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Truth moment: I’m a crazy cat lady. At least that’s what my haters friends say. I love all animals and have had both canines and felines as pets. But, there’s always been a special place in my heart for those fuzzy, meowing, purring creatures we call cats. I mean, who can blame me?

This is Basil, my 8 year old Maine Coon. He's a model.

This is Basil, my 8 year old Maine Coon. He’s a model.

Caring for another life comes with it’s fair share of responsibilities but,  thankfully, cats are pretty low maintenance pets. Two of the most important things I do to keep my cats healthy is bring them in for regular check-ups with the vet and to feed them a high quality cat food, like Sheba cat food from Walmart.

Selecting a cat food for my spoiled brats cats is kind of tricky – they’re food snobs and don’t like everything on the market AND I want to make sure they are getting a quality product, high in meat protein and not grain protein. In case you didn’t know, the high grain content of many catt foods is one of the main contributors to the growing obesity problem we see in house cats and has also had led to an increase in allergies in cats. Most pets do not do well on these high-carb foods, so meat should be listed before any grains in a pet food.  Sheba cat food fits the bill. And…it passes the Basil and Mimi taste test.

Mimi was so not feeling a photo shoot while eating. But trust me, she loves her Sheba cat food.

Mimi was so not feeling a photo shoot while eating. But trust me, she loves her Sheba cat food.

Here she is again, looking much cuter…and friendlier.

Mimi getting her cute on...

Mimi getting her cute on…

Making sure the cats both stay healthy, happy and well-groomed (they both have long hair that can get very, very tangled. They may have had a bad haircut, courtesy of moi, once or twice) is a priority for me.  I have a few things I do regularly to make sure all is well in their little cat world:

1. Play with them. This is a biggie. They need exercise, so you have to figure out a way to get it in. Basil loves the laser light. He loves it. He also loves a bouncing ball and anything he can pounce on. Mimi doesn’t get too excited by the laser light or a bouncing ball. But a rolling ball? That gets her every time. I try to play with them for about 10 minutes each day, 5 in the morning and 5 in the evening. This usually consists of me sitting on the couch and flashing the laser while I’m watching TV or rolling the ball down my condo hallway while I’m getting dressed. Hey…I didn’t say it was exercise for ME!

2. Make sure they get a bit of sun. Both cats love sitting in the window, Basil more than Mimi. And they both love going on the deck. They never try to run off, they just explore and when I go in, they go in. I’ve taken to having tea out there in the morning, even when it’s cold, and they explore then. If I don’t go out on the deck in the a.m., they sit by the back door and stare at me! Sometimes, I’ll go out for a bit at night. Every now and then, we’ll have a guest:

This black stray has taken to visiting my deck. One evening I opened the door so Mimi could get her fresh air fix and we came face to face with our little friend.

This black stray has taken to visiting my deck. One evening I opened the door so Mimi could get her fresh air fix and we came face to face with our little friend.

3. Pet them, pet them, pet them! Basil would force you to pet him 24/7 if he could…and he tries. Mimi isn’t as needy, but she does like a good ear and belly rub. I will pet them when they are super aggressive about it, of course, but I also try to hand out a little affection when I walk past them or if I’m sitting at the computer or watching TV.

4. Keep them groomed. This is especially true for long-haired cats like mine. Ideally, I brush them once a week and comb them out once a week. They both hate the comb, so this usually involves me sneaking up on them and combing one tiny section of fur before they run off. Brushing they love and I sometimes substitute that for petting. Yeah…I’m a cheater. Sue me.

Now, tell me: what do YOU do to keep your cats healthy and happy? Do you have any tips I can use to keep my long-haired cats from looking homeless? If so, I’m all ears!

Make sure you check Sheba cat food! You can purchase it at Walmart. Visit the Sheba website to download the Buy 6, Get 1 Free coupon – because, who doesn’t love a deal? The coupon is right on the home page. Make sure you follow Sheba cat food on Facebook and Twitter, too – you know you want to.

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