Happy New Year! And, to our feline patients, a Happy Mew Year. (Cats celebrate the new year on January 2nd.) As we turn our calendars forward to 2024, many people are thinking about what they want to accomplish in the coming months. As it turns out, our purring pals have their own set of goals for the new year. In this article, a local Waterdown, ON vet discusses a few of the things our feline friends are hoping to accomplish this year.
Finally Get That Mysterious Red Dot
Kitties are always cute, especially when they are being playful. While Fluffy may have a killer instinct, she also has a funny side when stalking her prey.
Play isn’t merely important for physical activity; it’s crucial for mental stimulation too. While solo toys are useful, interactive play offers more excitement and mental engagement than just smacking a bottle cap under the couch. Using a laser pointer is a simple option—keep it nearby during your leisure time and engage your furry companion. (Reminder: avoid shining the light into Fluffy’s eyes.) As for you, making time for daily play with your cat a priority is an excellent goal!
Get More Sleep
Kitties certainly take their beauty rest very seriously. The average cat sleeps up to 20 hours a day, though most manage to get by on about 12 to 18 hours. (We’re not entirely sure whether cats actually need that much sleep, but that’s another discussion altogether.)
Give your drowsy little pet plenty of places to curl up, sprawl out, or just flop down. Of course, making sure you’re getting adequate sleep is very important for your health and well-being as well.
Get Toys Back From The Void
Do you find a small mountain of cat toys every time you move your couch? Your feline friend may be hoping to retrieve some of those missing catnip mice in 2022. Whether that works out for her or not, make a point of getting your pet lots of new toys this year. Also, remember to rescue some of those catnip mice from under the couch.
Increase Sprint Times
Did you know that the average house cat can run as fast as 30mph? Fluffy may try to get up to full kitty speed when running from the kitchen to the bedroom. (We’ll leave her habit of randomly sprinting from one room to another for a different blog.)
Purrfect High Jumps
Fluffy is also no slouch when it comes to jumping. Most cats can jump about 5 or 6 times their height, which is usually about 4 or 5 feet. Of course, your frisky little pet may try to practice these skills by hopping up onto a counter. Nip that habit in the bud by squirting her with water or making a loud noise when she does this.
Our feline friends have a remarkable ability to twist themselves into shapes we usually associate with knots, constellations, or pretzels … and then fall asleep that way. Fluffy may want to stretch a bit more this year. Improving flexibility is also a solid goal for you!
Take Control Of Scotland
This may seem like a bit much, but don’t forget that kitties did get the ancient Egyptians to worship them. Fortunately for the Scots, Fluffy’s 2024 goals are much more benign. Thanks to the efforts of researchers involved in a rewilding program, 19 Scottish Wildcats have been successfully reintroduced into their natural habitat, the Cairngorms. This once functionally extinct breed is now on track for a potential comeback. With any luck, by this time next year we’ll have even more feline friends returning to these lands.
Find New Ways To Boss The Humans Around
Our feline overlords are very, very good at meowpulating us. In fact, they may have started meowing specifically to boss us around. Kitties don’t typically meow at each other; they rely on facial expressions and body language for communicating with one another. It seems that Fluffy realized that making a sound resembling a baby’s cry is incredibly effective at coaxing us into spoiling them.
Fast forward a few thousand years, and these little furballs have completely wrapped us around their paws. However, while Fluffy isn’t shy about speaking her mind and letting us know what she wants, things do get lost in translation.
There’s now a new solution for this: programmable paw pads. These speak specific words when your kitty steps on them. (Results may vary.)
Keep in mind that Fluffy might be working on other ways to take over the universe. Cat World Domination Day is coming up on June 24th.
Make My Humans Feel Loved
It’s hard not to melt when a cute kitty shows affection. Of course, cats have some pretty interesting ways to show their love. For example, Fluffy may curl up on your lap, follow you around, rub against your legs, meow at you, or sleep on your pillow. However, she may also bite, scratch, or drop a dead mouse at your feet. You just never know!
Charge My Catteries
Cats are always looking for a warm place to nap. (Fluffy isn’t cold blooded, and she doesn’t use solar power, but no one has told her that yet.) At some point, you’ll probably find your kitty snoozing in the sun. Offer Fluffy a comfy window seat, where she can watch birds and squirrels. Ask your Waterdown, ON for more tips on pleasing your feline overlord.
Seize Control Of The Internet
Fluffy is well on her way to achieving this goal. We’ll never stop laughing at those cute videos of playful kitties being adorable and silly. We can’t wait to meet next year’s social media celebrities!
Modern science has progressed in leaps and bounds over the past few centuries. While there are certainly still plenty of kitty mysteries, we have learned quite a few things about these curious and charming balls of fur lately.
- Kitties can exhibit nearly 300 different facial expressions … most of which are at least somewhat disdainful, and all of which are adorable.
- We may have domesticated cats as far back as 9500 years ago. French archaeologists have discovered an early burial site where human and feline remains were interred together. This site, in the Neolithic village of Shillourokambos, located on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, is estimated to be 4000 years older than Egyptian cat art.
- While we’ve known about Fluffy’s hunting prowess for a long time, we now have a full list of her victims. As it turns out, cats kill and eat over 2,000 species, including over 300 that are endangered. (You can’t entirely blame them for this: after all, we used to reward our furry pals for killing vermin. They may just be trying to please us!)
- Cats make a mental map of their surroundings, and actually track their owners’ movements. Think of this as a kitty GPS.
Entertain The Humans
Fluffy’s adorable antics never cease to entertain us. Kitties’ charming vocalizations, cute expressions, and generally comical reactions fill our hearts and lives with laughter and love. You’ll definitely find yourself laughing at your cute pet’s antics at some point this year.
Everyone here at Waterdown Animal Hospital your Waterdown, ON animal clinic, wishes you a wonderful new year. Please contact us for your frisky kitty’s veterinary care needs.