Autumn tips for cat owners
Watch out for the most common autumnal hazards
1. Reflections in the autumn darkness
Reflexes age quickly and it is therefore important to test them before your cat goes out into the autumn darkness. If you let your cat go out on its own in the dark, make sure it wears a highly visible reflective collar. It can be almost impossible for motorists to see your cat if it wedges itself across the road.
Reflectors wear out quite quickly, most only last a year and then need to be replaced. A simple way to check if the reflector needs to be replaced is to simultaneously shine an old and new reflector at a distance of 100 meters. Compare the difference between the old and new reflector and replace the one that is less visible. Don't forget to make sure that the collar has a quick-release buckle or elastic.
2. Sores and boils on the outdoor cat
If you have an outdoor cat, it is good to get into the habit of feeling the cat every day. Sometimes the bite wounds are visible to the naked eye. If the wounds are small you might not discover that your cat has been in a fight until an abscess has formed.
If you find a bite injury, a swelling or an abscess, you should contact your vet to investigate whether the injury needs treatment. Feel the cat thoroughly and be observant, even small bite injuries may need to be attended to.
Ticks don't take time off just because it's autumn, thy remain active as long as the temperature exceeds 5 degrees. It's important to examine your cat daily for ticks after it has been outside, and remove any you find. Be extra careful to choose a tick repellent that is specifically intended for cats - tick repellents for dogs can be fatal for cats.
Many cats like to chase snakes and risk being bitten. Always check the outdoor cat after it has been outside and look for wounds or swelling. The symptoms may be a swollen leg, your cat is more tired than usual or their general condition is dampened. If the bite touches a paw, it swells up and the swelling spreads up the leg. If your cat has suffered a snakebite, try to keep them still to reduce the spread, and go to a vet as soon as possible.
Don't let your cat sniff around and lick the ground in parking lots or around cars. Some types of coolant, locking oil and brake fluid contain glycol, which can make your cat really sick. Symptoms of glycol poisoning can be nausea, vomiting, greatly increased thirst and shakiness.
Cats love to look out over their territory, so use the height of your home and think three-dimensionally. Make sure you have a sleeping area where the cat can lie and look out through a window. Then another sleeping area that is more hidden, for example in the closet or under the bed.
Create a pleasant home environment for your cat
It's important that your home is nice for your cat. Make sure they can retreat in several places in the home and have several sleeping areas where they can rest undisturbed. All sleeping places must be safe. The cat must not be disturbed by children, dogs or other cats.
Tips for a really safe and cosy autumn for your cat
We asked Rosemarie Engvall, licensed animal nurse at Agria, about her best autumn tips for cat owners.
"Autumn and winter cold are not the cat's best friend! Cats without protection from snow, wind and low temperatures can risk suffering frostbite on the ears, paws and tips of the tail. Therefore, only let your cat outside for short periods when you are at home and can let it back into the warmth when the cat wants to come inside. A GPS collar can help you locate your cat if you need to collect it. For maximum cosiness factor, you can invest in cuddly blankets that your cat can warm up in if the cold creeps in inside the house," says Rosemarie.
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