This autumn, it may be “raining cats and dogs” outside, but your poor feline friend will be trapped inside, with their nose pressed against the window! This can be a time of great frustration and boredom for any cats that are used to being out and about. Those hot summer days lounging in the garden or prowling the neighbourhood will seem like a distant dream!
It can be even more of a problem in multi-cat households, where groups of cats that don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye will be in close proximity and unable to escape. This could lead to fighting and tensions within the household and even competition over resources like food, water and litter trays.
Being cooped up indoors can be an extra source of stress for your feline friend and may lead to stress related behaviours such as over-grooming, inappropriate urination and urine spraying indoors. It can even cause some cats to develop stress–induced cystitis, which will make them feel both miserable and uncomfortable.
So, to help keep your feline friend safe from the dreaded ‘autumn blues’, we have some cunning tips that will have them grinning like a ‘Cheshire Cat’ in no time:
- Make sure you have plenty of different toys available indoors for them to play with – variety really is the spice of life!
- Toys don’t have to break the bank and a cardboard box can provide hours of entertainment as a den, somewhere to hide or even to sit on top of – your cat can revel in being ‘kitty of their castle’. Toilet rolls and feathers can also make great homemade toys. For more ideas, be creative!
- Make time to play with your kitty, even adult cats will adore stalking after wand toys – this is a great way for any housebound hunters to satisfy this urge.
- Cats love to climb and feel safe when sitting up high, allocating a shelf, cupboard or bookshelf to them will be well received. This is great for multi-cat households too, as it gives them somewhere they can escape to!
- If you have a multi-cat household make sure you have plenty of resources like litter trays, feeding station and water bowls around the house in different locations, this will help to diffuse any tension over resources and prevent bullying. A good rule of thumb for litter trays and bowls is to have one for each cat, plus one extra! For more information visit https://icatcare.org/advice/keeping-your-cat-happy/multi-cat-households-and-how-survive-them
Watch out for their waistline too!
All this extra time spent indoors may mean that your usually active feline will be spending more time snoozing than chasing after squirrels. This will make them more prone to piling on the pounds. Also, did you know, comfort eating isn’t exclusive to humans and some cats will overeat to try to soothe themselves?
So, it’s important to keep a close eye on your kitty’s weight this autumn, especially if they are being held hostage indoors due to bad weather. It may even be worth cutting down their daily food ration by 10% to help keep them looking slim and trim!