The best place for your cat is always indoors. Outside there are cars, dogs, cruel people and toxins everywhere. Stray cats do not enjoy the same longevity as our indoor friends, that’s how hard it is out in the world.
Some cats are just outdoor cats and you are hard pressed to tell them otherwise, but do try. I’ve seen far too much pain in the Pet ER to say otherwise. Bring them in, especially when the temperatures plummet, footing is unsure and wet snow soaks their fur.
Furnace and Dry Air:
Anyone and everyone can benefit from cleaner air, especially if you live in an area they frequently recommend you stay in doors in the winter because of pollution outside. Air is life. Make it clean and keep your humidity up. We love and trust ours. It has been a life saver.
The moment the heater kicked on last year, Cooper and River both started coughing, hard and long. I cranked up my humidifier, started vacuuming daily and started Lysine supplements and poof. No more coughing.
Dry air can also cause dry skin, leading to more itching and licking. If your cat starts itching like crazy, try some humidity in the air. It does work wonders, but don’t hesitate to contact your vet if they don’t stop. Licking one spot again and again can be a sign of pain or joint issues as well as allergies. Your friend may need a bit more than just humidity and, if licking and scratching last too long, it can become a habit.
The kid fur pets, as well as the old kids young at heart, are going to get a kick out of the winter craze. From Thanksgiving to New Years there is always something new and crazy going on in the cold Holidays. Parties, guests, wrapping paper (oh wrapping paper is so fun to pounce!), and the ribbon? By the buckets.
Take a minute to rest from the craze and just lay on the floor. Once you are calm, look around from cat level for any dangers to your cat and cat proof your home. Dangling lights that twinkle look fun to attack and chew. Keep cords up. Make sure decorations don’t have tempting dangly things to play with. Your world is just a playground to your youngling. Keep them intrigued and safe for a long life of watching them grow.
With so much coming and goings on, it is easy for your cat to slip out into the wilds of the outdoor world. Please make sure they have identification to come back to you.
You can also set up a kitty room, like your Welcome Room, so that when your house gets busy, they have a safe, quiet spot to ride out the noisy storm without sneaking out the door and getting lost in the cold.
Planning a vet wellness exam for the fall wouldn’t be a bad idea. Those little bodies work hard to keep warm and it can complicate any illness your cat may have simply by draining resources. Finding those illnesses and managing them early will go a long way to support your fur kid through the winter.
Cold doesn’t actually cause any health issues in and of itself, but man it can make achy joints just furious. Ask your vet about joint supplements like Cosequin Chews, to help your old one be more comfortable when the old bones start shaking. As a supplement you don’t have to worry much about side effects, but it will take a month or two to get those joints properly oiled so inquire early in the season before the deep cold starts.
A Nice Warm Bed
Find a warm spot with no drafts and make it a cold cat retreat. Warming pads or the lamp on your desk work great to warm and relax your kitty pal.
Feeding Requirements May Change
Keeping warm in the cold also burns more calories. That mixed with the fact there is more stimulation from the busy season can lead to weight loss, or weight gain if there are too many treats are about. Watch your cats weight and feed more or less to maintain a healthy weight.
Cooper is pushing twelve pounds so he easily registers on the bathroom scale and is easy to monitor. River, on the other hand, was a shrinking old man and the scale cant read him. I weigh myself alone and then pick him up and weigh us together. Simply subtracting the first weight from the second gives me a good guesstimate on how Old Man River is doing. It isn’t the most accurate, but I can tell changes easily and allow you to feed accordingly.
Managing a healthy weight is so much easier than any weight loss program.
If you have a lot of stray cats about your house and are interested in helping them through the cold winter, visit places like Alley Cat Allies to learn how to help. It is a good way to give back to the community as well as support the cats that share your environment.