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Published: Dec 21, 2012

If you are the owner of a feline companion, then there are many things you can do to help your cat thrive in 2013. New Year's Day is swiftly approaching, so now is the time to plan out some resolutions that will benefit you and your pet. Here are some ideas:

Have some fun with catnip
If you haven't explored the fun possibilities of catnip with your feline companion, then you're missing out. Next year, take a trip to your local vet or pet store to pick up some fresh catnip, or a toy filled with the plant. It doesn't harm cats, and many felines may not react to it at all. However, some really enjoy the sensation they get from the plant, which can make them more playful, providing an opportunity for you to bond with your pet.

Brush up on cat illness symptoms
The biggest responsibility pet owners have is making sure their animal companions are in good pet health. Being able to recognize the signs of illness or pain in cats should be your main priority in providing pet care, so it may be wise to pay a visit to your vet in the beginning of the new year. He or she can help you understand what the symptoms of Horner's syndrome in cats may be, for instance, or tell you what health problems may lead to itching in cats.

Find ways to entertain your feline
All cats need to be entertained and stimulated, especially if they live indoors. If you fear your cat may be bored during the day, you can purchase a few toys to help keep him entertained. Most felines adore toys that are on strings or have feathers attached, as these tap into their hunting instincts.

Help other cats in need
Unfortunately, there are many felines who have yet to find an adoptive home. Animal shelters often have their hands full shortly after the holidays, because many misguided individuals give cats or kittens as gifts to families who aren't able to care for a pet. If you are a true lover of cats, then you can volunteer some of your time in the new year to helping out at one of these shelters. Check listings in your area to see if there are any shelters in need of a helping hand.