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How to Keep Cats Healthy: 10 Vet-Approved Tips to Boost Your Cat’s Mental & Physical Health

Written by: Lorre Luther

Last Updated on February 21, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

white cat with the owner

How to Keep Cats Healthy: 10 Vet-Approved Tips to Boost Your Cat’s Mental & Physical Health

VET APPROVED

Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM) Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Cats are family members, and it makes sense for pet parents to do everything possible to ensure their companions get whatever they need to be happy and healthy. Creating cat-friendly environments by providing pets with activities and entertainment can go a long way toward supporting their mental well-being.

Ensuring that they get regular health care, high-quality food, and lots of exercise are just a few of the things that pet parents can do to keep their companions in top physical condition. Keep reading for 10 tips to boost your cat’s mental and physical health.

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The 10 Tips on How to Keep Cats Healthy

1. Set Up a Regular Grooming Routine

maine-coon-grooming
Image Credit: Sergey Fatin, Shutterstock

Regularly grooming cats has several benefits. It’s excellent for their fur and skin and helps gather hair that might otherwise be ingested during grooming, leading to hairballs. Most short-haired cats only need weekly brushing, while daily attention is usually required for kitties with long fur.

Cats’ claws require regular trimming to prevent situations like ingrown claws from occurring. Most indoor cats must have their nails clipped every few weeks to keep them healthy.

Brushing your cat’s teeth at least a few times a week is essential and can reduce the occurrence of dental conditions such as gingivitis and periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss.

If you are looking for recommendations on the best cat brush, you should check out Hepper Cat Brush. You will hardly find different brush with so many pros - easy to clean, easy to use, durable and effective. Simply everything you need from a cat brush. Click here to order yours today.

Hepper Deshedding Cat Brush
  • ONE PUSH RELEASE - This kitten brush / cat brush pops out fur with just a simple press, leaving you...
  • DURABLE - Cat shedding can be a tough ordeal. Made of resilient ABS plastic and metal bristles with...
  • COMFORTABLE - A cat fur brush with 60 degree angled, fine bristles and rubber stoppers will bring...

At Catster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!


2. Take Them to the Veterinarian Regularly

vet petting the cat and talking to the owner
Image Credit: Stock-Asso, Shutterstock

Cats require regular health care to stay fit. Most veterinarians recommend yearly visits for healthy adult cats and advise the pet parents of senior ones to bring their pets in at least twice a year (to make sure that any diseases and conditions commonly found in older cats are caught as early as possible).

Your vet can also demonstrate what to feed your cat and how to trim their nails.


3. Feed Them High-Quality Food and Ensure They Get Enough Water

feeding cat
Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shuterstock

Feeding cats high-quality food with lots of protein and specific nutrients they require to stay healthy is vital to maintaining their mental and physical health. Brands that feature an AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement are formulated to provide everything cats need for their bodies to run as they should. Being sufficiently hydrated is also important since water is essential for digestion and proper circulatory function.

You can purchase a cat water fountain to encourage your pet to drink more or serve more wet food to boost their hydration. Cats have sensitive noses, so keeping their water and food bowls clean is integral to supporting their mental and physical well-being.

Hepper 360 Cat Feeder, Stainless Steel, Anti-Chew...
  • NO MESS - The 360° tray on this cat food and water bowl set has a raised design to catch and...
  • WHISKER FRIENDLY - Shallow and wide metal containers with flat bottoms ensure your kitty can enjoy...
  • CHEW-SAFE MATERIALS - Kittens and cats love chewing on silicone and soft rubber - but it's a choking...

Feeding your cat a high-quality diet is important for keeping them healthy and happy. But it goes beyond the food you choose; the dishes they use also matter. The Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl is our favorite for its unique, five-star design that protects from whisker fatigue and promotes good posture which also aids in better digestion. As an added bonus, it’s beautifully crafted and offers a modern take on the traditional cat bowl that fits seamlessly with all home stylings. Learn more about the NomNom by clicking here.

At Catster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

 

 


4. Stay Vigilant About Weight Management

veterinarian weighs an overweight pet on a scale
Image Credit: Zhuravlev Andrey, Shutterstock

Weight checks are usually part of regular wellness visits. While it’s possible for cats to lose weight, it’s generally far easier to ensure they don’t pack on excess pounds. Following the manufacturer’s feeding instructions and measuring the servings can keep the amount cats consume under control.

Limiting the amount of dry food may also help since it tends to be high in carbohydrates and leads to weight gain when cats are allowed to free-feed.


5. Provide Toys and Perches

a-cat-playing-with-toys
Image Credit: winni-design, Shutterstock

Cats naturally like to play, which usually involves running, jumping, chasing, and batting. Installing elevated shelves or platforms can help your cat stay engaged in their environment.

Heights provide overviews of what’s around them and allow them to relax in the knowledge they’ll have plenty of time to move if they see “threats” early enough to take evasive action.

