• Jen Van de Kieft

New Year's Resolutions for Pets

Luke is ready to get off the couch and try something new.

Luke is ready to get off the couch and try something new.

Guardians are making resolutions for their pets, according to a study conducted by the pet health company, NomNomNow, and reported in The New York Post. 71% of guardians cited they wanted to improve their pet’s health this year. The top 5 resolutions relate to physical and mental health, and can improve your cat’s overall well-being. Here are suggestions for implementing them:

Josh brushes his own teeth.
  1. Exercise more (56 percent) - This can include playtime with a wand toy, and enhancing the environment to motivate cats to exercise such as by adding boxes, tunnels, scratchers, climbing structures and perches.

  2. Try new activity (49 percent) - A battery operated toy like a Hexbug Nano Robotic toy is fun and a good way to get your cat interested and moving. Other ideas for something new are trying cat grass, a food puzzle, catnip, or teaching your cat to high-five you.

  3. Lose weight (49 percent) - Talk to your veterinarian about your cat’s weight. Ask how to reach the appropriate target weight. Calorie counting of all food intake including treats can be beneficial. If dry food is part of your cat’s diet, utilizing a food puzzle and measuring the quantity of food can help too.

  4. Better hygiene (47 percent)- Your veterinarian can tell you the condition of your cat’s teeth and gums during the checkup. By age 3, most cats have some degree of periodontal disease, according to Brushing your cat’s teeth can help fight dental disease. Starting a teeth brushing routine is easier than you might think. To get started, watch Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine’s 4-part YouTube videos called How to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth. Brushing long hair daily and clipping nails regularly is great too.

Josh brushes his own teeth. He loves the poultry flavored toothpaste.

  1. More playtime (44 percent) - Daily play sessions bring out the natural predator in your cat, provide mental stimulation and physical exercise, and help reduce stress caused by boredom. Get a good wand toy with multiple attachments, and make it a fun daily routine.

*Another great resolution is to commit to annual veterinary checkups. Annual exams provide a baseline of what is normal for your cat. They can extend your cat’s life expectancy by addressing medical issues early on. They also provide you an opportunity to discuss weight, nutrition, behavior and other areas of concern. Cats are masters of hiding pain, making a checkup essential for their well-being.

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