Give your cat a nose-to-tail exam, making sure that its ears and teeth are clean and odorless, fur is free of parasites, skin is lump- and bump-free, and weight has remained stable.read more
Let’s face it. Cats are not exactly known for their ambition. After all, they spend two-thirds of their life sleeping and aren’t the types to spend a great deal of time ruminating on self-improvement. That being said, they could use some new year’s resolutions as much as the next creature. So what are some ideas that owners and cats can implement to make 2012 a banner year?
Exercise more. Obesity is a common problem in domestic cats, leading to medical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes and pancreatitis. A little bit of daily exercise using laser pointers, feather toys and catnip balls can go a long way when it comes to helping your cat stay healthy and svelte in the coming year.
Drink plenty of water. Cats are notoriously prone to renal disease and conditions that affect the bladder, such as feline lower urinary tract disease. Cats on dry kibble diets are particularly prone to dehydration, as they often do not ingest enough water when they eat. Placing multiple bowls around the house or using a fountain like the Drinkwell Pet Fountain encourages your cat to drink more and stay hydrated.
Go see the vet, even if you hate it. Getting a stressed and upset cat into a carrier is a challenge that many pet owners just don’t want to deal with, meaning some cats miss out entirely on veterinary care. Many diseases -- such as diabetes, kidney failure and dental disease -- are often not noticeable to owners until the diseases are in the advanced stages. If your cat is a handful at the vet, you can ask your veterinarian about sedatives to give at home prior to a visit, or consider a home-visit veterinarian.
Perhaps your cat isn’t thrilled with the usual “improve your health in the new year” sorts of things that we humans tend to embrace every January 1. With that in mind, here are a couple of more suggestions that embody the cat desire for world domination:
Amass a huge following on Facebook or Twitter. While humans tend to limit their social media circles to immediate friends or family, cats are natural celebrities, entertaining us with their day-to-day cat antics. All they need is a human companion to help with the typing bit. Sockington, to name just one, is a cat with almost 1.5 million Twitter followers.
Make a viral video. With a smartphone and a YouTube account, we humans are rendered helpless by the sight of a cat being, well, a cat. Take Maru, for example, whose video of him getting into boxes has over 6 million views.
Photo Credit: @iStockphoto.com/dentharg
Dr. Jessica Vogelsang is a small-animal veterinarian from San Diego. When she's not at work or with her family of two and her four-legged creatures, you can find her blogging about life with pets at PawCurious.com. Dr. Vogelsang's blogs have previously appeared on The Daily Cat.
Cats reach full skeletal development when they are this old: