Top 7 New Years Resolutions for Cats
While you’re writing down your own new year’s resolutions, take a minute to jot down some resolutions for your cat. Resolve to make life a little better for your cat this year, there are plenty of good ideas to put in place.
Resolution #1: I will schedule regular playtime with my cat.
According to Dr. E’Lise Christensen, a veterinary behaviorist in New York, most cats don’t get enough play sessions with their family members. “Lack of appropriate interaction with human family members can increase aggression, destruction and other objectionable behaviors.”
Just 10 minutes each day of focused play can help avoid negative effects.
Christensen recommends splitting that time into two sessions of five minutes each. Integrate them so that they become part of your daily routine.
Resolution #2: I will focus on my cat’s dental health.
“Almost all cats have significant dental disease by the time they are a few years old,” says Dr. Patricia Joyce, an emergency veterinarian for New York City Veterinary Specialists. “Since they are long-lived, their oral health can be really terrible by the time they are seniors.”
If your cat will tolerate it, try brushing its teeth once a week. If not, remember to schedule annual cleanings with your veterinarian.
Resolution #3: I will get my cat to an appropriate weight.
It’s estimated that 25% of cats are overweight due to their sedentary lifestyle.
Dr. Katy Nelson of the Alexandria Animal Hospital in Alexandria, Va., suggests imposing a feeding schedule that starts slowly.
“First, leave the food out for about an hour, then pick it up. Do this multiple times a day,” she says. “This will help get your kitty accustomed to being fed a certain amount at a certain time, as opposed to grazing all day. Over a period of two months, you can get your cat fully enrolled in a twice- to three-times-daily feeding schedule so that you can control the amount he or she eats.”
You can also try integrating a slow feeder or snuffle mat.
If your cat is adamant about access to food all day, or if you have multiple cats that require different diets, it may be time to get technical with a new automated feeder.
Here are five more ways to slow your cat’s eating.
Resolution #4: I will start and contribute to a savings account for my cat.
Veterinary care is expensive, and emergencies can happen at any moment.
Creating a nest egg for these occurrences can ease the financial pain of treating your cat.
If you go several years without an emergency (we hope this is the case for everyone), consider using the fund for preventive treatments, like teeth cleanings or regular checkups.
Resolution #5: I will help my cat tap into his or her animal instincts.
Cats in the wild normally only eat after successfully catching prey, or scavenging food. That means, they expend their energy before feasting.
You can meet your cat’s energy expulsion need by making them work a little harder for food. Make the time before you feed your cat’s playtime. Add new toys regularly to help pique curiosity and interest.
Puzzle-solving and predatory hunting also help your cat work for their food. Your cat should have to work for at least 50% of their daily food ration by using toys, puzzles and more.
Resolution #6: I will carrier-train my cat.
Carrier-trained cats are easier to work with in an emergency. Should your cat become injured, or you need to evacuate your home, the carrier is where you should find your cat.
Train your cat to view the carrier as a quiet, safe resting area. This is one reason we love the SleepyPod carriers so much. The carrier is designed to serve as the perfect bed, which encourages your cat to use it. All you need to do in an emergency situation is put the “cover” on.
Your cat may not enjoy this resolution very much, but resolutions by definition require some sacrifice and work.
Resolution #7: I will enrich my cat’s environment.
“Investing in some simple interactive cat toys, scratching posts or cat trees can do wonders to enrich the life of your cat and keep it young in mind and body,” says Nelson.
This is especially important for indoor-only cats, which experience very little novelty in their small world.
Rather than make hard-to-keep promises to amend your own bad habits, spend this year’s resolutions on your cat. “Not only will this be good for your kitty,” says Nelson, “but it will do your soul some good too.”