My cat Kreacher is truly a character. (Read his rescue story here) He comes and goes when he pleases. He only snuggles on his terms. And when it comes to food, he’ll only eat the best. Although he can be a bit temperamental, when he rubs his head against my hand to beg for pets, it’s one of the best compliments in the world. Whether he’s curled up in his cupboard or on my lap, I always enjoy his company.
I love Kreacher, so I want him to be happy. He’s a free spirit who spends most of his days outside when the weather is mild, and in the winter, he’s almost always lounging on a cozy blanket at the foot of our bed. And because he’s such an important part of our lives, I do everything I can to make sure he lives the longest, healthiest life possible!
When I picked up a bag of NEW Meow Mix Brushing Bites from Walmart, I was thrilled that this new product would help me keep Kreacher happy and healthy in more ways than one! From a pet parent with a kitty who’s difficult to please, here are 9 tips for a happy, healthy cat, even if you have the most finicky of felines.
1. Make sure they’re eating meals with balanced nutrition
Cats are notoriously picky eaters. You can buy your cat the best food in the world, but if they won’t eat it, it’s pointless! Aside from picking a high-quality food for your cat, it’s important to make sure that it’s a brand and variety they will actually enjoy eating.
2. Choose the right food bowl
Sometimes, it’s not the food that your cat dislikes—it’s the bowl! As creatures with superior senses, a bowl that’s too deep or too narrow may irritate your cat’s sensitive whiskers. Or, perhaps it’s made of a material that feels strange against their tongue. Your kitty is most likely to enjoy a wide, shallow bowl. Try to avoid plastic, though; it can contain chemicals and also breed bacteria.
3. Give them treats that supplement their diet
Treats aren’t supposed to sustain a cat’s diet, but there’s no reason why they can’t hold nutritional value. Meow Mix Brushing Bites not only help remove plaque and tartar from teeth, they’re fortified with vitamin D and calcium to help support strong teeth and bones. More importantly, they’re bursting with savory flavors your cat will love like salmon and chicken, Kreacher is more than willing to gobble them up.
4. Create spaces, just for them
Whether your cat loves lounging atop a cat tree, ducking beneath chairs and couches, or hiding in the cupboard like Kreacher, make sure you have spaces in your home that are just for them. I keep a fleece bed and some toys in Kreacher’s nook, so he always feels safe and welcome there. Wherever your cat feels coziest, turn it into their favorite spot.
5. Keep up with their parasite regimen
Even if your cat never goes outside, it’s important to protect them from parasites. Fleas and ticks are even a threat to indoor cats, and as we all know, those pesky mosquitos (which carry heartworm) still sometimes find their way indoors! Talk to your vet about sticking to a parasite regimen because prevention is much easier and less expensive than facing a full-blown problem!
6. Clean litter box often
You don’t like using dirty toilets (gross!), and neither does your cat. Clean the litter box at least once a day so your kitty feels comfortable using it to do his business. If it gets too soiled, they may choose to go someplace else, like on your kitchen floor!
7. Implement a dental routine
Did you know that 85% of cats show signs of oral disease by the time they’re three years old? Yikes! Not only could untreated dental disease cut your cat’s life short, the heartbreaking truth is, they will be suffering in silence—it’s incredibly painful! The good news is that you can significantly reduce your cat’s risk of developing dental disease. Train your cat to allow you to brush its teeth at home.
Cat-friendly brushes and paste are available at pet stores. Also, have your vet evaluate your kitty’s oral hygiene and they may recommend a professional cleaning. And in between brushes, help care for their teeth with a healthy treat your cat will love, Meow Mix Brushing Bites. These crunchy treats are specially designed to help keep your cat’s teeth clean by reducing plaque and tartar when fed daily.
8. Keep their favorite toys on hand, and set time aside to play
Like food, cats can be picky about their toys! The good news is, it’s often the simple, homemade ones that they like the best. Try a bunch of different playthings to see what your cat enjoys most. Some ideas: tinfoil balls, catnip pouches, boxes and feathers on a string. Don’t forget that the best games are the ones that are played with you!
9. Make regular vet visits a priority
Annual vet visits are essential when you have a cat, and should be made even more often once they’re in their senior years. Not only do they need to be up-to-date with treatments and vaccinations, if any sort of ailment were to crop up, the sooner you catch it, the easier it is to treat…and the less time your kitty will have to suffer. Of course, if there are any physical or behavioral changes in your cat, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with the doc. They can’t tell us what’s wrong, so it’s up to us to read the signs.
Meow Mix Brushing Bites can be found at your local Walmart and will also be available on Walmart.com soon. The next time you visit Walmart, look for Meow Mix Brushing Bites in the cat food isle and treat your kitty! For now, you can find out more about Meow Mix Brushing Bites here.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.