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Cats can be man's best friend the same as dogs. Taking care of your kitty will keep it in good health for many years to come. If you want to avoid problems down the road, it's best to maintain your kitty's health with a few simple tips.

- Keep their weight under control

While cats likely will not overstuff themselves in the same way as dogs, it's still important not to overfeed them. Even if your cat eats until satiated they will eventually overeat and expand their stomach if you feed them too much food. According to Healthy Homes for Kids and Pets, studies have shown that one out of four pets in this country are overweight or obese and unfortunately, most pet owners are totally uninformed about how serious pet obesity is or even if their pet is considered overweight in the first place. A pet is considered to be overweight if it's between 10 percent and 20 percent above its ideal weight. Many of the detrimental effects of obesity in animals are similar to those in humans and include breathing difficulties, high blood pressure, increased risk of skin diseases, a decreased immune system, and early onset arthritis.

- Choose natural pet litters made with pine, wheat, corn, or newspapers

Cat owners should avoid clumping clay litter at all costs. Not only is clay strip-mined (bad for the planet), but the clay sediment is also permeated with carcinogenic silica dust that can coat little kitty lungs (bad for the cat). Checkout Planet Green's guide to buying green kitty litter.

- Throw your cat a bone

Raw bones are great for removing plague and buildup from their teeth. Just make sure that the bones aren't cooked beforehand for the best results.

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