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Updated January 1, 2022 – Small things can have a big impact on the health and quality of life of your feline friends. Here are 10 things you can start doing today to keep your cat purring and by your side for years to come:

  1. Exercise daily – just like us, studies show that regular exercise is good for our pets. Although the idea of putting a cat on a leash for a walk is humorous, there are many novel and innovative toys designed to keep indoor cats active. Consider buying one for your cat and you’ll help keep them healthy.
  2. Keep a lid on the treat jar – a staggering 60 percent of cats are overweight or obese. Make a plan in the new year to cut down on the treats and table scraps.
  3. Rearrange your cat’s furniture – if you share your home with multiple cats consider adding extra litter pans, and food and water bowls. Sharing resources with other cats can stress indoor cats, which in turn can lead to undesirable behaviors.
  4. See your veterinarian once a year – routine physical examinations can help detect small problems before they become large ones.
  5. Check for lumps and bumps once a month – give your cat a thorough once-over and carefully feel for any kind of lump or bump. Early detection is a key to cancer prevention.
  6. Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke – even cats can suffer negative health effects from breathing in smoke from cigarettes and other tobacco products.
  7. Interact with your cat every day – don’t force interactions but petting, grooming and playing with your cat are good ways to reinforce the bond between you and your kitty.
  8. Stop using scented cat litter – cats depend on their sense of smell to interpret their environment and scented litter can disrupt their normal scent cues.
  9. Let your cat express their inner tiger – games and toys that let cats express their predatory behavior can help decrease stress and keep unwanted behaviors at bay.
  10. Give your cat a cuddle everyday – our feline pals look to us to provide love, comfort and support. Letting them know how special they are can make their day – and yours, too!

Morris Animal Foundation wants all cats to live long, happy and healthy lives. We’ve invested more than $18 million in 430 studies dedicated to solving important cat health problems, from cancer to kidney disease to pain management. Learn more about our current and past studies and what you can do to improve the health of the cats we love.