New Year – New Resolutions
The New Year is a great time to take a fresh look at our lives with our pets and make some resolutions. Including your cat in your New Year's resolutions could make them more fun and perhaps easier to keep!
1. Keeping your Cat Fit
The most common New Year's resolution of all is to get more exercise. Why not include your cat in this goal and make getting fit a goal for both of you.
Cats with access to the outdoors can get lots of exercise patroling their area and practicing hunting behaviour. Getting indoor cats moving more can be a challenge. Engaging them in play is the best way to encourage exercise, games involving chasing, stalking and jumping will increase their heart rate and improve overall health. Laser lights, or even a feather on a stick can provide endless hours of interest and activity.
Take some time every day to play with your cat, not only will this improve their health, but it will strengthen the bond between you and your cat. The mental stimulation provided by play can also help relieve boredom and prevent destructive behaviours.
2. Healthy Eating
The next most common resolution, along with getting more exercise is healthy eating. You can include your cat in this by looking at what they eat and making sure they are eating the food that is best for them, in the right quantities.
Speak to your vet or vet nurse to help you choose a high-quality food for your cat. Weigh out your cat's daily requirement, remember the guide on the side of the packet is only a guide, it is best to look at your individual pet to know how much food they require. This will depend on their level of activity, life stage and breed.
Cats are very particular about what they will and will not eat, they are much less likely to get ill from eating something they shouldn't compared to dogs. Follow your cat's lead and try to resist those foods that we know are not good for us.
If you want to give your cat an occasional treat, choose healthy snacks, such as those you will find in your monthly Protect My Pet box!
3. Self Acceptance
Learn from your cat and be happy with yourself. Cats are very comfortaable in their own company, they are proud animals who know they are worthy. Take a leaf out your cat's book and take pride in who you are.
4. Learn a New Skill
You may decide to take up a new hobby or learn a new skill in the New Year. Why not do the same for your pet and include daily toothbrushing in their routine? It will take time and perseverance from both you and your cat, however the benefits could be great, possibly reducing the need for dental treatment under anaesthetic as your cat gets older.
Look out for next month's blog to learn more about dental care for your cat.
5. Regular Flea and Worm Treatment
Resolving to keep your cat parasite free is now made much easier with Protect My Pet. If you haven't signed your cat (or dog!) up yet, be sure to subscribe this month to start the year as you mean to go on. We'll deliver your pet's flea and worming treatments direct to your door just when they're due, when it arrives in the post it's time to dose!
If you're already part of our pack, don't forget to tell your friends about your Protect My Pet subscription to help them start the year with their pet's health taken care off.
6. Health Care
Many people resolve to taking a more proactive approach to their health in the New Year. Regular health checks are just as important for your cat. If your pet is young, fit and healthy, an annual examination by your vet, such as during a vaccination visit may be sufficient. If your vet has any concerns they will recommend more frequent checks, such as for older pets, those with heart murmurs, dental disease or needing weight mangement. It is always worth attending these clinics to help prevent problems from arising or to get treatment started as soon as it is required.
If your vet examines your cat regularly, it will be easier to spot any changes that may indicate a health problem, such as a new heart murmur or a drop in bodyweight or condition.
Taking care of your appearance may be part of your New Year's resolutions, for you this might mean buying a new wardrobe or getting a new hairstyle. Taking the time to regularly groom your cat will give you some quiet time to bond whilst keeping their coat healthy through the distribution of their natural oils and removal of dead skin and hair. Grooming your pet will also give you an opportunity to examine your pet for lumps, bumps, wounds or parasites such as ticks.
Long-haired breeds can benefit from routine appointments with a professional groomer to prevent knots forming. Cats with very dense coats may also benefit from a trim in the summer to reduce the risk of heat stroke.
8. Plan for the Future
The New Year is a good time to prepare for the future, as your cat gets older they are more likely to need veterinary care for illness. Consider what is best for your circumstances, either you can arrange a pet insurance policy, or set up a regular savings account for potential veterinary care bills. We always hope we will not need to use these accounts but by being prepared and having funds available, it may offer more healthcare options and be one less worry during what can be a stressful time.
Including mindfulness into your 2018 daily routine could help you relax and take care of your mental health. You can do the same for your cat by making small changes to their environment.
Ensure your cat enters the New Year stress-free by providing hidey-holes and high places to rest where they can be left alone. Just like us, cats like to have a safe area where they can escape from noise or interference.
Enriching the home environment can make a big difference to your cat's happiness, particularly if they are an indoor pet. Not having to compete for access to litter trays, bowls or toys is important to keeping your cat happy, ensure you have enough for each cat you own, plus an extra. This abundance of resources will make life much more relaxing for your cat.
If your cat isn't part of our pack yet, sign up to Protect My Pet today to keep your pet protected the easy way. Delivery is free and there is no contract so you can cancel at any time.
Written by Lindsay Rose MA VetMB CertAVP CertVBM MRCVS.