Vet's 8 autumn tips 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.
1. Be prepared for Halloween and bonfire night
It's best to keep your cat indoors on these nights. If your family are taking part in Halloween, make sure you keep sweets and chocolates out of paws' reach as they can be toxic to cats. Also remember, loud, sudden fireworks noise can be very stressful for cats so take precautions.
2. 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 flea-free.
3. Take antifreeze precautions
Antifreeze is highly poisonous to cats. Ingestion can lead to kidney damage and can even be fatal. 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.
4. Maintain your cat's healthy weight
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.
5. Be fire safe
Avoid leaving your cat unattended near open flames or wood-burning stoves. Consider battery-operated candles as a safer alternative. And be careful with scented burners, too, as there have been cases of cats being badly injured by the molten wax.
6. Take steps to prevent road accidents
Consider keeping your cat indoors during rush hour and provide them with a reflective collar for better visibility.
7. Check your car
Before starting your car, check for any cats seeking warmth on tyres or near engines to prevent accidents.
8. Arthritis and joint issues in older cats
Provide soft, warm bedding and monitor for signs of arthritis in your cat such as limping or stiffness. Consult your vet if you notice any discomfort.
Need more info?
For more advice on keeping your cat safe and well during the autumn, have a chat with your local vet.