A New Year for You and Your Cat

by Rita Reimers

Another year has come and gone. Did you keep your 2010 resolutions or are they going to be on your 2011 list? If you’re like me, you probably made some promises to your cat, too. But if not, there are some things you really should add to your list of resolutions that will make life better for both you and your cat.

Get a Check Up
Some people think if their cat doesn’t go outside or isn’t exposed to other animals that she doesn’t need to be seen by the vet. But even if your cat doesn’t go outside, a once-a-year checkup is important to her continued health and well being, especially as she ages. Call your vet and make that appointment today.

Microchips Keep You Together
You’ve said it a million times: “I need to get my cat a microchip.” So now it’s time to really do it. While you have your cat at the vet for his yearly wellness check, go ahead and get that microchip implanted. Should your cat ever be let outside accidently, a microchip will make it easier for you to be reunited. Here in earthquake prone Los Angeles, the added peace of mind of knowing your cat has a microchip is reason enough to get it done. LA Animal Services microchips all their animals, and also offers microchipping to the public for just $25.

Clean or Replace Cat Toys and Beds
Germy, smelly old cat toys and beds should be cleaned or replaced regularly. These items are a hotbed of bacteria for you and your cat. Offering new and different toys will also keep your cat from getting bored, so it’s ideal to swap toys in and out of use. This will also give you a chance to clean the ones that are washable and toss the ones that are worn out.

Daily Playtime
Make a promise to spend some time everyday playing with and petting your cat. It will make your bond stronger, and it will help alleviate boredom and restlessness in your cat. If you have problems with your cat waking you up in the middle of the night, an intense play session about 15 minutes before bedtime will help tire her out and give her the attention she craves, so she’ll let you sleep through the night.

Clean those Boxes
No one enjoys scooping the litter box, and perhaps you don’t do it quite as often as you should. A dirty litter box can lead to illness, as well as to behavior issues should you cat start avoiding its use. A clean, well tended litter box will be the first place your cat “goes” so scoop it out often. Completely empty and wash out your litter pans with a mild detergent at least once a month if you use clumping litter, more often if you use a non clumping litter.

The Buddy System
I hear a lot of people say “I’ve been thinking about getting another cat to give my cat a buddy.” But they never get past the thinking stage. There are many wonderful cats who are in need of loving homes, so if this is something you’ve been considering then now is the time to do it. A second cat will keep your kitty company while you are at work, and you will feel less guilty about being away all day. True, there will be a period of adjustment for your cats, but it won’t take long for them to become good buddies.

Keeping the resolutions you make to yourself might be tough, but keeping the ones you make to your cat will be easier once you see how much happiness they will bring to her life, and to yours as well.





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