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10 Tips for a Happy, Healthy Cat

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.

I’m a bonafide animal lover. My pets (two dogs and a cat) are members of my family. We shower them with love and do what we can to keep them healthy and happy. Many people think of cats as maintenance-free since they are so independent. And while it’s true they are often easier to care for than dogs, they still have essential needs. These 10 tips for a happy, healthy cat are super easy and will ensure a long, vibrant life for your favorite feline.


a collage of four different pictures of a cat with title text reading 10 Tips for a Happy, Healthy Cat

Regular Veterinary Visits

This should go without saying and if you’re reading this post you’re probably already doing it. But, I couldn’t write a post about healthy cats without including it. Plus, since I’m not a veterinarian (just an animal lover who likes to do research), you should consult a professional about the exact needs of your cat. You’ll find some topics you’ll want to bring up at your next visit in the rest of this article.

You should be taking your cat to the vet at least once a year for an annual check-up. Not only will your vet administer vaccinations, but he or she can also identify early signs of disease or health problems.

Spay or Neuter Your Cat

Even if your cat is an indoor cat, spaying or neutering your cat has profound benefits for cat health above and beyond preventing reproduction.

My kitty likes to sit beside me while I work at the computer

In female cats, spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer. In male cats, neutering prevents testicular cancer.

Protect Your Cat from Parasites

External parasites like fleas and ticks can cause itching and disease in both your cat and your family so it’s important to administer some sort of preventative measures (like a tick collar or topical medication).

Your cat is also susceptible to internal parasites like worms so it’s important to consult your veterinarian for testing and preventative medicine.

Protect Your Cat’s Teeth

Just like us, cats are susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay. Unlike us, cats don’t brush their teeth twice a day which is why 85% of cats show signs up oral disease by age 3. Left untreated, this can lead to serious diseases and chronic illnesses.

Ideally, you would brush your cat’s teeth (with a toothpaste specially developed for cats NOT human toothpaste). However, if your cat is like mine and attempts to shred you into a million pieces when you attempt to brush her teeth, you can help control plaque and tartar with Meow Mix Brushing Bites.

Meow Mix Brushing Bites are a tasty and easy way to protect your cat's teeth

Meow Mix Brushing Bites are tasty treats that are specially designed to help clean cats’ teeth. They’re made with real chicken and salmon (read the next healthy cat tip to find out why that’s important) so cats love the taste. Plus, they’re fortified with vitamin D and calcium to help support strong teeth (and bones).

Meow Mix Brushing Bites help control tartar and plaque

Meow Mix Brushing Bites can be found at your local Walmart and will also be available on WALMART.COM soon. For now, you can find out more about Meow Mix Brushing Bites HERE.

Feed Your Cat the Right Food in the Right Amounts

Did you know that unlike dogs, cats cannot be vegetarians? They NEED meat, and while some dry cat kibble contains real meat, they are typically high in carbs.

For optimum health your cat should have wet food in her diet. Consult your veterinarian for specific feeding guidelines.

Provide Fresh Water 24/7

Cats actually don’t need much water, especially if they eat canned cat food (which contains a lot of water). However, cats really like fresh water. Of course, clean water is better for them anyway since stale, dirty water can contain bacteria that can make them sick.

If your cat hangs out in your bathroom with you, you’ve probably noticed he or she likes running water. They make drinking fountains for cats that create a constant stream of water if you feel compelled to spoil your kitty.

Keep the Litter Box Clean

Cats are fastidious so if you aren’t great about keeping the litter box clean, chances are they’ll incentivize you by using other locations to do their business. But you really shouldn’t wait for your cat to deliver this message. A clean litter box not only makes your cat happy, but reduces the risk of infection and certain diseases.

My cat’s so obsessed with cleanliness, she supervises MY showers.

My cat even likes to hang out with me when I take a shower

Brush Your Cat Every Day

You can greatly reduce your cat’s risk of developing digestive tract problems related to hairballs by brushing him or her every day. A nice side bonus is that it’s therapeutic for both you and your cat, leaving you both more relaxed when the grooming is done.

Secure Your Home for Your Cat

Cats are inquisitive and like to hole up in strange places. If you leave your washer door open to prevent mildew, double check that kitty hasn’t curled up inside before you run a new load. I also make sure I know where kitty is before I close bedroom and closet doors when we are leaving the house for several hours.

Also, since cats can leap and climb, make sure to anchor furniture to prevent your cat from knocking it over. Likewise, unless your cat is VERY well trained, don’t light candles in places where he or she could potentially reach them or knock them down.

Encourage Play Time

Cats need exercise as much as we do and it has similar effects for them. Physical activity improves health and mood and helps prevent illness and injuries. Encourage activity by playing with your cat and by providing areas where climbing, scratching, and jumping are allowed (e.g. a kitty condo or cat tree).


it looks like the cat is looking right at you, with title text reading 10 Tips for a Happy, Healthy Cat

As you can see, keeping your cat happy and healthy isn’t difficult. It just takes a few minutes of care on a daily basis followed up by regular vet visits. I hope these tips will help you enjoy many happy years with your favorite feline.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.