They say that cats take care of themselves, but pet parents still have plenty of responsibilities when it comes to cat care. These seven tips in honor of National Cat Lovers’ Month will help ensure your cat lives a long, happy, and healthy life.

Cats and cat lovers know that every day is unofficially Kitty’s Day, but December is formally National Cat Lovers’ Month! To help you celebrate and keep your cat in the best shape possible for as long as possible, here are some cat care tips with help from the science team at WholisticMatters by Standard Process.

1. Get Grooming

There are plenty of reasons to brush your cat regularly. It eliminates knots in their fur, prevents fur balls, and creates a stronger human-feline bond. For medium- and long-haired cats, daily brushing is best. For short-haired cats, sit down for weekly brushing sessions.

2. Make Sure They Exercise

Most cats need about 30 minutes of exercise per day. One of the greatest things about cats is playing with these feline fur balls gives them most of the exercise they need! Break up play time into 10- or 15-minute sessions throughout the day—cats aren’t made for marathons. Here are some great playtime tips for extra exercise:

  • Get them to chase toys
  • Encourage them to climb a cat tower
  • Use a laser pointer
  • Dangle a cat wand in front of them
  • Take your cat out for a walk
  • Try a cat wheel
  • Create an agility course

3. Provide Enrichment Opportunities

Cats need mental stimulation as well as physical activity, and there are plenty of enrichment activities out there. For example, scratching is instinctual for cats, and anything that lets them engage in their natural behaviors is beneficial. Scratching posts are great for enrichment, keeping their nails healthy, and stretching their muscles. Other mentally stimulating cat care ideas include food puzzles, interactive toys, catios, and safely exploring the outside world.

4. Provide a Healthy Diet

Cats need a diet with the right amount of protein, fat, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and some carbohydrates. Look for specific protein sources, real food carbohydrates, and taurine. To prevent overfeeding, feed your cat twice a day and don’t leave food out for them to graze.

5. Keep an Eye on Their Weight

Cats who eat a complete, balanced diet and get enough exercise shouldn’t have trouble with their weight, but you should still keep an eye on it. Excess weight can hinder mobility, leave them at risk for disease, and could impact their lifespan.

6. Take Annual Trips to the Veterinarian

Even if your cat is healthy, it’s still advisable to take them to the vet once a year to ensure they’re in tip-top shape and to catch potential issues early.

7. Consider Supplements

There’s a myriad of supplements on the market for cats, and it’s possible yours will never need any of them. However, sometimes cat care involves adding supplements to Kitty’s diet, especially if they start to lose weight, have skin & coat problems, become lethargic, or experience other changes in behavior. Talk to your veterinarian. They may suggest vitamins, omega fatty acids, prebiotics, probiotics, immune support, or other supplements.

Animal Wellness is North America’s top natural health and lifestyle magazine for dogs and cats, with a readership of over one million every year. AW features articles by some of the most renowned experts in the pet industry, with topics ranging from diet and health related issues, to articles on training, fitness and emotional well being.

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