Happy Mew Year! Since the start of 2016 is not too far behind us, I was thinking about how I can help make life better for cats this year – not just for my own kitties (of course), but for other cats as well. I’m stretched pretty thin (mostly working with cats, go figure!), so I feel like I’m doing what I can. But I can always do something more, right? Of course! And here’s what struck me: if I can help others help cats, efforts to improve the lives of cats could grow exponentially!
So here’s the first step in my master plan to further the feline cause: let everyone know that there are many ways people can help improve the lives of kitties (or other animals, because the world doesn’t revolve around cats…oh, wait…it kind of does…), no matter who you are. Even if you’re currently without a furry snugglebug in your family, there are always opportunities to do good things for the cat community. Here are a few ideas for how YOU can share the love and ensure that the cats in your life have a MEOWtstanding year ahead of them:
- Annual health check. I know this is probably not what your cat wants to do, but cats tend to miss out on yearly health check-ups with veterinarians. And getting your cat to see the vet is important because you can either prevent or detect, and treat, many serious health problems. If you have an older cat, this is especially important. Depending on your situation, you may want to schedule vet visits even more frequently to make sure your cat’s medication or condition is being handled properly.
- Do you know where your cat is? If you allow your cat to roam outdoors, please make sure that she is microchipped, or at least has identification tags. Even if your kitty stays indoors, a microchip is a great idea because cats are quite skilled at slipping out unnoticed, and they can become lost and disoriented in unfamiliar territory. If your cat finds herself at a shelter, the easiest way to reunite you will be with a microchip! It doesn’t cost much, and it’s quick and easy.
- Volunteer. Do you have a human family member who is allergic to cats, so you can’t have one in the home? Find a local shelter to volunteer with. The cats and staff will be very appreciative – most shelters can definitely use the help, and if you have specialized skills (photography, marketing, desktop publishing, web-design, etc.) they may be able to use your talents.
- Donate! If you can’t find the time to volunteer at a local animal rescue, why not donate some items shelter cats can really use? Shelters are often in need of cleaning supplies, cat food, litter, toys, bedding…check with your shelter to find out exactly what they need so you can give them items that are useful. Many of them even have wish-lists on amazon.com (for example, the wishlist for Furry Friends is right here, hint hint), so it’s super easy to send supplies their way with a few mouse clicks.
- Is it time to adopt? You may have lost a pet in the past year, or maybe you have room in your family for another one. You can really make the new year special for a shelter cat just waiting to be adopted and who is ready to start a new chapter in her life. And don’t forget to consider adopting adult or mature cats – kittens are cute, but there are a lot of benefits to adopting an older cat.
What do you think – are there additional ways to get the new year off to a CATastic start for all the kitties out there? Do you have any suggestions, or things that you plan on doing to make 2016 great year for cats that you would like to share? Write your thoughts in a comment – I’d love to hear what you’ve got going on for the lucky cats in your life!