Autumn advice for cat owners
It’s autumn, which means beautiful golden leaves, frosty weather and the occasional thunderstorm. Time to dig out your woolly hat and crank up the central heating.
Let’s take a look at how to keep your cat happy and healthy during the autumn season and the lead-up to winter.
A brief summary...
- Keep your cat protected against fleas
- Keep antifreeze well away from your cat
- Maintain your cat’s healthy weight
- Try entertaining your cat at home
- Check under your car for sleeping kitties
- Be prepared for Halloween and Bonfire Night
Protect your cat against fleas
As the weather outside grows colder and we start to switch our central heating back on, pesky fleas will try to make their way indoors where it’s nice and warm. If fleas aren’t stopped, they’ll quickly lay eggs onto your cat's fur; the eggs will fall off your cat and land all over your house, becoming fully grown adult fleas who’ll lay eggs of their own and before long, you’ll have an infestation on your hands.
To get rid of an infestation, you won’t just have to treat your cat – you’ll need to thoroughly disinfect your home too.
It’s easy to prevent a flea infestation though. Just make sure your cat stays up to date with their preventative flea treatment and your house will stay completely flea-free.
Antifreeze is highly poisonous to cats. Ingestion can lead to kidney damage and can even be fatal in extreme cases. Sadly, unlike other household cleaning products, cats enjoy the taste of antifreeze – so they’ll naturally help themselves if they find any.
To keep your cat safe and protected, store antifreeze somewhere they can’t get to, preferably up high and behind a secure door.
If you spill antifreeze, make sure you clean it up immediately – this goes for outside as well as inside.
Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning in cats include:
- Laboured breathing
- Appearing uncoordinated or lethargic
Contact your vet immediately if your cat shows any of these signs.
Cats love to roam, but they won’t be outside as much during the dark nights and colder weather. This may put them at risk of weight gain.
You can keep your cat at a healthy weight by monitoring their food intake. Feed them according to the guidelines included with their food, and keep treats and snacks to a minimum.
Now that your cat isn’t getting out and about as much, they may appreciate some home entertainment.
Playing games with your cat will provide them with mental stimulation, plus some all-important exercise.
You can also keep your cat busy while you’re busy – try a puzzle feeder, an interactive toy, or even an old cardboard box. Read more on how to keep your cat entertained at home.
Cats are notorious for squeezing into strange places; this includes under car bonnets and between car tyres.
Before you set off for work in the morning, have a quick check for sleeping kitties. Bear in mind also that a neighbour’s cat may have found their way under there, not just your own.
Get set for Halloween and Bonfire Night
During potentially stressful events like Halloween and Bonfire Night, it’s a good idea to keep your cat indoors where it’s safe and warm.
Cats may run away when they’re startled, which can lead to a road accident or to them going missing. As well as keeping your kitty inside during Halloween and Bonfire Night, you should also have them microchipped – this will increase your chance of being reunited if they do go missing.
Need more info?
For more advice on keeping your cat safe and well during the autumn, have a chat with your local vet.