Learn Why Healthcare Routines Help Cats Live Happier Lives

Written by: Kelli Brinegar
For more than five years, Kelli Brinegar has been using her ability to write and her passion for research to tell the tale of what cats are thinking and why. She has provided care to more than 30 cats in her lifetime.Read more
| Published on February 20, 2024
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Now that it’s National Cat Health Care Month, the most wonderful opportunity has fallen into your hands. This month devoted to cat health is a purrfect moment to reflect on your cat’s health and wellbeing. While felines are often seen as independent and low-maintenance pets, their healthcare needs can be quite complex. Maintaining a regular health schedule for cats, especially those who live indoors, is part of ensuring your special kitty leads a long, happy, and healthy life.

cat health routine

4 Benefits of a Regular Health Schedule for Cats

Cats, much like humans, benefit from a consistent health routine. Regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive care can keep common feline diseases at bay and ensure your cat is at their healthiest.

#1 – Early Disease Detection: Regular vet visits help with early detection of diseases like diabetes, kidney disease, and thyroid issues, which are common in cats, especially as they age. Early detection can mean a world of difference in treatment success and quality of life.

#2 – Better Dental Health: Did you know that by the age of three, most cats have some form of dental disease? Regular dental check-ups and cleanings can prevent painful dental issues and potential complications in other organs. Brushing your cat’s teeth may not be the easiest of chores, but it is necessary. Finger toothbrushes can be helpful, as can dental cat treats. With a crunchy texture designed to help clean teeth, reduce tartar buildup, and freshen breath, Feline GREENIES are a tasty tool in your cat’s oral care routine.

FELINE GREENIES Adult Dental Cat Treats
  • Specifically designed for dental care in adult cats
  • Unique texture & shape to clean teeth & reduce tartar buildup
  • Helps freshen breath & promote healthy gums
  • Added vitamins, minerals, & taurine for feline wellness
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives

#3 – Healthy Weight Management: Obesity is a growing concern in pets, including cats. Regular check-ups can help monitor your cat’s weight and provide guidance on diet and exercise. If your cat seems a little pudgy lately, maybe it’s time to consider one of these 11 Best Cat Foods for Weight Loss.

#4 – No Germs or Pests: Keeping up with vaccinations and parasite prevention is vital for indoor and outdoor cats alike. This protects them from various diseases and pests like fleas, ticks, and worms. Keep your cat on a regular annual vaccination schedule and discuss the best options for parasite prevention with your veterinarian.

Why Indoor Cats Need Routine Healthcare

It’s a common misconception that indoor cats don’t need regular healthcare. But this cat myth is simply not true. Indoor cats face their own set of health challenges and should see their vet for annual checkups.

  1. Lack of Exercise: Indoor cats often lead a more sedentary lifestyle compared to their outdoor counterparts. This can lead to obesity and associated health problems. Head off obesity and boredom-related issues with interactive playtime. The MeoHui Retractable Wand Toy provides a great way to bond and keep your kitty trim and healthy. They’ll love chasing and catching the squiggly worms and feather toys that come in this wand set.
  2. Hidden Illnesses: Cats are masters at hiding illness. Regular vet visits are critical for uncovering health issues that aren’t immediately apparent. Worried your cat is hiding something? Lookout for these 6 Subtle Signs Your Cat May Be Sick.
  3. Mental Health: Indoor cats can suffer from boredom and stress, which can manifest as behavioral and physical health problems. Regular health checks can help identify these issues. Observing your cat’s behavior at home can also reveal issues. Has your cat started going outside the litter box? Or avoiding their food bowl? How about sleeping more than usual? These can all be indicators of your cat’s unhappiness.

At-Home Care for Your Cat

In addition to regular vet visits, there’s a lot you can do at home to keep your cat healthy!


Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning their bodies are designed to digest and use nutrients from animal-based proteins. Feeding your cat a balanced diet made for their unique bodies is fundamental to their overall health. It’s not just about the type of food but also the amount and frequency that align with their specific needs. Feed your cat a balanced diet suitable for their age, health status, and lifestyle. Consult your vet for recommendations, and check out our favorite cat food options.


