Caring for Cats: 3 Steps to be the Best Pet Parent

Key takeaways

Caring for cats is a wonderful experience. Our feline friends make the best companions when they are happy and healthy.

To be the best pet parent, you need to prioritize their health, ensure they are stimulated enough, and, best of all, love them!

We offer our expert insights and advice to help you care for your kitty. After all, a happy cat is a happy owner!

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  1. Key takeaways
  2. 1. Prioritize their health
  3. 2. Ensure they are stimulated enough
  4. 3. Love them
  5. FAQs
  6. Final thoughts

1. Prioritize their health

A healthy cat is a happy cat! While our cats are pretty good at taking care of themselves, if they get sick, they can struggle to show us they need help. This is why a good pet parent takes all the preventative measures they can so their furry friend can be as healthy as possible.

Regular checkups

While we may hesitate to take our kitties to the vets, it's incredibly important that we do. Seeing our cats distressed is never fun, but it'll be better for them in the long run. There is a lot of misinformation online, so simply googling symptoms won't cut it. Professional advice is the best!
If you notice any changes in:





It's worth getting it checked out.
Investing in good pet insurance is a must. Medication, checkups, and emergency care can rack up hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of bills. We can't predict the future, but we can prepare for it. Prevent a situation where you may not be able to afford to keep your pet.
A cat getting a checkup at the vets

Regular grooming

While cats are relatively low maintenance compared to other pets, like dogs, they still require some grooming to keep them healthy and happy.
Remember to:

Cut their claws: Our cats can put up quite a fuss when we handle their paws, but it's an important part of grooming. Long nails can get stuck, pulled out, or grow into their pads, causing infection.

Check them for fleas: Our little furry friends are the perfect home for annoying little fleas. Look out for itching, irritation, or flea eggs, and then treat them accordingly.

Brush them: If your cat has longer hair, it's important to brush them. Without this, the fur can become matted, which can be painful and unhygienic.

A semi-regular groom is all your kitty needs. And, of course, it always depends on breed and age. Remember, an older cat may need a little extra help. My 21-year-old tabby cat struggled to clean herself, leading to a matted coat. We brushed her daily and shaved specific pain points to make her more comfortable!
Top Tip: A clean litter tray will keep your cat clean and healthy. Many cats can become distressed if their tray isn't cleaned regularly, and this can lead to messes elsewhere in the house!
Two cat owners cuddling their cat

Good diet

It can be tempting to give our cute cats endless treats and sneak them some human food every now and then. However, a good diet is essential for a healthy and happy kitty.
Many cat food brands claim to offer all the nutrients your furry friend needs. However, not all products deliver. Different cats need different levels of nutrients. For example, older cats need more protein to maintain their body mass, whereas kittens will need more calcium to help their bones grow (source).
Other factors can influence what your cat should eat, like:


Whether they have any health issues

Whether they are allergic to anything

A cat watching the sun go down next to a bowl of food

It can be tempting to give our cute cats endless treats and sneak them some human food every now and then. However, a good diet is essential for a healthy and happy kitty.

2. Ensure they are stimulated enough

We may think our cats are content just sleeping all day. And while they do enjoy a good nap, it's usually because they've been up all night exploring. They are intelligent creatures, and to lead a happy and content life, they need to be stimulated!

Physical stimulation

Cats are incredible predators. Their reflexes, agility, and speed make them a danger to small creatures like mice or birds. However, when they are domesticated, they may not be satisfying the physical stimulation that they need.
If your cat is an indoor and outdoor cat, then it's likely they're going on their own adventures and maybe even satisfying this hunting instinct.
However, if you keep your cat indoors, they may struggle to get as much physical activity as they need. Try the following to keep them stimulated:

Scratch posts

Toys they can chase and hunt

Vertical space they can climb

an outdoor cat roaming around a garden

Mental stimulation

Cats are very intelligent animals. And while they enjoy a good 4-hour nap, they also need a lot of mental stimulation to keep them happy and engaged. It's no secret that our kitties are curious, and it's because they want to understand the world around them.
As with physical stimulation, most cats who enjoy the outdoors will have that mental stimulation satisfied as they explore new places and meet other cats on their adventures. For our indoor kitties, you may have to introduce new games and toys to them to keep them entertained.

Treat puzzles

Regular playtime

Introducing them to other animals

A cat owner on their phone next to their cat

3. Love them

Caring for cats means loving them unconditionally. While we may think that's easy, especially as cat lovers, owning cats can be frustrating, scary, and stressful. They are their own beings, and so when they act in a way we don't want or didn't expect, we can't punish them for it or take away our love.


Cats are sociable creatures. And while many enjoy their independence and alone time, they still need attention. Taking time every day to check in with your kitty is important. It not only satisfies their need for socializing, but it allows you to keep track of the following:

Behavior changes

Appetite changes



Without adequate attention, your cat may feel neglected. It will also be easy for any sickness or issues to go unnoticed, meaning you won't be able to get them the help they need as soon as possible.
A cat owner spending time with their cat


Believe it or not, cats are very affectionate. A pair of cats will often cuddle, groom each other, and be physically close to each other. This is how they show their trust and love.
This means they will also pick up on their owners' signs of affection. Stroking, petting, and cuddling are all ways you can show your kitty that they are loved and cared for.
Often, your cat will return this affection, and you can build up a bond. Head nudges, purring, and sitting on your lap are all ways your kitty shows you that they love you.
Some cats can be very aloof, and in this case, don't force affection on them, as it will have the opposite effect. Instead, when your cat is comfortable, offer some light pets but respect their boundaries. If you do this slowly and patiently, you'll likely build up a better bond between the two of you.
Two cat owners cuddling their cats


How long can I leave a cat alone?

It's usually okay to leave your cat alone for a day or a night. But don't pass the 12-hour mark, and don't do this too regularly.

Is it difficult to take care of a cat?

No, it's not difficult to take care of a cat, but it doesn't require a lot of time, patience, and effort. Make sure you are ready to prioritize a cat and make room for them in your life before you commit to owning one.

What do cats need to survive?

To survive, cats need food, shelter, and warmth. Stray or feral cats can stay alive by hunting and finding shelter.

What do you need to do to take care of a cat?

To take care of a cat, you need to make sure they have enough space, stimulation, and attention. On top of this, you need to feed them a healthy diet and take them for regular checkups at the vet.

What is the hardest part of taking care of a cat?

The hardest part of taking care of a cat is getting them adjusted to their situation when they are a kitten. You will be faced with difficult behavior and some messy situations as they get used to living with you.

Are boy or girl cats easier to take care of?

In reality, there is no truth to boy cats or girl cats being easier to take care of. It comes down to breed, socialization, and personality.

Final thoughts

With these three steps, you should be on your way to being the best cat parents ever! Caring for cats is a rewarding and beautiful thing, but it does take time, patience, and dedication.
If you're considering getting a new cat, be sure you have considered everything beforehand and are confident that you are in the right situation and it's the right time.
If you already own a cat but want to check you are doing the best you can for them, well done! That's the first step in being a kind and caring pet parent.

Written by

Image of the author
Lauren Jeffries

In this blog, I combine my two areas of expertise: pets and writing. I share my personal experiences alongside plenty of animal behavior research to help owners look after their pets. I have always lived with furry friends and am now a loving cat mum to two orange kitties.

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