By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Cats are so easy to care for on an ongoing daily basis and they seem so independent that we may, at times, take for granted the care that they truly need and deserve. So let’s keep in mind some cat care tips that will keep your cat safe and healthy.

First, always remember to take your cat to the vet periodically for regular check-ups, that goes especially for senior cats. Always feed your cat a healthy nutrionally balanced diet that is age appropriate for kittens, adults or seniors.

Always read the labels and make sure that the basic ingredients such as chicken, tuna, etc are always listed first without added sugars, by-products, or corn meal. Check with your vet to see if your cat has any special requirements for diet such as bladder issues. Of course, always provide plenty of fresh water daily. Cats need as much water daily as dogs do.

Make sure to have your cat spayed or neutered, not only will it keep your cat healthier, but you will help in decreasing the devastating number of stray cats put down each year due to overpopulation.

Groom your cat often. This not only provides plenty of bonding time, but you’ll keep your cat’s coat healthy and shiny, whether it’s a shorthaired or longhaired cat.

Keep the litter box clean at all times. Provide your cat with a safe breakaway collar and visible ID tag. Keep your cat safely indoors and when transporting, always use a cat carrier. Provide plenty of interesting and interactive toys, playtime and lots of love.

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