The moment we adopt a cat, they become our family. And as a family member, it’s important to know how to advocate for your cat. Everything about their lives hinges on the decisions we make for them. The first time I really realized this felt scary for me. I felt overwhelmed and under qualified.

But here’s the thing: As cat parents, we are responsible for being their voice, their advocate, the decision maker. But we are not alone. We can work with a team of dedicated professionals to ensure we are doing our best to make the most informed decisions for our cats. Our veterinarians, feline behaviorists, integrative or holistic practitioners, nutritionists – all are valuable ‘tools’ in the toolkit that helps you advocate for your cat.

Health and Happiness Advocate

Regular vet check-ups, bloodwork, and dental care will help to catch any brewing health issues. And it’s essential to cultivate a communicative relationship with our veterinarian. If the time comes they are diagnosed with a disease, or require treatment for an injury or illness, we should feel comfortable asking questions. Exploring multiple treatment options, understanding side-effects and evaluating our cat’s individual situation will help us make the best decision as their advocate.

Learning our cat’s personality and preferences is also a key to being their best advocate. It helps make us be more considerate of their needs when we are making decisions about their environment. Do they need a cat tree? New cat shelves? More vertical space or hidey spots?

Meeting our cat’s behavioral and nutritional needs is also an essential part of being their advocate. The number of fully feline focused resources is growing. This makes it much easier to ask the questions and find the answers that can help enrich a happy and healthy life.

At times, you may encounter a professional that thinks only they know what’s best for your cat. But your cat is not their cat. They will never be able to love your cat as you do. And that’s ok. You may just need to find a second opinion – to make sure you fulfill your first priority: Being your cat’s best advocate.

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