Autumn and winter are not just difficult times for us human, with dropping temperatures, sniffles and dark days, our pets sometimes suffer more in the winter too so today I’ve put together a little blog post about taking care of your furry friends this season. Of course, I want my cats Cookie and Muffin to be happy and healthy all year round, so I’ve done my research to find out just what to do to look after them during the autumn and into winter and I hope these tips will help you too!
A warm place to sit – You may have noticed that your cats like to sit in the sun and will seek out the warmest places to nap. This becomes a problem when sunny days are in short supply during the winter months and your cat can become uncomfortable in the cold. It can even stir up arthritic problems in older cats, especially if they are sitting in a draft on their favourite windowsill. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your cat warm and cosy. You can give them a cat bed or padded windowsill cover to keep their sleeping bodies off cold surfaces and it’s even possible to buy a heated pet bed for added warmth! Check for drafts around windows and ensure that curtains are open during the day to take advantage of any sun that does shine this winter. One particularly worrying Cats Protection article I read warns that cats sometimes like to sit on vehicle engines for warmth in the winter so be sure to check where your cat is before starting the car!Cold spaces indoors – Older cats with thinning fur and ailments may get colder more quickly, so be aware that turning the heating off while you’re out of the house might be a problem for your cat, so maybe just turn it down rather than off completely so that they can still find a warm spot to rest in. Pet owners often keep litter trays and feeding spots the garage or conservatory and these rooms can be much colder than the rest of the house in the winter. The drop in temperate to use the ‘facilities’ may actually put your cat off eating or going to the toilet, which can cause all kinds of complications, so consider bringing the cat’s trays and bowls into the house so they stay comfortable.
Easy access to the home – Consider installing a cat flap if you can so that kitty can easily get indoors in the cold weather. In fact, you’ll probably find that your cat simply prefers to spend more time indoors at this time of year and won’t even want to go out, but it is important that they can get back in when they need to. Check the flap regularly in frosty weather to make sure that it hasn’t frozen shut! Choose a locking flap to keep cats in during dark nights when road accidents and attacks are more likely to happen and temperatures can plummet. If you haven’t already organised cat insurance consider taking out a policy to protect against the problems that can be caused by the harsh winter weather.Cosy outdoor shelters – If your cat goes out during the day or night and doesn’t have access back indoors through a cat-flap, it might be a good idea to create a shelter for it outdoors in case the weather turns nasty. A shelter just needs to be somewhere big enough that the cat can stand under it in the rain but small enough that it retains the cats’ body heat. Padding the shelter with straw allows cats to burrow, but hay can cause allergies so stay away from hay! Putting some food and water near to the shelter is a good idea so that your cat doesn’t have to go out looking for food in the rain.There are plenty of other things to consider, such as more exercise for indoor cats to stop them becoming overweight and careful nutrition to avoid your cat becoming underweight as it will feel the cold more, but I hope that these ideas have given you inspiration for some DIY projects to ensure home is a safe and comfortable place for your pets this winter. Please let me know if you have any tips of your own by sharing them in the comments sections below.
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