In general, cats are pretty easy to take care of. While their needs are simple, there are extra things you can do to make sure they are the happiest and healthiest they can be. Today I am going to talk to you about how to keep your cats both happy and healthy with some simple tips. I’ll even show you how to make a super simple DIY cat bed for your furry friends.
How to keep your cat happy & healthy
Clean litter box
Cats should be inside at least most of the time to ensure that they are happy and healthy. This means that they need a clean place to do their business or they may decide to use your laundry pile or the corner of the room instead. Use a good quality litter that is low in dust and clean the box every day.
A good rule of thumb is to have at least one litter box per cat and one box per floor of the house is optimal. We have three litter boxes for our two cats; one on each floor which includes the finished basement.
Good quality food
The higher the quality of food you feed your cats, the healthier they will be. You will spend less money on vet bills and their fur will be soft and shiny. Since cats don’t drink as much water as dogs, it is recommended to feed them a diet of canned food. My cats do also get dry food to nibble on in between meals, but dry food isn’t their main diet.
Since cats can’t brush they are prone to plaque and tartar build-up on their teeth. 85% of cats show signs of oral disease by the time they are three years old. 95% of cat owners agree tooth and gum problems can cause more serious health problems such as bad breath, gum disease, and tooth loss.
To help keep plaque and tartar under control, try a crunchy cat treat specially designed to help clean teeth such as new Meow Mix Brushing Bites. Brushing Bites are also fortified with Vitamin D and Calcium for strong teeth and bones.
Meow Mix Brushing Bites are made with real chicken and salmon and 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.
Not only do they help maintain your cat’s oral health, they’re also delicious. Pete can’t get enough of them!
Like people, cats need regular check-ups. They should visit the veterinarian every year to be sure they are healthy and receive their necessary vaccinations. I love the PetPartner app which notifies me when my cats are due for their yearly appointments.
If they are injured or not acting like themselves, please bring them to the veterinarian promptly. You can save on expensive veterinary bills or worse by getting them necessary medical care early.
A comfortable place to sleep
Most cats sleep about 18 hours a day. In those 18 hours, they will sleep just about anywhere. While some cats prefer your bed or favorite sweater to sleep on, some cats also love a nice soft bed to sleep on. You can make your own cat bed for a fraction of the price of buying one at the store.
How to make a DIY no-sew cat bed
Fleece fabric is often on sale at your local chain fabric store. On the day that I went to choose fabric, it was 50% off so I made this super simple cat bed for $9. All you need to make this easy, no-sew cat bed is:
- no pill fleece, blizzard or polar fleece is fine. (I used one yard).
- batting or foam filler
- a pair of fabric scissors
Lay out the fleece and fold it in half. In the center of one of the halves, place your batting or filler and fold the second half over the batting. Then cut the closed side of the fleece so you have two separate pieces of fleece over the batting.
Cut strips all around the batting with a pair of fabric scissors. When you get to the corners, cut a notch out of the fabric.
After the fleece is cut in strips, tie them in knots all the way around the pillow. That’s it! Cut and tie until you’re done.
When you’re finished your cat will have a nice comfortable place to sleep. I have to tell you, Pete kept climbing on the bed before I was finished with it. When I was finally finished and let him stay on the bed, he took a nice long nap on his new cat bed.
Cats also love to play. You don’t have to spend a lot on cat toys since more often than not, they will probably prefer a string or a wadded up piece of paper. My cats also love to play with pipe cleaners and stray Legos that they find on the floor.
Train your cat early not to scratch on your favorite chair. Not all cats like to scratch on the same things, so don’t buy an expensive scratching post until you’re sure your cat will use it. Some materials to try are cardboard, carpeting, and sisal (rope). Some cats may also prefer an upright scratching post while others prefer to scratch on something that is flat on the floor.
Bring the outside in
And finally, indoor cats may get bored so it’s fun to bring the outside in for them. You can do this by setting up a bird feeder near a window, take them outside on a harness (not all cats will enjoy this), or make them an indoor cat garden so they can enjoy sniffing and chewing on plants and grasses that are safe for them.
What keeps your cats happy and healthy?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.