Sunday, January 1, 2017

Cat New Year's resolutions: Helping kitties to lose weight

Popoki the cat with exercise equipment behind her

To cats, January 1st is just another day. They may notice that breakfast comes a little later than it normally does, or that party-happy humans are a little grumpier on the 1st than they might otherwise be, but cats may not appreciate the significance of the arrival of a new year. As a result, they might not set resolutions, as their human counterparts do.

It's a little sad, as many resolutions humans might have could also apply to their cats.

Take Popoki here. She's posing in front of what is a part of my New Year's resolution: My new Nordic Trac. I don't need to lose weight, per se. But I do need to make sure that I am doing some sort of aerobic exercise each day so I can keep my stress level down and my optimism level up (after the compassion fatigue disaster of 2016, this is more important than ever). Having a machine in my studio I can use every day, rain or shine, helps me ensure that I work out every day.

Popoki also needs to work on her optimism. In the winter, when the days are cold and bleak, she can't head out into the catio for daily stimulation breaks. She doesn't like the cold and she doesn't appreciate the rain. So she has to stay inside. And I notice that she isn't moving as much as a result.

Popoki the cat looking up

Since she isn't heading outside as much, and she isn't moving as much, she is putting on a little winter weight. And that's something that needs to stop.

So this week, I am installing a set of cat stairs for this sweet girl. They will allow her to climb up a wall behind my desk onto a shelf that sits just below a semi-circular window that faces the street. She'll see a ton from up there, and she'll be warm from the heat that rises in the room. She should be motivated to use those stairs as a result, and that should help her to move, to feel better and to lose weight.

It's something to look forward to in 2017, right? I'll have photos of her progress next Sunday, so be sure to check back.

And for this week's Sunday Selfie, as hosted by The Cat On My Head, Popoki wanted to do something special. She's ceding the floor to a distant relative she's never met. Her name is Nellie, and she's a German shorthair pointer. If you follow Popoki's Instagram account, you may have seen Nellie's pretty mug last week.

German shorthair pointer selfie

Nellie lives with my dear cousin, and Nellie is very much a working dog. Her breed is designed to help families do things like farm and hunt, and Nellie is a great representative of her breed. As a result, she isn't very friendly with small things that look like prey (like my teeny Boston terrier or any of my cats). So she doesn't ever come to visit me. But I always enjoy visiting with her. She has such expressive eyes, accentuated by lovely brows, and she has the most endearing little woof. Popoki and I both thought her selfie deserved a place of prominence on the blog this week. So here she is, in all her glory.

Want to see more selfies like this? Be sure to visit the blog hop.

Every week, you'll meet new families and see new animal faces to love. It's a ton of fun. Join in!

But before you go, be sure to leave me a blog comment. I always love to see what people write.


  1. That's a lovely selfie from Nellie. I need to put weight on but keep losing it. My mum would like to lose some more weight. Maybe she will give it to me.

  2. • ★ Happy ★*♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♪♫•¸¸.•*
    ¸¸♪♫•¸¸.•*★ New Year¸¸.•*¨*•

  3. Happy New Year!!! I hope those stairs help!

  4. I hope the stairs work!! Great selfie of Nellie woofie!! Happy New Year to all! xx

  5. Very nice selfies. I agree it is good to include cats in resolutions, I am planning to figure out what I can do to improve each of my cats' lives this year. Happy New Year!

  6. Your selfies are terrific! Oh no, not the diet resolution that some of us here need!

  7. Hope your new year is off to a meow-velous start!!! Great idea about the stairs :)

  8. Thought-provoking post...thank you! What an expression on Nellie's face, endearing for sure! Popoki you take amazing selfies, good thoughts to you for your new fitness plan! Happy New Year to you all, we wish you a 2017 that is filled with possibility!

  9. Fantastic advice. I try to play with Bear Cat every day. And sometimes even small changes make a huge difference. For example, a year and a half ago, I moved Bear's food bowl out of the room where we spend most of our time. I did it because of the ants that found his bowl ... but I noticed he lost a pound afterward ... I'm assuming because his food wasn't always right in front of him and maybe because by walking down the hall, he got extra exercise. At first, I was scared the weight loss might be diabetes, but he's had two blood panels done in the meantime and his blood sugar was normal. That means the small change really did make a difference in how much he was eating!

  10. Nellie's selfie is magnificent! And Popoki, we are looking forward to seeing how you do on those new cool stairs. :)

    Happy New Year to you, dear ones. We hope your 2017 is filled with peace, love, joy and all good things! :)

  11. Happy New Year to you, Nellie an Popoki, and all your family. May 2017 bring much joy and a modicum of fitness too MOL. Love the idea of the stairs, I may well just go and have peep make some for me too! purrs Erin

  12. Hope that you don't have to actually start eating less - gasp! Unfortunately, that is what a diet has always meant in out house - I'm starved!!! Happy New Year!

  13. What an expressive face Nellie has! We hope Popoki enjoys the cat stairs :)

  14. This is great advice. Athena tends to eat more in the winter (like her mum) and she is putting on a little weight. I try to get her moving (she's an indoor cat) by playing with her. Sometimes she's too lazy to move but most times she enjoys it.

    Happy New Year!
    Athena and Marie xx

  15. Happy New Year to all of you from all of us!

    Nellie does have a very sweet and expressive face! We hope the stairs do the trick!

    the critters in the cottage xo

  16. hey, we got lucky today...Popoki and Nellie. Thanks for sharing both. We are anxious to see what you build for Popoki and to find out how well it works. We've got some chubbier at our house. Happy New Year and thanks for hopping. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  17. Your Selfies are fabulous, Popoki and Nellie. Pawkisses for a wonderful, happy and healthy New Year to you all. Make it a great one :) <3

  18. We think your plan for Popoki and activity is great. I just know she will love to go and find a view!! Good luck keeping kit - winter is the most time for us. We were gifted a .S.A.D. lamp which has been of huge benefit and Mum enjoys it heaps.

    Happy Sunday Selfie!

  19. Happy Mew Year! Looking furward to Popoki photos enjoying her mew stairs and Bird TV. Nellie is furry cute. Thanks fur sharing her sweet selfie.

    Purrz fur a wonderful healthier Mew Year to comes!

    -Katie Kat and Katie Kitty Too