With the New Year upon us, it is a great time to reflect on our cat's quality of life and how we can fulfill our responsibilities to our feline friends. While most of us shower our cats with love and take care of their basic needs, there are always a few areas we can improve on. Here are 5 New Year's Resolutions cat owners can make to ensure a happy and healthy year for their furry family members!
It's important to take your cat in for their annual check-up. Even if your cat seems healthy and only ever stays indoors, it still needs preventative care. Not to mention, cats can be notoriously good at hiding illnesses and injuries. An annual exam will put you at ease to know your cat is in good health. It will also be helpful to establish a good relationship with a local vet that knows your cat in case you have to make any emergency visits throughout the year.
We all can become distracted and busy to the point that we forget to play with our cats daily, or play for an insufficient amount of time. However, a minimum of 15-20 minutes a day of play can offer a host of benefits to both you and your cat. Playtime is a good way to establish a bond between you and your cat, offer enrichment and a change of pace to the daily routine, and offer much needed exercise. Try creating a play routine with your cat, such as a few minutes in the morning, right before meal time, and right before bed. This will encourage your cat to eat and sleep on a schedule too, which means more peaceful nighttime sleep for you too!
Having a daily schedule for grooming is another important aspect of a cat's life. Although cats have a reputation for being good groomers, there are still areas us humans can help. A daily brushing can help remove loose fur from cat and help alleviate hairballs, in addition to keeping their coat smooth and shiny. Trimming nails can help cat claws cause less damage to furniture, you, or another pet when playing, kneading, or scratching. Brushing teeth is also a great way to keep your cat's teeth and gums healthy and avoid any infections that could become more harmful or deadly down the road. Check out our teeth brushing blog post for tips on keeping those pearly whites clean.
It can be tempting to fill up a bowl with more food without giving it a wash first. Or, easy to assume a neat looking cat bed or toy is good to go. However, built up bacteria, dirt, hair and dander can be lurking around every corner. To make sure your cat's belongings are safe to use, make sure to give them a good scrub or wash at least once a week. This will keep your cat healthy and your home smelling fresh and clean.
We know cleaning the litter box is not the most glamorous or enjoyable job, but it is critical in keeping up the quality of life of your cat. Make sure to scoop the litter at least once daily if you have one cat, and twice daily if you have multiple. Consider completely replacing the litter once a month and disinfecting the pan with pet-safe cleaning products too. Small scratches in the box can build up bacteria over time, so replacing the litter box completely every 1-2 years can also do wonders for keeping your cat healthy.
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