Keeping Your Cat Happy & Healthy

Black cat with a stuffed toy

The best way to keep your cat healthy is to provide them with an appropriate amount of delicious, healthy food, access to fresh water, and a chance to play. If your cat is young, be sure to feed them age-appropriate food (e.g., kitten food for very young cats, and active-style food for "teenagers"). If they're older, senior cat food should have the appropriate nutrition for your aging kitty. 

Generally, feeding your cat wet food is better than dry food. This is because wet food gives your cat some much-needed hydration that they may not get with just a plain old water bowl. Proper physical nutrition will help your cat with the physical and mental stimulation that they need to be their best selves. 

If you do feed dry food, try to provide a clean, fresh source of water. Many cats enjoy pet water fountains, like the CatIt Flower Fountain, as a way to get their daily drinks. These cats may also enjoy drinking out of your glass of water, a dripping sink, or occasionally the toilet (Ew!) -- so be sure to give them a more appropriate water source.

Keeping Your Cat Happy

Kitten chewing on a blanket

Food isn't enough to keep your cat happy -- although they are certainly happy when they get treats! Keeping your cat happy is about providing them enough physical and mental stimulation to keep their indoor lives exciting. 

Cats of all ages love to play, but kittens are nonstop balls of energy. If you have a young cat, it can be challenging to play with them enough to wear them out. Laser toys and wand toys are all great, highly physical ways to interact with your cat and help them burn off some energy. 

For more mellow cats, catnip toys can be a way to inject some excitement into their day. Sprinkling catnip on shelves, scratching posts, or toys can be like a shot of endorphins to your cat. 

You can also play calmer games with calmer cats: they're less likely to tear your flesh open if you're playing with them with your fingers or hands. Playing hide and seek, or even just wiggling your fingers under a blanket or behind an obstacle can be a great way to get your cat thinking about how to attack. Even old cats have a kitten's heart, so don't let age stop you from trying to play. 

Avoiding Some Pitfalls

Orange cat with laser dot on paw

"Automatic" laser or string toys are neat, in theory, but your cat may not use them if you're not around. Despite the internet rumors, cats are actually social animals. One of the major benefits of playing is that your cat gets to spend time with you. Automatic lasers and other auto toys just won't do the job if you're not around to interact, too. 

Finding That Sweet Spot

Every cat's personality is different. Some cats love to cuddle, and so, they need human interaction to fill that void in their lives. Other cats, in contrast, like to sit just out of arm's reach and stare at you while you eat/sleep/work. These cats, too, need mental stimulation and interaction -- but on their terms. Investigate how your cat wants you to love them, and then make it happen. You'll both be better off.