Happy New Year! As we turn our calendars forward to 2024, many people are thinking about the things they want to accomplish in the coming months. As it turns out, our furry friends have their own checklist for the year. In this article, a local Troutville, VA veterinarian discusses a few things Fluffy may want to accomplish in the next 12 months.
We may never know why cats are so tired. What do we know? These little furballs certainly are exhausted. Fluffy can sleep up to 20 hours a day! (We’re not sure if they actually need that much rest, but that’s another topic.) Offer your drowsy little pet many comfy places to curl up, sprawl out, or just lie down.
Finally Get That Elusive Red Dot
Fluffy has been after that mysterious red dot for years, and she may very well be hoping that 2024 is her time to shine. Help her out by playing with her regularly. The exercise and mental stimulation are both great for your cute pet. Plus, interactive play provides more excitement and stimulation for cats than simply smacking a catnip toy around. Laser pointers are a purrfect tool for this activity. It’s pretty easy to keep one beside your favorite chair or sofa spot, and use it to entertain your furball while you’re watching TV. Just don’t point the light directly into your pet’s eyes.
Reveal Important Secrets … Or Not
We’ve given up hope on ever completely figuring Fluffy out, but we have made progress. In fact, we have made numerous discoveries about our beloved feline overlords over the past several years.
Here are a few things research has recently revealed about Man’s Second Best Friend:
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. While there will always be some mysteries surrounding our feline friends, it is beneficial for us to deepen our understanding of them. However, it can be challenging to gather information from cats as they are not always cooperative with researchers. Will Fluffy have a change of heart this year?
We’re not big fans of that old saying about how curiosity killed the cat, but we can see where it came from. Fluffy is extremely inquisitive, if not downright nosy, and likes to investigate pretty much everything in her domain. Keep your furry friend safe by doing thorough petproofing. Ask your Troutville, VA vet for more information.
Increase Sprint Time
At some point this year, your furry little buddy will race from one room to another at her top speed, and for no reason you can see. Fluffy is just working on her speed!
This one isn’t quite as out there as it may initially seem. As part of a rewilding initiative, researchers have successfully reintroduced 19 Scottish Wildcats into their natural habitat. This breed, previously considered ‘functionally extinct’, is on track for a hopeful resurgence.
Get More Sun
Our furry little buddies are always on the lookout for warm napping spots. (Fluffy isn’t actually cold blooded, and she doesn’t utilize solar power, but we aren’t sure anyone has told her that yet.) It’s probably safe to say that at some point, you’ll find your kitty snoozing in the sunlight. Get your cute pet’s motor going by making her a comfy spot in a window, where she can relax and watch birds and squirrels. You get bonus purrs if the spot has sunbeam access.
Conquer More Boxes
One of Fluffy’s cutest quirks is her box obsession. Help her achieve this goal by giving her some leftover gift boxes.
Work On The Pounce
Did you know that cats can jump about 5 or 6 times their height? That usually works out to about 4 or 5 feet. (Of course, your pet may try to practice these skills by hopping up onto a counter, but that’s another topic.)
Finish Training The Humans
Cats are masters at meow-nipulation. In fact, they might have developed meowing just to give us orders. Cats typically don’t vocalize to each other; they prefer using facial expressions and body language to communicate. However, it seems that Fluffy’s ancestors discovered that a meow resembling a baby’s cry is quite effective at persuading us to spoil them.
Fluffy clearly has some spies in the tech sector. You can now buy your cat programmable paw pads. These speak specific words when a kitty steps on them. (Results may vary.)
Make Sure The Humans Feel Loved
We may joke about how aloof cats are, but they are actually very affectionate. In fact, when you snuggle your pet, a special hormone, oxytocin—AKA the cuddle hormone—is released in you both. This reinforces feelings of being loved, safe, and happy. Have we mentioned how awesome kitties are?
Recover Lost Toys
Have you ever brought a new plaything home for Fluffy, only to have her immediately push it under the sofa? Your purring pet may be wondering where all her catnip mice have gone! Be sure to replace those missing playthings regularly, and retrieve some of those lost toys from under the couch.
Perfect Osmosis Skills
Have you ever found Fluffy snoozing on a book or magazine? Your feline pal may be trying to learn by absorption. Or, this may be a cute way of insisting that you pay attention to her instead of reading.
Work On Flexibility
Cats have a remarkable ability to twist themselves into shapes we usually associate with pretzels … and then fall asleep that way. Fluffy may want to stretch a bit more this year. (This is a great goal for you as well.)
Our feline buddies take their hunting practice very seriously … and with good reason. In the wild, Fluffy’s murdering skills would determine whether or not she got supper. Your tiny lion may work on her predatory skills!
Work On High Jumps
Cats are remarkable jumpers: they can leap 5-6 times their height, on average. If your kitty loves climbing and jumping to high spots, get her a cat tower or even some kitty shelves.
Achieve True Inner Peace
Happy cats often tend to look both relaxed and satisfied. Your feline buddy may want to achieve true zen this year. She’ll work very hard at this, and may incorporate things like naps, sunbathing, and staring at house plants into her training.
Happy New Year from all of us here at Old Dominion Veterinary Clinic your Troutville, VA animal hospital. Please contact us for all of your kitty’s veterinary care needs in 2024 and beyond!