Keep your cat happy this winter with help from these great tips from Your Cat magazine.
Peace and quiet
If you’re having guests over or are planning a party, make sure your cat has a quiet den to retreat to away from the crowd and somewhere dark that he can hide.
Throw away items such as string used when cooking the turkey, and tidy up tinsel, decorative wrapping ribbons and elastic bands because if eaten these could cause problems in your cat’s intestines.
There’s no harm in giving your pet a taste of turkey or salmon, but don’t overdo it. Vets often see poorly pets at this time of year that have been unable to cope with food they’re unused to or have overeaten.
Plants and flowers
Poinsettias and amaryllis, mistletoe berries, holly berries and lilies are poisonous for cats. If you have them in the house, then keep them well out of your pet’s way.
If your pet is on medication ensure you have enough to get you through the festive season; the same goes for prescription food. Make a note of the local surgery who deal with out of hours/bank holiday emergencies for your usual practice, just in case.
With the coldest winter weather possibly still ahead, car owners will be winter-proofing their vehicles by adding antifreeze. This substance needs careful handling because just a tiny amount of antifreeze can be fatal to cats if ingested.
Antifreeze tastes sweet and is particularly appealing to cats and dogs, who will invariably lick their paws after coming into contact with the substance.
Seek immediate veterinary treatment if you suspect that your pet has come into contact with antifreeze. The first nine to 12 hours are critical, as after this period the toxic crystals will have already started to form on the animal’s kidneys.
When buying antifreeze look out for less toxic products — those which contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
Watch out for puddles of greenish-blue coloured liquid around the car, which would indicate that it is leaking antifreeze.
So SAD it’s winter
Animals get the winter blues too, according to veterinary charity PDSA who say that affected pets want to eat more, avoid exercise and are grumpier during the winter months.
Elaine Pendlebury, Senior Veterinary Surgeon with PDSA says: “According to our poll, some pets display similar symptoms to the human disorder, SAD, which include fatigue, depressed mood and lack of energy.”
Ways to cheer your cat
A home truth about fleas
Spring and summer are perceived as the worst time of year for flea infestations, but be warned — fleas thrive in the winter too.
Central heating provides a perfect all-weather breeding ground for these biting insects. To combat the problem, you need to use flea products all year round. Vet John Rosie of Vet-Medic says: “Because people are more relaxed as regards flea treatments at this time of year, the chance of getting a serious infestation is quite high.”
It seems most pet owners tend to only react to the visible signs and limit treatment to just their pets, which unfortunately means they are usually too late to prevent an invasion. “An effective treatment programme involves treating your home, not just your pet,” says John.
It is also important to worm your cat if you discover he has fleas as some forms of tapeworm use fleas as intermediary hosts, which in turn are ingested by the animal when grooming so leading to infection by yet another unwanted parasite!
This article was previously published in Your Cat Magazine, Britian's best selling cat magazine.
Your Cat magazine is for caring cat owners, covering health and behaviour issues, general care advice, breed information, and other practical issues. Your Cat magazine is also about the emotional pleasures of owning a cat, with plenty of fantastic photographs of cats, readers’ letters and true cat tales.
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