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As another year begins, many of us set resolutions – to lose weight, to exercise more – all of which are intended to make ourselves happier and healthier in 2014 and beyond. The New Year is also the perfect time to take a look at your cat’s life to make this year their healthiest and best year yet. Here are five New Year’s resolutions for your cat and you to consider.
Make an annual date with your vet
Annual vet examinations are essential for your cat’s health and wellbeing. A visit to your local vet once a year will help you to keep track of your cat’s general health, including their weight. It is also a good step in preventative care; by allowing your vet to get to know your cat, they can note any gradual changes in their physical health that could be an indication of the early stages of disease. As with any illness, early detection makes it much easier to treat and manage a medical condition. A visit to the vet is also the perfect opportunity for you to ask advice on anything else related to your cat’s health or behaviour.
Provide fresh drinking water at all times
Water plays an important role in your cat’s health and wellbeing – it regulates body temperature, helps to remove waste from the body and assists with digestion and absorption of nutrients. It is vital that your cat has adequate fresh, clean drinking water every single day, with water bowls located in several locations around the house. In summer, I tend to add an ice cube which helps my cats keep their cool as summer temperatures soar. Some cats prefer running water, so you may like to turn on the tap or invest in a cat drinking fountain.
Obesity is no longer just a human problem, it also impacts our pets. Cats that are overweight are at greater risk of a range of serious health issues, including diabetes and arthritis. If your cat is overweight please consult with your local vet to develop a diet and exercise program that will help your cat lose weight gradually and safely.
Make more time for exercise and play
Just like humans, cats need exercise. This is particularly true for indoor cats that don’t have the opportunity to hunt and chase prey outside the house. Cats are predatory creatures so toys which trigger that instinct and encourage them to hunt, stalk, and pounce are ideal toys for playtime. In our house my felines like to play with Da-Bird, the red dot, catnip toys, a variety of feather wand toys and screwed up balls of paper. I try to make time for a daily playtime session, but in a multi-cat household it isn’t always easy. So my personal New Year’s resolution is to make more time for exercise and play to get my cats off the couch and keep them active.
Show your cat how much you love them
Despite their seemingly indifferent attitude at times, most cats enjoy bonding with their humans and being shown some love. Gentle, daily grooming is one way of bonding with your cat – regularly brushing makes them feel good, and will leave their coat shiny and healthy. Removing excess fur from your cat also means less cat hair on your clothes and furniture! Daily attention in the form of petting, stroking, lap time or cuddling is another way to let your cat know how much you love them.
What are your New Year’s resolutions for your cat? Please share…
Photos: Paul L Dineen / Dave Dugdale / Yukari /Tambako the Jaguar / Stefanie Seskin via Flickr