Playing is an important part of keeping your cat mentally and physically engaged, and a great toy will make it much easier. We like Hepper's Catnip Stick Toys because they're sturdy enough to handle intense play and completely filled with organic catnip. You'll love the fun range of pastel colors and your cat will enjoy the prey-like shape!

Hepper Stick Catnip Cat Kicker Toy
  • No Filler - Like all the best cat toys our is stuffed with 100% organic catnip. Cheap cat toys with...
  • Flexible Play - Simple plush shape is great for biting, scratching and pawing. It can start life as...
  • Durably Designed - Our cat safe toys are hand-stitched with a double-lined exterior construction for...

At Catster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!


6. Maintain the Litter Box

Cleaning-cat-litter-box
Image Credit: Zoran-Photographer, Shutterstock

Cats prefer their litter boxes to be placed in quiet places far away from where they eat. Most will also refuse to use litter boxes that aren’t clean enough. Scooping them out daily, regularly throwing all the used litter away, and cleaning the box regularly is essential to keeping cats happy with their restroom facilities.

Combating tough cat litter smells is an ongoing battle for pet parents but luckily, there are products out there designed to help! Two products that significantly reduce odors are the Hepper Litter Additive and the Hepper Enzyme Spray. Find out which is better suit to your needs with our breakdown of each product below. 

Hepper Enzyme Spray - New Label Hepper Litter additive
Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Cat Litter Deodorizer Powder
Eliminates odors
Eliminates odors:
Eliminates odors:
Removes stains
Removes stains:
Removes stains:
Dry/powder form
Dry/powder form:
Dry/powder form:
Wet/liquid solution
Wet/liquid solution:
Wet/liquid solution:
Works on multiple surfaces
Works on multiple surfaces:
Works on multiple surfaces:
Combats odor inside your cat's litter
Combats odor inside your cat's litter:
Combats odor inside your cat's litter:

At Catster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!


7. Provide Multiple Engaging Activities

orange cats using scratching post
Image Credit: MarinaTr, Shutterstock

Bored cats are notorious for creating their own fun, and their solutions are often less than appreciated by their human companions. Ensuring cats have toys and scratchers to play with and enjoy when alone and placing beds where they can sunbathe and look outside can keep them entertained and content.

Taking your indoor cat for leashed walks can also enrich their lives and provide fresh air.

Are you looking for the perfect cat harness? We suggest Hepper's Cat Harness & Leash Set, which includes a nicely designed, machine-washable harness made from soft, sturdy velvet and mesh.

Hepper Cat Harness and Leash Escape Proof Set -...
  • Escape Proof - Cat leashes and harnesses for walking aren't all equally secure. Our double aluminium...
  • Superior Comfort - Our cat harnesses are lightweight, made with premium velvet fabric, breathable...
  • Free Extra Strength Leash - You don't need to worry about your cat escaping this harness. This cat...

This harness is easy to put on and take off and features reinforced stitching, reflective stripes, and quick-release buckles. This set also includes a great leash made from durable nylon climbing rope.

At Catster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!


8. Ensure They Get Enough Physical Activity

girl playing with her cat
Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

Cats, even those who prefer to hang out on couches, need exercise. Physical activity keeps their muscles strong and their bodies limber, and it’s fantastic for their mental health. Exercise is also a critical weight management tool.

Play sessions are generally the easiest way to ensure your cat gets enough physical activity to keep them healthy, and around 10 or 15 minutes of focused fun a few times a day is ideal for most cats. Toys with catnip or silvervine can encourage lazy cats to move around more.


9. Spay or Neuter Them

cat neutered
Image Credit: Andrii Medvednikov, Shutterstock

Spaying and neutering cats has several significant health benefits. Spayed cats are less likely to end up with breast cancer, and the procedure significantly decreases the chance of cats developing uterine infections such as pyometra.

It also reduces the howling, yowling, and escape attempts commonly seen when female cats are in heat. Neutering males makes them less likely to spray and get into disputes with others, which can directly translate into fewer trips to the veterinarian to deal with injuries incurred during altercations.


10. Monitor Them for Changes

cat and vets
Image Credit: Stock Asso, Shutterstock

It can be difficult to determine when cats aren’t feeling well since they often hide signs of illness. Changes in how they look, how much they eat, and their activity levels indicate that they aren’t feeling well. A change in their bathroom habits can also be a sign of an illness.

Taking your cat to the veterinarian when they show signs of an illness allows problems to be detected early and addressed while still manageable.

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Conclusion

Ensuring your cat has scratching posts, toys, and plenty of high perches to keep them busy can go far when it comes to keeping them happy. Regular veterinary visits, nutritious food, and physical activity are also vital to helping them stay as healthy as possible. Happy, healthy cats can live long lives, and some lucky owners can spend 20 years or more with their beloved pets.


Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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