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7 Tips to Keep Your Cat Happy and Healthy

In a world where you can be anything, one of the best things you can be is a cat parent. This special title means you’re privy to heart-melting headbutts, soothing slow blinks and biscuit-making, and hilarious moments of zooming, pouncing, and endless curiosity.

For as much as our kitties give to us, it only makes sense to ensure we’re doing the absolute most for them. That means prioritizing their daily essentials—like litter boxes, food, and water—and going above and beyond to help them feel happy, safe, and healthy. The reward is quite handsome: a fulfilling cat and human bond that’ll keep you both living your best life together.

Image 2[53]Courtesy Cat's Pride

Keep Their Litter Box Clean & Inviting

Tending to a litter box isn’t the most glamorous chore, but keeping this space welcoming for your cat keeps them happy and your house fresh. Lighten the load—quite literally—with Cat’s Pride® Lightweight litter, which is up to 40% lighter than traditional scoopable litter brands. It’s also 99% dust free, promises up to 10 days of powerful odor control, and creates strong, no-mess clumps you can easily scoop. In other words, it lets you work smarter—not harder.

Along with choosing the best kitty litter, place your cat’s litter box in a safe place away from their food and water and make sure to scoop daily.

Encourage Them to Hydrate

Just like humans, cats need adequate hydration to feel their best both in the short and long term. According to True Care Veterinary Hospital, water helps regulate your cat’s body temperature, improves their brain function, fosters healthy organs, and helps lubricate their joints. Clean and replace their bowl every day with fresh water. To help encourage enough hydration, you can even introduce a water fountain. Cat’s love moving water.

Feed Them a Balanced Diet

In addition to keeping them hydrated, it’s important to feed your cat a wholesome and balanced diet. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends choosing food for their life stage (kitten, adult, senior), and to make sure tasty treats account for no more than five to ten percent of their diet. Note that all balanced cat foods are made with an essential amino acid called taurine, which is imperative for feline eye and heart health.

Pay Attention to Their Body Language

Cats are known for being a little bit mysterious and coy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up on a few body language cues to better understand them. In fact, if you pay attention you’ll be able to pick up on quite a bit! Here are just a handful of cat body language cues and what they mean:

  • Swishing Tail: Contrary to popular belief, this is a sign of agitation and not joy. Give your pet some space and/or remove the agitating source if possible.
  • Quivering Tail: On the other hand, if the tail is upright and slightly quivering, they’re in an excited and curious state.
  • Hissing: This is your cat’s way of heeding a warning that they’re none-too-pleased at the moment.
  • Slow Blinking: When cats squint their eyes or slowly blink at you, this is them saying, “Hey human, I love you and trust you!”
  • Curled Up: A cat that’s in a limp, curled-up position is feeling super relaxed, safe, and sleepy.

By understanding your cat’s body language, you can successfully help avert agitation, respect their space, and engage in playtime or cuddles.

Image 1[32]Courtesy Cat's Pride

Engage Their Brains & Bodies

In the same way dogs benefit from daily mental and physical stimulation, cats thrive when they’ve had enough exercise and brain engagement. According to PetMD, pet parents should aim for about 60 minutes of interaction with their cats every day. Incorporate interactive games into your playtime, such as lasers and wands, and give them access to puzzles, mazes, and toys that move and catch their interest. Snuggles go a long way, too!

Let Them Scratch (Really!)

If you’ve ever felt frustrated by your cat’s scratching habits, you’re definitely not alone. The Humane Society of the United States says this is an ingrained, completely normal behavior for cats that helps them express emotions, file their nails, and mark their territory. You can curb destructive scratching by equipping your home with appropriate scratching areas. All cats are different, so try a few different scratchers (e.g., vertical posts, horizontal pads, wood, carpet) and see what they like best.

Stay On Top of Vet Visits

The vet may not be your cat’s favorite destination—and the car ride there is an adventure in and of itself—but an annual appointment can help keep your cat healthy and happy in the long run. This routine checkup assesses their vitals, ensures they’re up-to-date on vaccines, and gives you an opportunity to talk through physical and behavioral issues you might have. Also make sure to take your cat to the vet if they’re showing signs of obvious ongoing distress, experiencing improper elimination, or have any sudden changes to their health or personality.