Encourage play and activity. Cat trees, interactive toys, and even simple cardboard boxes can provide much-needed physical and mental stimulation. Puzzle feeders require cats to work for their food, engaging their brains and prolonging their eating time, which is also good for digestion and weight management. Get your kitty moving as part of a healthy routine.


Regular grooming helps to keep your cat’s coat and skin healthy, and it’s also a great way to bond. While grooming, it’s also a chance to check your cat’s skin for any issues such as dryness, oiliness, lumps, bumps, or signs of fleas and ticks. Regular grooming allows you to catch any potential problems early.

Brushing your cat at least twice a week is ideal. It helps remove loose hair, preventing it from becoming matted or causing hairballs when ingested during self-grooming. For cats with long fur, more frequent brushing may be necessary to prevent tangles and mats. All this brushing will give them fur so lustrous, you’ll be envious of their mane. The itPlus Cat Grooming Brush is a win with all fur types and the hair cleans out with a simple button push.

itPlus Self-Cleaning Cat Grooming Brush
  • Slicker brush for cat fur of all types 
  • Made with stainless steel needles 
  • Self-cleaning; just press the button to remove hair 
  • Easy-to-grip, nonslip handle 

As for bathing, cats generally do a good job of cleaning themselves, but occasionally they may need a bath, especially if they get into something messy or sticky. Use a cat-specific shampoo, like Dr. Cuddles Pawfect Gloss™ bubble pet shampoo, and ensure the water is warm, not hot.

Dr. Cuddles Pawfect Gloss Bubble Pet Shampoo
  • Vet-formulated, pH-balanced shampoo
  • Uses soothing hemp oil and a gentle yuzu scent
  • Camellia flower oil conditions the coat
  • Shea butter, aloe vera, and vitamin E moisturize the skin

Keeping your cat’s nails trimmed is important to prevent them from becoming overgrown, which can lead to problems like infections or ingrown nails. It also protects your furniture from scratches. If you’re new to this, ask your vet to demonstrate the proper technique.

Check your cat’s ears regularly for wax buildup, debris, or signs of infection. If the ears look dirty, use a vet-approved ear cleaner and a cotton ball or a soft cloth. Never insert anything into the ear canal. Ear wipes can be a lifesaver when it comes to cleaning cat ears. Check out Petpost Ear Wipes with Coconut Oil & Aloe Vera for Cats as a good option that uses coconut oil and aloe vera for a soothing clean.

Petpost Ear Wipes with Coconut Oil & Aloe Vera for Cats
  • Naturally derived coconut & palm extracts
  • Helps treat, relieve and prevent ear infections
  • Gently removes ear wax, dirt and debris
  • Super soft cotton wipes
  • Cruelty-free and never tested on animals

Environmental Enrichment:

Provide a stimulating environment with access to windows, safe plants, and varied perches and hiding spots, like Catit Vesper Cat Tunnel. And don’t forget the toys! Load up on our favorites with any of these fun cat toys.

Catit Vesper Cat Tunnel
  • Dimensions: 26.77 W x 38.18 L x 11 H inches
  • High-quality, durable fabric with a metal frame
  • Circular design with two entry/exit points
  • Includes cat bed cushion
  • Dangling rattling toy
  • Available in 2 colors

Regular Observation:

Keep an eye on your cat’s behavior, appetite, and litter box habits. Changes can indicate health issues. With as much time as cat parents spend scooping, you’ll notice pretty quickly if things are awry with their potty habits.

RELATED: 25 Cat Litter Box Questions: Find Answers To Your Queries About The Potty Pan

Healthy Cats are Happy Cats

National Cat Health Care Month serves as a reminder of the importance of regular healthcare for our feline friends. Your cat’s health and happiness depend on a combination of professional veterinary care and attentive at-home practices. Let’s use this month to renew our commitment to the health and wellbeing of the cats that have our hearts. After all, a healthy cat is a happy cat!

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