Over time, many of the products you use for your cat will suffer from wear or tear and decline in their effectiveness. We look at how often, and what type of cat products should be replaced.
Plastic food and water bowls
Feline acne has been attributed to the use of plastic food bowls. Not only that, but they can break down, releasing toxic chemicals into your cat’s food and water.
As the bowl ages, plastic begins to peel and develops scratches, which can harbour bacteria leading to skin inflammation, tear staining and feline acne.
Better options for cat food and water bowls include stainless steel, glass or ceramic. They should be wide enough so that the cat’s whiskers don’t touch the sides. Wash in warm, soapy water and thoroughly rinse food bowls daily.
Over time, nail trimmers can become blunted, which can lead to the cat’s claws becoming crushed and splintering when they are trimmed. This is uncomfortable for your cat and the splintered nail can potentially become snagged on carpets.
Don’t scrimp when it comes to buying nail trimmers for your cat, buy the best quality you can afford and replace when the blades become blunt.
Damaged cat toys
Old and damaged cat toys can potentially develop loose parts or stuffing which if can become a choking hazard or cause a gastrointestinal blockage. Replace toys which have become damaged and check them once a month for wear and tear.
When selecting cat toys, look for sturdy ones which don’t have glued on parts that may easily be removed and swallowed. DVM360 also recommend avoiding toy mice with real fur as some cats may take hunting these toys one step further and try to eat them.
Out of date medications
Throw away medications which have expired. Out of date medications lose their potency and effectiveness. Always check the use by date of medications and only ever give your cat medication if your veterinarian has told you to do so.
Cat litter trays
As with plastic food bowls, litter trays can develop scratches over time which can not only trap bacteria but also odours. Urine can degrade the plastic, causing it to become brittle and weakening it.
As a guide, you should have as many litter trays as you have cats, and then one extra. So if you have two cats, there should be three litter trays. Litter trays should be emptied, scrubbed and disinfected at least once a week, thoroughly rinse afterwards to remove any disinfectant residue.
Replace litter trays every two years.
These should be replaced every one to two years as they can become riddled with dead skin cells, oils, dirt, dust mites, bacteria and parasites such as worm eggs, tapeworm segments and flea eggs and larvae.
When choosing a cat bed, look for one with a removable cover if possible, which can be washed every few weeks. I also recommend placing a soft blanket over the bed which can also be removed and washed regularly.
Your cat’s toothbrush becomes a harbour for bacteria, bristles will become worn. Replace pet toothbrushes as often as you would your own, which should be every 6-8 weeks.
Grooming brushes should be cleaned regularly with warm soapy water to remove hair build up and oils. Brushes should be replaced as the bristles begin to wear.
Out of date food
Discard expired food. At best, the quality of the food will have degraded, and your cat may be missing out on essential nutrients, at worst your cat can develop food poisoning from expired food. It’s not worth the risk.