orange tabby cat on white wooden cabinet
Pet Owners Owners Council  

Basic Health and Care Tips for Your Cats: 10 Easy Things You Can Do Today

Cats are great pets, with very specific needs, and while they may look like fluffy little humans, they are just as different from us as any other animal.   If you have never owned one before, it’s important to understand how to take care of them properly. Cats need far more attention than most people realize, and neglecting their basic needs can lead to serious problems. Here are ten tips for how to make sure your cat has everything they need!

Tip 1:

Cats need a lot of attention and care, so it’s important that you spend quality time with them every day. You can do this by playing games or just spending some time cuddling together. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – in fact, the simpler, the better. A little time and love go a long way with these furry friends!

woman lying beside two kittens

Tip 2:

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they need protein in their diet to stay healthy. It’s best to feed your cat dry food at least once a day alongside wet food – canned or fresh meat would be ideal. You can also mix canned food in with the dry kibble to give them a little variety as well!

Tip 3:

It’s important that you provide your cat with some interactive playtime each day. At least once per week, set aside an hour or so of time and play games with it – tossing a ball around, playing with a toy on the floor, or just running up and down the hallway together. Cats love to be active!

Tip 4:

Cats need at least one litter box per cat, plus one extra in case there are any territorial issues that arise (such as another pet coming into your home). Keep them clean by scooping them out once a day. If you have more than one cat, it’s best to keep the litter boxes in discreet locations so that they’ll feel comfortable using them and not be territorial with each other.

Tip 5:

If your cats are typically indoor-only but find themselves outside now and again (such as a curious feline that has jumped out of an open window), make sure they get a rabies vaccine and have them microchipped as well. This is important to help keep your cat safe – not just from cars, but also from predators like coyotes!

Tip 6:

It’s best to brush your cat on at least a weekly basis, or more if they need it. This will help keep their fur free of tangles and mats – plus, how can you resist that adorable face? Brush them from the head to tail on both sides until all their fur is untangled.

Tip 7:

Although cats have natural instincts for hunting mice and other pests, it’s still important that you check your home for any rodents or insects. Cats can’t be expected to do the job on their own! Make sure they have a safe and secure place indoors where there are no mice or other small animals – not even an occasional insect is allowed in here, so make sure all cracks and crevices are sealed.

Tip 8:

Cats are more likely to be picky eaters, so it’s important that you provide them with a variety of foods – such as wet food and dry kibble combined, or canned meat on the side in addition to their regular mealtime needs. If your cat is not eating enough for its own good, you can also supplement its diet with vitamin supplements or a protein shake as needed.

white cat beside blue ceramic bowl

Tip 9:

If your cat is an indoor-only feline, and it’s not getting enough exercise (such as from playing games), you should provide them with some type of toy that challenges their mind – such as one of those balls with holes in it or even a long-winding tunnel. Cats love to work for their treats!

Tip 10:

If your cat is clawing up furniture, you can help train them how to behave by using either an upside-down mat (so that if they try and pull the fabric apart, nothing happens) or a scratching post. Cats love to scratch and stretch on these, so it’s a win-win situation!

Cats are a lot of work, but they’re so worth it. Some may say that cats are the best pets because they don’t require nearly as much care and attention as dogs do – how many people have had to take their cat to the vet for some type of checkup? But honestly, how could you not love them anyway? Cats give us plenty of joy every day with just their mere presence.