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3 Quick Tips that Help Keep Your Cat Happy and Healthy

Make sure your cat is "feline" her best.

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We know the cats with whom you share your home are more than just pets — they’re part of your family. And because they’re family members, you’ll do anything to make sure your cat is healthy, comfortable, and safe. The relationship is mutual, since your cat takes care of you by alleviating stress, making you smile, and providing cuddles and companionship. Return the love with these quick, simple tips on how to keep your cat healthy and happy. Bonus: These cat health tips won’t take a hit on your wallet, so you can afford to spoil them with extra toys and treats later.

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A fast fix for your overheated kitty.

Notice Mittens is panting and drooling more on a particularly hot day? These are classic signs he may be overheated. Cool him down in an instant with this trick: Soak a washcloth in lukewarm water, then dab the areas under your pal’s front legs and groin region (where major blood vessels are located) until they feel damp too. Then place him in front of a fan — as the air evaporates the water on these spots, it will lower your cat’s body temperature so he’s comfy in no time.

Quell Fluffy’s need to groom you with this trick.

Your feline friend constantly licks you, and while sweet at first, it can become irritating. Vets say this is called “allogrooming,” which is when cats in the wild groom one another to leave their scent behind. To get her to stop, gently rub the part of your body she grooms against her cheek or forehead, where her scent glands are. Since Fluffy is trying to mark you as her territory, rubbing these areas will transfer her to you — she’ll smell herself on you and stop her incessant licking.

How to entice a cat to eat her food.

With summer heat your sweet cat seems to be less interested in food. To encourage her to eat, try these reader tips:

  • Move her food bowl to a different area, says Liz Banks. This appeals to her natural instinct to forage for food.
  • Wrap food in a paper towel; place where she watches birds, says Nicky Jenkin. As she works at getting to the kibble, she’ll feel like she’s captured prey.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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