cats spend less than half of their time being active. Consider taking your cat out for a walk on a leash – it keeps them active, gives them a chance to explore and is a great sensory experience.
- Nearly half of cat owners (45 percent) think their cats may be overweight. Remember, an ideal body condition is important for your cat’s overall health. To determine this, you want to be able to feel its ribs with gentle pressure. If you can’t, it might be overeating. If you can see its ribs, it might be too skinny. Also, with the cat in a standing position, you want to see a waist behind its ribs when looking down at the back, and a minimal amount of abdominal fat when viewing from the side.
- Cats enjoy a variety of tastes and textures, so wet and dry foods work well together. Dry kibble helps keep teeth clean. Wet food has a protein and moisture content that’s close to a wild cat’s natural diet.
- Most cat owners (81 percent) know bright eyes are a key indicator of cat health. Another indicator? A shiny coat. And what you feed your cat can make a difference. Within three weeks of switching your cat to a food optimal in omega-6 fatty acids and essential vitamins and minerals, such as Purina ONE, you may notice brighter eyes and a shinier coat.
- Cats like to have a clear view of their surroundings in order to detect the approach of rivals or predators, so keep your cat’s food dish out in the open or in a high spot to maximize sight lines.
- Cats can experience “whisker stress,” an annoying sensation that’s caused when their whiskers rub up against the sides of the bowl. To prevent this, try feeding your cat from a flat dish, large enough to hold a day’s worth of food.
- Most cat owners (98 percent) consider their cats happy, but it may be difficult to read a cat’s body language and non-verbal cues. When a cat’s tail is pointing upward, with tip slightly bent or pointing forward, they are in the friendly mood. But, if the tail is in a similar position but with raised hair, a cat could be angry.
To see the differences a healthy diet can make, try switching your cat’s food for just 28 days. Check out the Purina ONE 28 Day Challenge at www.purinaone.com/onesmartchange and receive a coupon to help you get started.
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