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12 Things every cat needs to be happy

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, pets...

Want a happy cat? Make sure you have these items

Your cat needs more than just a roof over its head. It needs your love and cuddles — and lots of other stuff. No worries, though, we've got you covered. Follow this list, and your cat will be in heaven.

1. A litter box

Want a happy cat? Make sure you have these items

Your cat needs a place to do its business. Make it a nice place. (PetSmart, $40)

2. Litter

Cats are finicky about their litter. Be safe and start out with the same brand your cat is used to. If you want to start using something new, start by mixing a bit of the new litter into the old and gradually increase the amount of the new stuff.

3. Scoop

Want a happy cat? Make sure you have these items

If you want your cat to be happy, you'll be using this litter scoop every day. Get one that does a good job and is comfortable in your hand. (Amazon, $9)

4. Litter mat

Want a happy cat? Make sure you have these items

No one likes to walk around in a messy house, your cat included. Set a litter mat outside your litter box to keep your floor clean and your cat's paws free of potentially painful litter. (Amazon, $20)

5. Food

Once again, stick with what it's used to for a while. No one likes too many changes at once.

6. Bowls

Want a happy cat? Make sure you have these items

Clean food bowls that are always in the same spot are a big deal to your cat. Want to keep it really happy? Keep them full. (ProperPet.com, $8)

7. Toys to play alone

Want a happy cat? Make sure you have these items

Cats are pretty good at entertaining themselves, but you can help them out by providing some fun toys they can play with solo. One pack of ball toys will provide hours of chasing fun. (PetSmart, $3)

8. Toys to play with you

Want a happy cat? Make sure you have these items

Cats have a rep for being solitary creatures, but they want to bond with you. Pick up something you two can play with together. (Petco, $8)

9. Brush

A cat does a good job of grooming itself, but if you help it out with a brush once a week, you'll help your feline friend cut back on hair balls. It'll love you for that. The kind you need depends on the length and thickness of your cat's hair, so ask someone at the pet store to help you find what you need.

10. Scratching post

Want a happy cat? Make sure you have these items

If your cat has claws, it's going to scratch. Save your furniture by getting a scratching post — and make it a tall one because it really wants to get all stretched out when it does it. (Amazon, $13)

11. Safe place

Want a happy cat? Make sure you have these items

Cats love to hide, and they love to squeeze into small spaces. Kill both birds with one awesome piece of furniture. (PetSmart, $70)

12. Comfy carrier

Want a happy cat? Make sure you have these items

OK, so your cat is never going to love its carrier. But if it wants to be happy, it needs to be healthy and that means the occasional trip to the vet. At least it can ride in style. (PetSmart, $40)

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