Cats are known for their independent 'I-don't-need-you' attitude when it comes to their owners, but anybody who has a cat for a pet also knows just how much their feline friend actually depends on them.

While most moggies could probably fend for themselves if they absolutely had to, they probably much prefer the cushy lifestyle that co-habitating with humans brings them.

After all, if it weren't for the people in their lives, cats wouldn't be able to enjoy afternoon naps on the window sill, or a warm bed to sleep in. And they'd have to go out hunting for food, instead of simply wandering into the kitchen to munch on a nutritious bowl of Iams cat food whenever their furry tummies start grumbling.

What's more, human intervention can help to ensure a cat lives a long, happy and healthy life.

Michelle Warfle, manager at Best Friends Animal Society, a pet welfare charity in the US, suggests there are several things that people can do to look after their cats' health - particularly the animals' skin and eyes.

"First and foremost, have your cat get regular medical checkups. Maintaining good dental and mouth care will help your cat continue to groom himself or herself well into the senior years," she explains, adding that a good quality diet will contribute to a thick and shiny coat and is also good for the animal's eye health.

She also suggests setting time aside every day to brush your cat. "This will stimulate the skin, get the dead fur out and minimise the chances of mats developing," she says. It will also give you the chance to spend some one-on-one time with your pet.

What's more, she urges us to remember that the damaging effects of UV radiation isn't just something that humans need to worry about. "Too much sun can be harmful to cats, especially white cats. If your cat does go outside, make sure he or she has areas to get out of the sunlight," is her recommendation.

Written by: Hannah