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New Year’s Resolutions by Dr. Rich Goldstein DVM
Who says New Year’s resolutions are just for people? The University of Scranton recently published its list of the Top 10 new year’s resolutions that people make. But, interestingly, the same resolutions can apply to our cats too.
1. Lose weight: According to the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention, 55% (or 48 MILLION) of cats are overweight or obese. That’s a staggering number! As in people, obesity can predispose our pets to diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and many other diseases. And it’s preventable and treatable!
2. Get organized: Whether your cat has a calendar of events (remember Morris the cat?), or just a daily routine, organizing his day is very important. Cats should be fed on a schedule rather than free-feeding, to help prevent obesity. And organizing that drawer, closet or cabinet where all those cat accessories and toys are thrown isn’t a bad idea either.
3. Spend less, save more: When it comes to pet food and accessories, the most expensive is not always the best. The best foods are the ones that your pet does well on, that she likes, and that you can afford. In these days of internet shopping, you can often spend less by searching for the best price on everything from pet food to toys to accessories to prescription medications. And if you take the money you save and put it into a savings account for your pet, you can have a nice nest egg should medical care be required in their senior years.
4. Enjoy life to the fullest: I’m reminded of this every time I see my dog chase after his ball in a wide open field, or my cat bat that catnip-infused toy mouse around the house. Let’s encourage more of that.
5. Stay fit and healthy: See resolution # 1. With proper diet, calorie maintenance, and at least 20 minutes of exercise a day, you can accomplish this goal with your pet! Vertical cat trees, laser lights, and even a crumpled piece of paper can provide hours of enjoyment and exercise!
6. Learn something exciting: Who says you can’t teach your cat tricks? By using positive reinforcement, you can teach your cat to sit and even fetch. (Actually, it’s your cat who’s teaching you how to reward him for something he’d do anyway. Either way, it can be exciting!)
7. Quit smoking: OK, your cat should not be smoking…and neither should you.
8. Help others in their dreams: Does your pet have a special talent? Perhaps this would be the year to pursue becoming a therapy cat, or breaking into commercials, or writing a blog. Help her to dream big!
9. Fall in love: A dog’s love is unconditional. I think a cat’s is too…but they’d never admit it. Adopt a cat from your local shelter, and let him show you how to fall in love.
10. Spend more time with family: Mornings are quality time around my house. Cooper gets to spend some time on the bed before the snooze alarm goes off. Then when he’s down having breakfast, Weezle can jump on for some me-time. It’s the best part of the day.
Have a happy, safe, and healthy 2013. And may all of your resolutions come true for you and your pets.