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What’s in store for you in the New Year, cat-wise? Is this the year your indoor kitty will get a peek at the outdoors? Will your Houdini cat get a tracker so you can keep tabs on their safety? Are you determined to set up a health-and-beauty routine for a kitty who tends to the scraggily? And how about some challenging toys to increase exercise and boost fitness?
We’ve found some easy-to-use products that have won high ratings from people who live with and love cats. Introducing just one of these into your kitty’s life could make a real difference this year.
Your indoor cat can get some outdoor exercise—plus travel more safely—with this inexpensive vest-and-leash combo.
The Rabbitgoo harness gets rave reviews from cat parents. Cats take to it because the vest is soft and the back attachment for the 59-inch leash prevents pressure on the neck. The XS and S sizes of this vest are designed for cats—just be sure to measure your kitty to decide which size is the best. The vest, available in more than a dozen colors, has adjustable straps and a sturdy safety buckle.
We bet more tooth brushing (or maybe just any tooth brushing) is on your list of resolutions for your cat this year. Adding regular brushing to your cat’s routine could minimize expensive dental work down the road and put a stop to your vet’s regular sighing at teeth-inspection time.
This convenient kit includes a popular non-foaming toothpaste (poultry-flavor, even!) along with two tools you can use to clean your cat’s teeth: a finger brush and a dual-ended toothbrush. The toothpaste is perfectly safe when swallowed—kitties don’t need to rinse. Reviews say that cats love the flavor, though most aren’t big fans of the brushing. That’s where some good tooth-brushing tips come in handy.
If more grooming is on your list of New Year’s resolutions for your cat, don’t worry—it doesn’t have to be a chore for you or torture for the kitty. The professionals we consulted recommend starting with a soft rubber brush (such as the Zoom Groom) and then, once old fur is loosened, gently and patiently working the fur out using this two-tier comb.
The long teeth address your cat’s undercoat, while the shorter teeth rake the topcoat. No need to approach your cat with blades or anything scary. This comb will do the trick on all but the most complex coats.
We bet it’s on your list of resolutions to make sure at least one of you drinks more water this year—but why not make it both of you? Just like us, cats need to stay well hydrated. If your cat has been ignoring the water bowl, a pet fountain can do a lot to encourage better drinking habits.
Rover’s reviewers like the Raindrop Drinking Fountain because it offers two types of drinking surfaces—basin and stream—to attract fussy cats. The bowl is dishwasher safe, so it’s easy to clean, and the charcoal filters are easy to replace so your cat is always offered clean water.
Are you hoping to stop worrying about your cat’s whereabouts? The highly-rated Jiobit tracker is an excellent tool for keeping track of an escape artist cat or an indoor-outdoor kitty who cruises the neighborhood. It uses cellular, Bluetooth, and WiFi and displays your cat’s location in real time on a smartphone app (the app also documents the routes your cat has taken).
Most Jiobit purchasers report that their cats barely notice the lightweight medallion on their collars. In addition to the cost of the Jiobit itself, there is a subscription fee for the tracking service—but we think it’s worth it. A cat GPS collar can be a valuable peace-of-mind purchase (and tell you some interesting things about your cat besides).
Is this the year you tackle your cat’s clawing problem? Long claws can be uncomfortable for cats (especially senior kitties), as well as dangerous to you and destructive for your furnishings. If your cat has resisted at-home nail-clipping before, it might be because you’ve been using the wrong type of clippers.
We spoke with a certified master groomer who swears by this style because it’s so well designed for cat claws. The scissors shape and rubberized handles give you a good grip; semi-circular indentations in both blades allow you to see exactly where you’re going to cut.
Is your cat completely, over-the-top hyperactive and fearless? The One Fast Cat wheel is designed for these ninja-cat personalities. We took One Fast Cat for a spin and concluded that it’s well worth the investment if you have a young, curious cat who is easily motivated by treats or toys. Some eager, adventurous cats can begin using the wheel after just one or two training sessions. The wheel assembles easily, and the One Fast Cat support team is on hand if you encounter technical problems.
Maybe this is the year your cat puts those ninja skills to good use—or gets some exercise to work out those jitters.
If your resolution list includes helping your kitty drop a pound or two, you’re not alone. A lot of cats struggle with obesity, and there’s no better moment to start getting it under control.
This weight-management cat food from Purina can help. Adult cats take well to it, and ground turkey provides plenty of taste for your dieting friend. This formula is high in protein and low in fat, making it a good choice for weaning an adult kitty off a high-calorie food. The consistency is midway between smooth pâté and chunky wet food.
Are you feeling guilty because your cat is begging to be let outdoors? Buying or building a catio can be a big investment, but reasonably priced portable catios can provide a nice compromise solution to get your cat some fresh air. This sweet little tent sets up quickly on your deck, lawn, balcony, or patio and includes a small shade tarp for sun protection. The base of the tent is 74 inches by 63 inches, and it’s 36 inches high at the center—which should be plenty of room for your kitty, a water bowl, and a corner litter box.
If you’re wondering how you’ll get your cat to adapt to a new regimen for 2022—be it toothbrushing or leash-walking—don’t despair. This wonderful book will have you gently and effectively modifying your cat’s behavior. It’s based on understanding how cats learn and building on that to help you train new behaviors. Beth Pasek, the owner of Finicky Cat Sitting and Behavior, takes you beyond the basics of caring for your cat into the realm of developing a relationship that will result in a happier cat and a happier pet parent.