"How to Keep Your Cat Happy this Winter
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"How to Keep Your Cat Happy this Winter

Cats are known for their knack at finding the warmest spot in a home where they can snuggle up and do one of the things they enjoy doing best, which is snoozing the hours away. If you are a first-time cat owner, the fact your new pet sleeps so much can be a bit worrying, but this is what cats do, spending many an hour fast asleep in a favourite warm spot.

Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night

With the colder weather well on its way, it's also the time of the year when things hot up on a social front. There's Halloween and then Guy Fawkes to think about, both of which can be pretty scary for our feline friends to have to cope with. It's really important to make sure your cat is safe inside the home where they will not get too stressed out by all the commotion and goings on that typically occur on both these nights.

You have to make sure your cat has a clean litter tray to use when you do keep them in, and it's always a good idea to put one tray down for each cat should you share your home with more than one feline friend, making sure they are not placed close to their food or water dishes.

Making sure your feline friend has a nice quiet place where they can snuggle up on both these nights is crucial and the thing to avoid at all costs, is for them to be outside which could prove very frightening for them, especially if fireworks are being let off close by.

The Dangers of Antifreeze

The other thing that you need to ensure, is that any anti-freeze you might have in the garage or workshop is well stored away and it has to be somewhere that pussy cats can't get at. The cold weather means you need to winter-proof your cars and this includes putting anti-freeze in radiators. You need to bear in mind that the tiniest amount of anti-freeze will kill a cat if they ingest it, so if you spill any of it on the ground, make sure you clean it up so that your four-legged feline friend does not get any on their paws.

If you suspect your cat has come into contact with anti-freeze, you need to get them to the vet as a matter of urgency and bear in mind that the first 9 to 12 hours are critical because after this, your cat's kidneys will be drastically effected by the toxic crystals that start forming in them.

The other thing you need to watch out for are any radiator leaks which could leave greenish/bluish puddles on the ground where your car has been parked which is a sure indication that it contains antifreeze. If you spot any, it is essential to clean them up as soon as you can to avoid any cats from walking in it.

There are alternatives to anti-freeze which you may like to consider using, namely products that contains glycol instead of ethylene glycol which is so very toxic to cats.

Winter Health Checks are a Good Idea

It's always a good idea to take cats along to the vets for a winter health check and this is particularly true if your share your home with an older feline companion. If your cat is on medication which they need to take on an ongoing basis, you have to make sure you have enough in the home just in case the weather turns bad and you can't get any more. This is particularly important over the holidays and bank holidays when veterinary surgeries may be closed except of emergencies.

Cats Too Get the Winter Blues

Cats, just like humans can get the winter blues because they stay indoors for longer periods of time which means they tend to ask for more food as a way of comforting themselves. You need to be very careful your furry little friend does not start putting on too much weight which could prove very bad for their overall health.

Some cats get pretty grumpy during the winter and research has shown that our feline friends do suffer from a winter disorder called SAD, displaying very similar symptoms that people do. This includes the following:

  • Tiredness
  • Depression
  • Lack of energy

What You Can do to Cheer Your Cat Up

There are lots of ways you can cheer up your cat during the colder winter months when they spend more time indoors than outside and this includes the following:

  • Leave some empty cardboard boxes around the home. Cats love hiding in them and it's a very cheap way of creating a fun environment for your feline friend
  • Invest in a good quality scratching post for your pet – one that has a lot of height to it because cats love looking down on the world!
  • Buy lots of interactive and other toys for your pet and spend as much time as you can playing with them
  • Cats love it when you let them cuddle up to you so they have your full attention and there's nothing nicer on a cold winter's evening than snuggling up on the couch with a feline friend when you're watching television!

Watch Out for Fleas!

Most people believe that fleas are a spring and summer problem. However, with houses being that much warmer in the winter, fleas can be a problem when the weather is cooler too! The truth is that central heating makes for a perfect environment for fleas to thrive in so you need to keep an eye out and if you do think your cat has got them, you need to take the necessary action to not only treat your cat but your home too!

If your cat has got fleas, the chances are they will have contracted intestinal worms too, which means you would need to worm them using a cat specific product you can buy from a reputable pet store or ask your vet to prescribe one.

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