Do you want to make a resolution this year to help improve your cat's life? What New Year's resolution do you think your cat would make? Here's how to make 2021 the best year yet for you and your cat.
It’s the time of year when we start looking ahead and planning for the future, and this year, having positive affirmations and something to focus on is more important than ever. When thinking about what we want out of 2021, let’s not forget our feline friends. Afterall, they have been the one constant for us over this turbulent year, always there with a purr or a head bump.
With this in mind, we look at what resolutions our cats may want us to make for 2021.
1. “I will consider how my cat likes to drink their water”
Blue Cross says: “Cats naturally prefer to drink away from where they eat, so they’d definitely thank you for giving them a big bowl of water away from their food bowls.
“Most cats prefer ceramic or metal bowls as opposed to plastic, and the larger the better.
“Cats prefer it if their whiskers don’t touch the sides of the bowl, so make sure it’s filled right up to the brim.
“Some cats absolutely love drinking from running water, so consider getting a water fountain specifically designed for pets.”
2. “I will make a moggy memento”
Your Cat editor Michael Hallam says: “Smart phones have changed our lives in many positive ways, but perhaps one downside to them is that we don’t remember some of the great memories we have stored on there. Photos or videos can get lost, or just forgotten in a camera roll that is only revisited when you need to delete something to make more memory space.
“Take the time this year to create a lasting memento of your cat. You could dig through those old photos to make a scrapbook, pick your favourite to have printed out on a canvas, or even make a 2021 calendar of pictures of your feline friend. Perhaps you could write a small passage about what you love about your cat and place it in a frame alongside your favourite picture.
“While your kitty will be none the wiser about the memento, it will actually be an inspiration for more good times ahead for you together. Instead of having to consciously choose to look at pictures on your phone, a memento will make you smile, bring back great memories, and remind you on a regular basis of just how special your relationship is — which is the perfect fuel for you and your cat for 2021.”
3. “I won’t overfeed my cat”
Cats Protection says: “Don’t overfeed your cat — 32 per cent (according to Cats Protection’s CATS report) of owners acknowledge their own cat is overweight, which places cats at significant risk of diabetes and arthritis. Seek advice from a vet on helping a large moggy to lose weight.
“Also, weigh out cat food on a daily basis, being careful not to overfill bowls and avoid giving a cat human food, such as milk, chocolate, and cheese.”
4. “I will get my cat microchipped/ensure chip details are up-to-date”
Cats Protection says: “Get your cat microchipped and keep the details up-to-date
— an estimated 2.6 million owned cats across the UK aren’t chipped (according to Cats Protection’s CATS report). Getting a pet cat ‘chipped and keeping the address details up-to-date increases the chances of a happy reunion.”
Did you know?
The cost to microchip a cat is only around £20 to £30 and can be done by your vet.
5. “I will be mindful of my cat’s mental well-being”
Cats Protection says: “Pick up on when your cat is stressed — 45 per cent of cats show signs of stress (according to Cats Protection’s CATS report), but these can be difficult to spot as cats are masters of disguise. If a cat suddenly displays unusual behaviours, such as toileting outside a litter tray or hiding for long periods, then seek the advice of a vet.”
Signs of feline stress:
- Change in sleep pattern
- Change to eating habits
- Tense body language
- Withdrawal from life
- Excessive scratching
- Pica (eating non-food items)
6. “I will get my cat some space”
Feline welfare scientist Dr Lauren Finka says: “Implement some social distancing at home; give your cats a little more space and a few less cuddles so that they have plenty of alone time if they need it.
“Christmas especially can be a more stressful time for many cats, particularly for the anxious or sensitive types, due to the additional commotion and changes in our routines. Ensuring they have plenty of quiet, comfy spots where they can snooze undisturbed is a great way to help them to feel more comfortable.”
7. “I will enrich my cat’s environment”
Make sure that for the new year, your cat has plenty to keep them stimulated. Assess your cat’s environment and think what could be improved to give them more enrichment. He may like a new scratch post to fulfil his need to scratch and stretch, or a heat pad to make his favourite snoozing spot that extra bit cosy. Or your cat may really appreciate some new ways to play. It could help fulfil his hunting instinct to feed some of his food through a puzzle feeder or play with him with a rod-type toy. It could be great for both of you if you set aside time to play each day.
8. “I will keep on top of flea and worm treatments”
It may seem like just a normal thing to do, rather than a resolution, but it is that important. An infestation of parasites can make your cat miserable, so he will really appreciate you keeping those pesky critters at bay. Be sure to speak to your vet about your cat’s treatments and get the dates when your cat needs the next dose in the diary — and stick to it. Parasites are now a year-round problem which can make them more difficult to get rid of if your cat does get infested — even more reason to keep on top of treatments.
9. “I will clean my cat’s teeth”
Taking care of your cat’s oral health will really help to keep him happy. Cats are good at hiding pain so while you might not notice a problem, a check-up might reveal any issues. Owners are often surprised at the dental issues their cats have. Signs of problems include: bad breath, drooling, bleeding gums, weight loss, and pain when eating.
Get your cat’s teeth checked and protect them by regularly brushing them. Speak to your vet about how to brush his teeth and always use toothpaste and a brush that are designed for cats. Get your cat used to it gradually and build up until it is part of your and your cat’s routine.
Click here for more advice on caring for your cat’s teeth.
10. “I am going to get back to my cat in 2021”
International Cat Care says: “Cats have really been there for us in 2020 during the pandemic so although we may still face hardship in 2021, our New Year’s resolution should be to put our cats first to say thank you for their love and support.
“A great New Year’s resolution would be to make the following promises to our cats, such as I promise to:
- Play with you once a day with a moving toy, even when I am tired (www.icatcare.org/advice/playing-with-your-cat).
- Never deprive you of cardboard boxes.
- Keep your litter tray clean and just how you like it.
- Consult with the vet when you are not feeling well (www.catcare4life.org).
- Learn to watch your body language, and not hug and squeeze you when I need it, but can see you don’t really want it (www.icatcare.org/advice).
- Learn more about cats so I can find out what you need and spend 2021 making you a very happy cat.”
Resolutions your cat would probably make
- “I’ll work on my ‘feed me’ eyes so I can trick my human into giving me a second breakfast.”
- “I will kick the catnip habit.”
- “I will make sure I have more catnaps in the most bizarre places.”
- “I will spend more time chatting to the birds outside through the living room window.”
- “I will up my cardio, 2am zoomies is a great way to achieve this.”
- “I will sit on my human’s lap more. Once I sit, they are powerless.”
- “I will continue to wake my human at 5am, I believe they appreciate this service.”