During all these "unprecedented times," keeping to our New Year's Resolutions has likely been difficult. 2020 and 2021 were beasts of a whole different color. So it's understandable if that our New Year's Resolutions for 2022 might look a bit different. For instance, adding "travel more" as a resolution is pretty much off the list.
But for those of us who are still drafting up those lists of to-dos in the new year - you aren’t the only one who can benefit from some fresh New Year’s resolutions! Set some goals for your favorite feline family member, too, and make 2022 the best year yet - for the both of you. It can only go up from here. :)
1. Get back on your paws
You’ve probably got some fitness goals for yourself in the New Year - but it’s important to remember that cats need their exercise as well! Exercise not only helps trim those extra holiday pounds, but it’s also a great way to bond even further with your furry family member. It’s probably pretty easy to get your cat back into the exercise groove - it’s all about finding what toy and type of play appeals to your cat the most!
Find a toy that appeals to their natural hunting instincts - even the chunkiest of house kitties have them! If your cat likes to chase and run down their "prey," try the Mouse Hunt Cat Toy - an RC mouse toy you can control directly from your phone!
If your cat likes to chase birds, try a feather wand that simulates the flight of birds and the rustle of feathers, too. Cats that prefer more landlocked prey might prefer a lightweight ball they can easily bat around the floor, or a "crinkly" toy that imitates the sound of prey scuttling through the undergrowth!
2. Learn something new
Many people don’t believe that cats can learn tricks. But the truth is, your cat might benefit from learning a trick or two! It provides your cat with a challenge and stimulates their brains - and they get a few treats out of it, too.
Whether it’s teaching your cat to high-five, fist bump, or even something as simple as coming when they’re called, use the new year to prove that cats CAN learn tricks!
Another great idea to teach your cat something new AND get them some exercise: harness training! This suggestion will take some work, but it’s worth it. A safe walk outside with you by your cat's side can open up new worlds for your cat without all of the dangers the outside can provide.
3. Lead a more enriching life
Environmental enrichment is especially important for cats whose owners work long hours outside the home (to pay for all the kitty food and toys!) Environmental enrichment comes in many shapes and forms, and you can have fun experimenting with what works best for your cat.
Observe your cat and seems to bring them the most entertainment. Do they like watching birds and squirrels out the window? Place a cat tree or perch next to their favorite window and put a bird feeder outside for live-action cat tv!
Videos of birds and small mammals can also keep your cat busy during the day, whether it's played on the TV or a tablet. Cat scratchers, cat treat balls, and other amusements that can keep your cat entertained in your absence, which reduces stress, which makes for a happy feline.
4. Eat better
According to a 2017 survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 60% of cats are overweight or obese in the US. Obesity in cats can lead to health issues like inflammation to respiratory disorders and even kidney dysfunction. If your pet is overweight, consult your vet about proper dieting techniques for your “fluffy” feline friend.
They can help you come up with a feeding strategy (paired with exercise) based on your cat’s age, weight, and overall health to safely and healthily lose weight!
5. Cuddle better
When it comes to cuddle time with your cat, it can be hard not to just grab ‘em up in a hug. They are ridiculously cute, after all. But as fun as that is for us humans, it might not be the same for your cat.
So a resolution your kitty might appreciate come 2022 is learning how your cat likes to be cuddled and pet, and how to respect their purrsonal space when they’d prefer to be left alone.
6. Scoop more
If you notice your cat has been “opting out” of using the litter box, they might be trying to tell you something: this stinks! No cat wants to do the deed if their litter box stinks! Here’s the scoop on how often to scoop: daily.
It might seem like a pain, but your cat will appreciate it - and so will you, when they stop going outside the box! If you have a multi-cat household, you might want to consider a litter scoop with bags attached to make scooping and waste disposal quicker and easier.
Also consider the number of litter boxes to the number of cats in your home. According to cat experts like Jackson Galaxy, the rule of thumb is one litter box per cat, plus one extra. A reason for eliminating outside the litter box can be that it's too crowded!
7. Prepare more, stress less
If your cat gets stressed when it comes time to visit the vet - or even just go into the cat carrier - make it a goal to make these trips less stressful.
You can do this by acclimating your cat to their crate or carrier slowly. If your cat is scared of the car, let them “claim” the car as their territory before taking them on short trips around the block to make them more comfortable.
Given time, your cat will feel more at ease and make these trips a stressless occasion!