A girl wearing eyeglasses with her arms around her tabby cat
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National Pet Week: 7 Awesome Things You Can Do For Cats To Say Thanks

National Pet Week is celebrated annually during the first full week of May. It was first started by the American Veterinary Medical Association in 1981 to say thanks to the pets that fill our lives with love, happiness, and companionship.

Another goal for National Pet Week is to encourage responsible pet parenting. There are plenty of ways to show your gratitude to your pets while also making sure that you are being the best pet parent you can be.

Here are seven ways you can say thanks to cats during National Pet Week while being a responsible pet parent and further enriching cats’ lives.

1. Think About Your Cat’s Food

Many cat parents settle for the same store-bought food day after day for years. Not only does this seem boring for our cats, it may also not be the best choice for their health or well-being.

National Pet Week is as good a time as any to start thinking about your cat’s nutritional needs. Consult your veterinarian, talk to a professional nutritionist, and do your own research.

There are many kinds of food and supplements that can give your cat a major health boost, improve their energy levels, and provide them with some desperately needed dietary variety.

Cats’ have need that change from kittenhood to adulthood and senior years when it comes to food, and you should address these needs accordingly. Your vet should give you advice on altering portion sizes and nutritional requirements as your cat ages.

Try making your cat’s food, yourself, instead of relying on pre-made, store-bought cat food. You’d be surprised by how affordable it is, how fun and easy it can be to make, and how much your kitty will appreciate the extra effort. Here are a few resources you may find helpful:

2. Get Active With Your Cat

A ginger cat plays with some cat toys
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National Pet Week can be a great time to form some good new habits. Your cat may seem like they’re just fine being lazy and not exercising, but it can be harmful to their health.

When cats don’t get enough exercise, they may gain weight, and obesity causes all kinds of other health issues. It can lead to diabetes, worsen stress on joints for cats that have arthritis, and cause heart disease among other conditions.

A lack of exercise can also lead to boredom, which might increase anxiety and destructive behavior. Try playing with your cat in more active ways.

Cats have natural hunting instincts and often find toys that allow them to stalk, chase, and pounce to be mentally stimulating, as well as physically challenging.

Here are some things you should read about giving cats the right amount of exercise:

3. Plan Your Yearly Vet Visits

Regular vet visits are important for making sure that your cat is in good health and getting the medical care they need.

If you’re not sure when their last vet visit was or when you should be planning your cat’s next check-up, National Pet Week is as good a time as any to reach out to your veterinarian and find out when you should be planning to bring your kitty in.

Your cat may not thank you at first, as very few actually enjoy their vet visits, but they will be healthier in the long run.

4. Put Your Emergency Kit Together

Vet putting a bandage around a cat’s leg.
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Do you have a kitty first-aid kit put together? How about an emergency pack just in case you need to care for your cat in a disaster?

You should always hope for the best and prepare for the worst because it’s better to have this stuff ready and not need it than to need it and not have it.

Make sure you know the basics of cat first aid so you can help your kitty if something goes wrong. Have an emergency preparedness kit ready to go if the worst happens.

If you already have these kits ready to go, National Pet Week may be a good time to look them over and replace anything that needs replacing. Here are some resources you may find helpful:

5. Volunteer

If you’d like to help other pets in need find forever homes, consider volunteering at your local animal shelter. Animal shelters are typically not run for profit, so they rely on volunteers to help out and care for cats and other pets in the facility.

Don’t just show up. Call ahead and ask about volunteer opportunities. Even if there aren’t any positions currently available, you can always host a fundraising event through your club, team, group, or community that can help shelters get what they need.

If you want to know more about how to volunteer at an animal shelter, click here.

6. Foster Or Adopt

Family adopting cat from animal shelter taking her home
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Of course, one of the best ways to thank cats during National Pet Week is to take one home and into your care.

Adopting and fostering don’t just help the cat that you take home. They also help free up resources at animal shelters so that other cats and animals can get the attention and supplies that they need while they wait to find forever homes of their own.

If you aren’t ready to jump into the lifelong commitment of adopting, fostering is a great way to test the waters and see if you’re able to handle the responsibility that comes with pet parenting.

Animal shelters often reimburse foster pet parents for certain expenses and take care of any medical needs. You’d help a cat learn socialization skills that can help them get adopted, too.

Consider opening your home to a kitty in need, even if it’s only for a short time.

7. Spoil Your Cat

Your cat showers you with love all year long, and chances are good that you return that affection in full, but why not take National Pet Week as an opportunity to go above and beyond?

Get some new toys. Replace old litter boxes. Look for a new cat tree or perch. If you need some ideas about what to buy for your kitty, check out these resources:

What other ways can you say thanks to cats during National Pet Week? Are you doing anything special for your kitty? Let us know in the comments below!

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