It’s almost New Year’s Eve, and while you’re working on your own resolutions, jot down a few ways you can make your cat’s life a tad more pleasant in 2012. Chances are you already spoil your kitty (and some of us really overdo it), but every cat owner can find a few areas in their cat care regime that need improvement.
Resist the temptation to buy expensive cat toys, costumes and furniture without doing a little research.
The American Pet Products Association (APPA) estimated that Americans will spend 50.85 billion dollars on products for cats, dogs and other animal companions. This figure has almost doubled since 2001, so it’s obvious Americans love to pamper their pets. Pet product manufacturers, small boutique shops and even seamstresses who specialize in cat costumes are more than willing to cater to this demand. Before you shell out your hard-earned money on that cat trampoline or automatic feeder, get to know your kitty’s likes and dislikes. Many cats take to every new trinket you buy at first, but soon tire of them, leaving you with a floor littered with unused, high-priced toys.
Take your cat on vacation.
Even felines that relish the comfort of couch, cat tower and hiding places behind furniture should see something other than their owner’s apartment once in awhile. Fresh air, exercise and new surroundings spark a cat’s natural curiosity and help to keep them fit and thin. Take your cat with you on a trip to your summer house or to your Grandma’s for the weekend provided Grandma’s not allergic to kitties). Some pet-friendly hotels allow cats in a room for a small cleaning deposit.
Set aside playtime with your kitty.
Cats have a rep as solitary, moody creatures, but this doesn’t mean they “vant to be alone” all the time like Greta Catbo (bad pun, I know). Schedule at least 15 minutes a day to play with your cat by using scrunchy balls, feather toys or orchestrating some jumping on a cat tower or other structure. The possibilities are endless, even in a small apartment, once you become accustomed with your cat’s personality. If you have a busy work schedule that leaves you too exhausted to play with your kitty on a regular basis, consider having a cat-friendly neighbor or a professional cat-sitter spend time with your kitty once or twice a week.
Schedule a check-up visit with the vet.
Don’t wait until your kitty is sick to take him to the vet. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure for animals as well as humans. Take your cat to the vet for a wellness exam once a year or every six months if she is a senior cat (age ten or older).
Stop overfeeding your cat.
It’s tempting to calm down or distract a feline with food and treats. While that may keep a cat quiet for awhile, he’ll eventually come back for more-and more, until you’ve finished your work in relative peace and he’s gained quite a bit of weight. Don’t use treats as a substitute for human attention or playtime. Portion out a set amount of food for your cat at mealtime. Keep in mind that a healthy cat needs 30 calories per pound of body weight per day. For example, a nine-pound cat requires 270 calories per day to maintain a proper weight.
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About the author:
Marianne Moro is a freelance writer and publicist living in Hollywood, CA. She has written for many publications, clients and websites, including USA Today, Blogcritics Magazine, Modamag and Entertainment Today, among others. She's the proud co-o...