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Fall With Fluffy

October 15 2023

Autumn is officially here. This is a beautiful time of year: the air is crisp and clean, the leaves are changing, and seasonal trappings and flavors are everywhere. Many of our feline buddies really enjoy this time of year. However, you’ll have to take some precautions to  keep your kitty happy, healthy, and safe.  A Champaign, IL veterinarian goes over some of them in this article.

Decorate Carefully

Do you set out seasonal decorations? Keep Fluffy’s safety in mind. Anything small or sharp is a potential danger. Your kitty would be at risk of choking and/or serious internal injuries if she were to try to swallow something like that! Anything with wires or cords, such as garlands or fake spiderwebs could entangle your furry friend, while many seasonal plants are toxic. Ask your vet for recommendations. 

Offer Napping Spots

Here’s a fun fact about kitties: they actually sleep even more than usual when it’s cloudy or dreary out. Set out lots of comfy beds. Older cats may get a bit chilly on cold days, so you may want to offer Fluffy some things that will keep her warm, like an enclosed bed or thermal blankets.

Offer A Spot For Watching The Leaves

We can’t overstate how much safer your cat will be if she stays indoors. There’s almost no end to the potential threats your furry little friend could face outside! These include cars, weather, chemicals, stray cats, and even some humans. Black cats, sadly, are particularly at risk at this time of year. Because of old (and unfounded) superstitions, kitties with black coats have unfairly been associated with witches and witchcraft. That puts them at high risk of cruel—and sometimes deadly—abuse around Halloween. Keep Fluffy indoors!

Be Cautious With Chemicals

Many people treat their yards and gardens at this time of year, ahead of the cold weather. They may fill their cars with antifreeze, and plant fall crops. Many of the products and chemicals used in these processes are poisonous to cats. Fluffy only needs to walk through a recently-treated patch to ingest dangerous toxins. Fertilizers, rodenticides, pesticides, and fungicides are just a few of the chemicals that can endanger your feline pal.

Keep Up With Preventative Care

Fluffy needs to be protected from parasites and disease, no matter what season it is. Keep up with your feline pal’s wellness care!

Our Advice on Fall With Fluffy in 2024

What can you do to make your cat more comfortable during the colder fall months?

To make your cat more comfortable during the colder fall months, ensure they have access to warm, cozy napping spots. Enclosed beds or thermal blankets can provide extra warmth, especially beneficial for older cats. Keep your home draft-free, and consider a cat-safe heated bed for added comfort. Maintaining a stable indoor temperature also helps prevent your cat from getting too chilly. Remember, indoor environments protect cats from outdoor hazards and keep them safe, particularly during the fall when risks like antifreeze exposure and Halloween-related dangers increase.

Why is it especially important to keep cats indoors during the fall season?

Keeping cats indoors during the fall is crucial due to several heightened risks. The season brings increased traffic and potentially hazardous weather conditions, along with the use of chemicals like antifreeze in yards and on roads, which are poisonous to cats. Additionally, the fall season, particularly around Halloween, poses a significant threat to black cats due to unfounded superstitions, making them targets for cruel treatment. Ensuring your cat remains indoors protects them from these dangers and promotes their safety and well-being.

Does the change in weather or shorter daylight hours affect your cat’s mood or behavior?

Yes, the change in weather and shorter daylight hours during fall can affect your cat’s mood and behavior. Cats may sleep more due to the decrease in sunlight and cooler temperatures. Some cats might exhibit signs of restlessness or changes in activity patterns, mirroring the human condition of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Providing a comfortable, stimulating indoor environment with plenty of warm sleeping areas and engaging toys can help mitigate these effects. If significant behavior changes occur, it’s advisable to consult with a veterinarian for personalized advice and support.

How can you keep your indoor cat active and stimulated throughout the fall months with less sunshine?

To keep your indoor cat active and stimulated during the fall months with less sunshine, integrate various engaging toys and activities into their routine. Consider interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and cat trees to encourage play and exploration. Setting up a cozy window seat can allow your cat to watch the outdoors safely. Additionally, dedicating time each day for interactive play sessions with toys like laser pointers or feather wands can significantly contribute to their physical and mental well-being. These strategies help maintain your cat’s activity levels and interest, even with fewer daylight hours.

Do older cats have any special needs you should address as the weather gets cooler?

As the weather cools, older cats may have special needs that require attention. Their ability to regulate body temperature decreases with age, making them more susceptible to the cold. Providing warm, comfortable bedding and ensuring their sleeping area is draft-free are essential. Consider a heated pet bed for extra warmth. Older cats might also experience increased joint stiffness in colder weather, so a vet visit for a check-up or advice on joint supplements or pain relief might be beneficial. Ensuring easy access to all necessities without having to navigate cold floors can also support their comfort and well-being.

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your local Champaign, IL animal clinic, today!

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