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New Year's Resolution Ideas for Cats


Written by Aurus Sy

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 12/23/2021, edited: 01/09/2024


Have you made your New Year’s resolutions? As you think of ways to improve your life in the coming year, why not include your feline friend too? Here are five New Year’s resolution ideas for cats, as well as tips on how to keep them!

Orange cat getting teeth brushed - New Year's Resolution Ideas for Cats

Create a dental routine

Most of us humans have a pretty good routine down- we brush our teeth morning and night and get them cleaned every so often at the dentist. But for most pets, this is often the most overlooked area of health. Cats can also suffer tartar and plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease that can all lead to infections, pain and a reluctance to eat. This year, create a dental routine that includes brushing your cat's teeth several times weekly to get them on the road to oral health and reduce their chances of serious problems later. 

fluffy, beige cat playing with a wand toy

Exercise more

Your little tiger may be a notorious napper, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need exercise. Obesity in cats is associated with several health problems, including arthritis, diabetes mellitus, liver issues, and urinary tract disease. The good news is that it doesn’t take much time or energy to exercise a cat. You can keep your feline companion active with a couple of play sessions daily. Since they can get bored quickly, it’s best to keep each session short and sweet, about 15 minutes each. Fishing pole toys and laser light pointers are great, as are cardboard boxes, puzzle games, and homemade toys.

Tabby cat waiting for a treat during a training session

Learn something new

Why should dogs and dog parents have all the fun? Cats are intelligent critters who can learn tricks too! Training your cat provides mental stimulation, prevents boredom, increases confidence, and reduces anxiety. Of course, there are some “dog tricks” that cats can’t be trained to do, but you can teach your feline friend a number of things, including sit, stay, high five, come, and find it. You can even train them to go inside their carrier, run an obstacle course, and walk on a leash!

See more of the world

You make sure your cat has everything they need at their disposal, but perhaps you sometimes feel guilty about keeping them indoors all the time. While you know your cat is safer at home, you want them to be able to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine too. Fortunately, there are many ways to let your little lion explore the outside world safely. You can take them for a stroll on a leash, in a stroller, or in a carrier, or even train them to ride in a backpack. Catios and outdoor enclosures are also great for letting your furry pal roam freely (within limits).

man and cat cuddling on couch

Spend more time together

Cats may have a reputation for being unfriendly animals who only show affection when they want to be fed, but a 2017 study found that they actually prefer human social interaction over food. Most of the above ideas allow you to spend more time with your cat. You can also just hang out with them at home! Give them extra cuddles, talk to them, or let them join you on the couch while you’re reading a book or watching TV.

Making resolutions stick

Coming up with New Year’s resolutions is easy. Sticking to them, not so much. In fact, many resolutions fail within the first week of January! Here are some tips to help you and your feline friend keep your New Year’s resolutions.

  • Have a strong “why.” Why do you want to teach your cat to come when called or to let you brush their teeth? You’re more likely to keep a resolution when you’ve identified a solid reason for it.
  • Set the resolution as a specific plan. For example, instead of saying, “I will play more with my cat,” say, “I will play with my cat for at least 10 minutes every day.”
  • Break down big tasks into smaller pieces. If one of your goals for next year is to build your cat a catio, don’t just put “build a catio” on your to-do list—it’s too big and too vague of a task. Instead, write down each step that will help you achieve your goal, such as looking at design inspiration online, buying the materials needed, etc. 
  • Record your progress. Use a journal or habit tracking app to see how you’re doing. 
  • Celebrate small wins. Acknowledging small wins helps you stay motivated!
  • Find an accountability partner. Let at least one friend or family member know about your resolutions and ask them to keep you accountable. You can also join a support group online. 
  • Learn from setbacks. Missed today’s play session and now your cat is having the nighttime zoomies? See what you can learn from the experience and figure out what needs to be done so it doesn’t happen again (e.g., improving time management or setting an alarm).

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions for your cat? Let us know in the comments, and tag #wagwalking or @wag on Instagram!

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