By our feline expert, Laura Atkinson BVSc CertAVP(SAM-F) MRCVS Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Advanced Veterinary Practitioner
As summer begins to come to a close and the nights begin to draw in, we welcome the autumn season. A time where we see our feline friends a little more as they rediscover all of their comfy, cosy spots around our homes.
Laura has collected some hints and tips to help you and your cat have a safe, happy autumn.
It can be easy to over feed our cats during the colder weather, thinking this will give them extra protection against the cold. However, with central heating in homes and your cat’s activity levels reducing as they spend less time outside, these extra portions can lead to your pet becoming overweight. Laura recommends continuing to feed your cat their regular portion sizes. Enrichment activities such as chasing toys or providing cat furniture are a great idea for keeping the boredom away.
We have lots of useful information about cat nutrition available here or please give us a call to discuss with a member of our team.
As a cat owner, you might notice the change in season by the increasing amount of fur that you are finding around the home – even for indoor cats! The increase in the size of our cat’s coat during autumn provides them with a fantastic layer of warmth for the colder weather. However, it can also lead to unwanted fur balls! If you don’t already, autumn is a great time to begin, or to increase the frequency of, brushing your cat, using a cat brush designed to remove dead hair and skin without pulling their skin. It is also a fantastic opportunity to check for hidden grass seeds in paws, knots and tangles and of course fleas or flea droppings!
Candles and fireplaces certainly add a cosy, warm glow to our homes on a cold autumn evening, but please remain vigilant! Why? As our feline friends have thick insulated coats its means that they can easily get singed without even noticing – ouch!
To keep your cat safe it is important never to leave them unattended in a room with an open fire or candles that can easily be knocked over.
As we creep closer to Halloween and Bonfire Night, it’s time to start planning how we can reduce stress and fear in our animals that are caused by the events that surround these holidays.
Like all wild animals, cats inherently associate loud noises with danger. This can cause them to run in fear which can result in them becoming confused and lost. The best plan around the holidays, if you can, is to keep your cat indoors after sunset. You can also close the curtains, turn on the TV or radio and make sure the windows and cat flap are closed to keep them safe and secure. Even if you don’t regularly use a litter tray indoors, this would be a time to make one available.
Always allow your cat to make themselves comfortable, whether that is in a hidey hole or snuggling up to you for extra cuddles. All you need to focus on is behaving normally and remaining calm. This will reassure your cat and will help to alleviate the stressful situation.
Even with the best plan in place, your cat may still find a way outside after dark, which could result in them becoming lost if they become scared. Microchipping is a fantastic way to help us reunite you with your cat, but it is important to ensure that all your details on the chip are up to date with your name, address and telephone number.
And finally, enjoy...
Autumn is a wonderful season. Your cat will love chasing falling leaves, hunting spiders and, of course, spending time with their favourite humans.