Many folks think that cats are very easy to take care of (cats everywhere would disagree!).  It is known that cats don’t require as much attention as a dog needs, but that doesn’t mean that cats don’t need any attention at all, or that there aren’t things you should look out for in terms of their health and happiness.

Here are ten ways to keep your cat healthy and happy.

Brush your cat daily.

Although cats groom themselves, brushing your cat will get a lot of loose fur out of the way. Brushing your cat’s already soft fur will keep it soft and prevent big hairballs all the time. This will aid in the digestive tract. A  way to get your cat to cooperate and appreciate it more is to associate the brushing time with a time that makes your him happy. A suggestion is to brush right before meal time.

Give your cat some wet food too.

Don’t just feed dry food to your cat all the time. Dry food has a lot of carbs, and can cause your cat to gain too much weight. Meat is the foundation of their diets and what they rely on, so make meat the main meal of the day.

Keep your cat well-hydrated.

Cats need water more than you may think. You can see that canned foods have a lot of moisture for your cat. If you are giving your cat dry food, they will be drinking a lot more water. Keep the water bowl fresh and full, and your cat will be the same.

Provide the right number of litter boxes.

If you have more than one cat, have more than one litter box. Get  at least one box per cat for ample room and comfort, and put the litter box in a place that can be private; but not in a dark corner of a moldy basement. Guarantee a pleasant place for your cat to relieve himself.

Keep your eye on where your cat is urinating.

Don’t get upset automatically if your cat is urinating outside of the litter box. If they are doing something out of the ordinary, this might mean something out of the ordinary is happening to them. This could be a sign of a urinary tract infection or other sicknesses, so be sure to take your cat to the vet if the act continues.

Keep your cat’s litter box clean.

Clean the box daily! If you don’t, that may be why your cat is using the bathroom outside of the litter box; or, maybe you need to try to find a different kind of litter that your cat would react to better. In any case, keep the litter box  and the surrounding area as fresh as you can.

Give your cat a scratching post.

Train your cat to use a scratching post instead of scratching all over your furniture. This will give them something to do, and it will relieve any tension in your pet’s muscles. A tip to start out is to not just put the post in a corner away from any social interaction. Your cat needs to be comfortable with it, so ease it into the normality of life.

Choose a cat-friendly vet.

Try to find a clinic with a separate waiting room for cats and dogs. A cat can become very uneasy in a room around a bunch of dogs. If you can’t find a place like that, at least ask to be taken back to the exam room as soon as possible when making an appointment.

Spay or neuter your cat.

For female cats, being in heat is very uncomfortable. This could result in spraying urine around your house, which will then make you uncomfortable. Make all parties happy and take a trip to the vet.

Let your cat demonstrate appreciation.

Cats love to show their owners how much they love them. Sometimes it will be by purring, rubbing up against you, letting you pet them, or giving you their gift (a dead small animal) at your doorstep. That’s how they know to show devotion and love, so don’t discourage it.

Yes, cats tend to be less needy than dogs, but cats still have needs too – don’t forget that. Continue to give them the care and attention they want and need, but also remember to leave them alone during the most important times of their lives – nap time!

By Staff Writer Erika Smith