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Next Thursday is Hug Your Cat Day, a chance to give back to your feline and shower them with attention. Admittedly, some holidays may be a little out there (Edible Book Day, really?), but when the day in question involves cuddling a moggie, we won’t be ones to complain. We’re all for showing our cats that we love them, so here are four simple ways to do just that (hugs optional but encouraged).

Feed your kitty well

One of the best things you can do to have a healthy and happy cat is feeding them good-quality food. As ‘obligate carnivores’, cats need a balanced, meat-rich diet that is adapted to their life stage (kitten, adult or senior). Make sure the label says ‘complete’ and always aim for as many natural ingredients as possible. For an even more tailored diet, you can find special formulas for different breeds or pets with specific health conditions (like obesity or skin allergies). But if this sounds overwhelming, ask your vet to help you pick a food that is right for your cat.

Make sure they drink enough water

Cats have a low thirst drive, so they may not feel the need to drink often. However (and much like us), cats need water for organ function. Water also helps decrease the risk of kidney problems, which can be common in older felines. If you’re tired of your purry friend ignoring her water bowl, you can encourage her to drink more by placing a few glasses of water around your house (quiet areas are best). Some cats may prefer drinking from a running water source, so a water fountain (or allowing them to drink from the tap) can be the ultimate trick to get them interested.

Put time aside for them

We find grooming sessions are the perfect opportunity to interact and bond with our cats (yes, we like talking to them too!). Most felines love being brushed, more so if that means an extra tickle behind the ears. But if your cat isn’t too fond of grooming, you can start on the areas where they are most used to being touched, gently brushing in the direction that the fur grows. KONG’s Zoom Groom is a great tool for cats who are a little sceptical of the brush. It has soft, rubber fingers that not only massage your cat but remove a surprising amount of loose hair!

Make naptimes extra cosy

Ever noticed how much your cat loves to snooze? As predatory animals, sleeping is a natural way for felines to recharge energy and prepare for hunting. In fact, it’s estimated that adult cats sleep 15 hours a day on average! We like to treat our cats to their own fleece blanket. So whether they’re relaxing on our bed by our feet or drifting into sleep on the couch, it’s a simple comfort that can make naps and snuggly times with their human even better.

We think it’s important to have special days dedicated to our furry friends. And while not every cat likes being hugged, days like these remind us of the small things we can do for our pets’ health and wellbeing.