2016 is now upon us and the parties are over, the fireworks have ended, and cats all over the country are starting to make their way back out from under the sofa! As everything starts to get back to normal for another year, many people across the UK will be starting the year with a host of good intentions that may well involve heading to the gym, losing weight, stopping smoking or starting a new hobby-yes, it’s New Year’s resolutions time!
If you own a cat, there are several good ideas for resolutions that you might wish to put into effect this year with your cat in mind, in order to make a positive and yet simple impact on their general wellbeing, and potentially, even their health. So before you sign up for that expensive gym membership or throw out the last of the Christmas chocolate, consider taking a different approach this year, with our five smart suggestions of New Year’s resolutions that can benefit your cat. Read on to learn more!
Your cat’s breath might smell of what they just ate, but their breath should never smell foul, very strong or generally offensive. Their teeth too should be in good condition and not coated in plaque or tartar, and your cat should be able to eat comfortably without dropping food or having to pick at their food due to dental pain.
If your cat’s teeth aren’t 100%, or you’re not entirely sure how to tell, ask your vet to check them over, and if necessary, book them in for an anaesthetised veterinary dental procedure to get them back up to scratch.
Even if your cat’s teeth are in great condition, it’s a good idea to get your cat used to having their teeth brushed, and start keeping their mouths and gums healthy now!
As your cat gets older, they will probably be less interested in playing and zooming around the home, but even cats well into their teenaged years will still often enjoy playing and staying active! Think about things that your cat likes to do, such as climbing or hunting, and get them some toys that can enable this, and take some time to play with them each day.
Encouraging your cat to stay mobile will be good for not only their weight, but their joint and muscle mobility as they age too!
It’s a good idea to review your cat’s weight every six months to ensure that they’re not either piling on the pounds or losing condition, and to keep an eye on any changes that may be occurring over time.
Your vet will be able to tell you what your cat’s ideal weight range should be and how far away from it they are, so it’s worth finding out more about this to start with, and if your can is starting to look a little plump around the middle, make some changes! Encouraging your cat to be less sedentary and more active is of course a good start, but you should also review what and how much you feed your cat, and consider whether or not this is still appropriate for their age and lifestage.
Older cats need a different type of nutritional support than younger ones, and so it is wise to reconsider each year if the food that your cat has is still the right pick for them, or if there is a better alternative.
Make it a resolution to spend some time every day simply bonding with your cat, and making a fuss of them. Whether this means grooming your cat or simply having some quiet time together watching the TV, you know what your cat likes best and what is good for them, so try to commit to spending some time each day doing this.
Making sure you spend some one to one time with your cat every day will help to bring you closer together, and also, ensure that you are very familiar with your cat and what is normal for them, so that you will soon learn to spot any changes.
When it comes to the regular, routine parts of cat ownership, it can be really easy to let things slip over the course of the year, and then it can be hard to get back to where you should be! Are your cat’s vaccinations up to date, and do they have a regular and suitable worming and flea treatment protocol? If you can’t remember when they were last due, now is the time to get things back on track, and make sure that you maintain them properly over the coming year, and all of the years to come.
Happy New Year!