The jingle bells have all been jangled, and Santa is taking his annual leave. Christmas was full of fun, food and relaxation, and now our minds turn to next year.
You’ve made your new years resolutions for yourself (I will OBVIOUSLY still be going to the gym in February), but what about making some for your cat?
Let's get 2024 off to a pawsitive start with some resolutions that will make your feline friend grin like the Cheshire Cat.
1. Measure their food
Alright, your cat might not be overly impressed with this one, as they may find their ration being cut. But did you know that not weighing your cat’s food out according to the proper feeding guide can result in them getting way too much?
In most cases, pet parents over-estimate and give their pet way too much food. Not good for their waistline or their health.
Measure your cat’s food out each day to ensure they stay a healthy weight. If you’re not sure how much they need, speak to a veterinary nurse at your veterinary clinic, and they will be able to support you with a personalised feeding guide.
2. Bowls and litter trays
Do you have more than one cat? How many bowls and litter trays do you have for them? One each? Just one litter tray?
Cats aren’t naturally social animals, and within a home, they have a strict hierarchy…and they hate to share! Sharing resources like food, water and litter trays can be incredibly stressful for cats, even if they don’t outwardly show it. It can even lead to health problems such as idiopathic cystitis.
Providing one more bowl and one more litter tray than the number of cats in your house, and spreading them around the house, means everyone can easily access the things they need without competing with anyone else. It might feel like a lot of faff or clutter, but your cats will thank you for it!
Cats love to curl up and snuggle, and as they age, we forget the fun they had as kittens. That natural instinct to prowl, chase and pounce doesn’t go away with age.
Take them back to their kittenhood and commit to spending quality playtime with your cat. Chase rolled-up paper, or get a toy on a string to chase. Keeping your cat moving is great for their mental health as well as keeping them fit.
4. Give them a joint and wellness supplementYou take your vitamins in the morning, right? (Or maybe it’s on your resolutions list). Your cat would also benefit from a daily joint health and wellness supplement. Choose a high-quality, backed by science to support your cat’s mobility and life-long well-being.
5. Learn pet first aid
If your pet is sick or injured, of course, you would take it straight to the vet, but having some first aid knowledge could make all the difference before you get there. The PDSA offer a free guide to pet first aid here, and your local veterinary clinic may offer courses to help you learn how to care for your pet in an emergency.
6. Sponsor a cat
Big or small, your cat will appreciate anything you can do to support its feline friends. Sponsor a local cat rescue centre or support a big cat charity and help the plight of endangered cats around the world. Perhaps The Born Free Foundation or The Big Cat Sanctuary.
7. Learn some tricks
It’s not just dogs that can learn tricks. Cats are super-clever too, and with the right motivation, you can work together to learn plenty of tricks. It’s great for their mental well-being and keeps their brains active. Cats can easily pick up the basics of fetch, sit, high-five and many more. Why not start with a high-five with this guide from Battersea pets home?
We all know that cats like attention on their terms, and it’s often not at the most convenient times. But instead of moving them away when they're trying to stand on your laptop or brushing them off when they sit on your book—sometimes, resolve to indulge them in that snuggle. It’s good for both of you.
It has been shown that 10-15 minutes of stroking, cuddling and playing with your cat per day can boost your serotonin levels (a happy hormone) and reduce your cortisol levels (a stress hormone).
9. Check their microchip information
Hopefully, the worst will never happen, and your cat will always pop through the cat flap just when you expect them to. However, if they ever did go missing, you would hope someone would find them and get them microchip scanned to get in contact with you. But is their microchip up to date? Have you moved house or changed your mobile number?
Unfortunately, over the past few years, some microchip databases have had data loss issues. This means some information was lost, and many pets were affected. Get in touch with your microchip company to make sure your pet’s details are up to date.
Not sure how to contact them? You can check which database your pet is on here, using their microchip number.
10. Learn more about cat behaviour
Eat, sleep, repeat. That’s the life of a cat, right? Did you know that cats are incredibly sensitive creatures, and the intricacies of their behaviour are still being studied? For example, did you know that cats fake being asleep to avoid stressful situations? And they love to drink from running water, because in the wild, it’s likely to be safer than still water.
Pounce into 2024 with a new years resolution your cat will love!
Have a paw-tastic year!