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How can you make your cat happy in the new year?
January is a month filled with resolutions: new gym memberships, diets, and goal setting. While most of these resolutions are focused on self improvement, there's no reason you can't extend these resolutions to the most important member(s) of your household.
This is a great time of your year to make a few small changes to improve your cat's life. And really, improving your cat's life will improve your own. You'll have a happier, more affectionate cat who has less unwanted behavior. It's a win win for all involved!
So what are some small changes you can make to improve your relationship with your cat in 2023? (Or really any year you're reading this, honestly)
- Respect their boundaries. If you cat doesn't like being picked up or petted for long periods of time, don't try to force affection on them. It may feel like you're being doting, but they probably aren't enjoying it. You can show your affection with cats in other ways!
- Play with your cat. Boredom is a real problem with cats. Playing with your cat for 10-15 minutes two or three times per day will improve your cat's life and reduce boredom related behavior concerns. A favorite among many cats is the Cat Dancer. It's inexpensive and cats go bananas for it!
- Get your cat a cat tower. Yes, you need furniture for your cats. Cats like climbing and vertical space. A tall tower is a much better choice than a small, lower to the ground tower for most cats. You can even find towers that aren't covered in carpet and have wood or other nice looking finishes. In addition to a tower, somewhere to hide and some scratching posts will keep your cat purring all year!
- Scoop your cat's litter box daily. Even better is scooping it twice per day (or, if you're like me, you scoop basically whenever your cat uses the box). Get some compostable or plant based poop bags to scoop the waste into and chuck it in the trash. Your cat will be more likely to use their box and it will keep the smell down.
- Drugs. Get your cat some silvervine or catnip from Meowy Janes. If you're at an event I'm at, I'll likely have some to sell, too!
- Train your cat. Cat training is fun for all species involved! I'm here to help you with it, otherwise there are some great books out there on training cats.
- Learn more about cats! Cats are fascinating and by learning more about why they do what they do, you'll have a better relationship with them. This blog is a great source of information in my humble and unbiased opinion. A great starting point is my cheeky blog on gay cats. Otherwise, you can check out Purr by Zazie Todd or The Complete Guide to Adopting a Cat by Laura Cassiday for some great general information on cats.
These ideas are simple and won't take you much time to complete. Try a few or try them all. Regardless, thank you for another fabulous year of helping your cats. I'm looking forward for what 2023 has in store. Happy New Year from Class Act Cats!
About the author: Joey LusvardiCCBC is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant and cat trainer based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He runs a behavior consultation service, Class Act Cats, where he helps cat parents address a variety of unwanted behaviors. He is available for consultation in the Twin Cities or virtually wherever you are located.