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How does the change in season affect your cat?

From spending more time indoors, to being outside at dawn and dusk which now fall around the same time as rush hour; things to hunt, to increased grooming requirements - the arrival of autumn can affect our kitties in many different ways.
Added on: 16 Sep, 2021 Posted by: Sandra James 6 min read (905 words)

In this guide:

As the leaves begin to fall and the nights draw in, many cat owners notice changes in their cat’s behaviour. The change of season brings new experiences, as well as new sights and smells. It also, though, introduces new dangers which should not be overlooked.

They’re back!

Over the warm summer months, it’s not unusual for cats to spend more time outdoors. Now, as the temperatures begin to drop, you’ll probably notice your feline friends start to spend more time indoors. Those hiding places that have been forgotten for months will be rediscovered. The clothes that you’ve washed and ironed but not yet put away will become cosy nests - best get those lint rollers ready! And your warm lap will, once more, become your kitty’s favourite place to recline.

I know autumn is here when my own cat graces me with his presence once more. It’s a welcome change and one of my favourite things about the new season.

What is that?!

The falling leaves provide much entertainment for cats - young ones, in particular. So too do mice, squirrels and other animals that are busy preparing for the winter. My cat, and the ones that we look after at this time of year, enjoy watching these critters move around the garden - and it’s not unusual for us humans to start finding more ‘presents’ now September is here.

Of course, the increase in such animals also means that some households will be putting down deterrents in their garden, which can prove fatal for cats if ingested. Be sure to keep an eye on your pets for any signs that they might be unwell, and seek veterinary help if you’re worried.

>> Household hazards for cats

The dark nights and rush hour

Dusk and dawn are two times of day when cats are most active. You’ll notice them head outside, and they’ll enjoy exploring their local area.

In the autumn, the timings of dusk and dawn mean that your cat may be spending more time outside at rush hour, which can lead to more road accidents at this time of year.

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to invest in a shiny, reflective collar for your kitty. Just make sure it is of the safety variety -  with a breakaway buckle designed to snap open if tugged with sufficient force. 

Check those sheds!

The cooler - and often wetter - days also mean that your cat is more likely to take shelter in garages, sheds, and other such areas. Be sure to ask your neighbours to check these areas before closing them - and be sure to do the same yourself!

Sheds are one of the first places you should look if your cat ever fails to return home one evening. You can read more lost cat tips below

>> What to do if your cat is missing

Why are they moulting so much?!

You might think that cats will moult less now it’s getting cooler - they surely want to keep that fur coat, right?!

In fact, the opposite is often true. Cats who are now spending more time indoors will be keen to shed some of their insulating fur. This is also the time of year when cats start to lose their summer coat in favour of a thicker coating of hair. So, get used to finding lots more cat fur in your home now autumn is here!

This can lead, of course, to more hairballs, which means that regular grooming is essential. If you don’t brush your cat every day, now is a good time to start. While you’re at it, be sure to check their fur for fleas - common around this time - and their paws and ears for grass seed.

Autumn hazards

Mushrooms, rodenticide, anti-freeze are just some of the hidden dangers we need to be aware of as we head into autumn.

Inside, it’s also important to consider things such as candles and fires, which can prove troublesome for cats. With their thick fur, some cats may not notice their hair coming singed. Make sure you keep candles out of the way - somewhere they are unlikely to get knocked over or where your cat’s tail might swish through the flame. Likewise, keep fires guarded and don’t leave your cat unattended around them.

Last but not least - fireworks

Autumn holidays such as Halloween and Bonfire Night can be scary for cats, and many become very stressed at this time of year. Thankfully, though, there are things that you can - and should - do to help keep them calm.

>> Cats and fireworks

Sandra James

Sandra James

Owner & Founder

The Cat Butler was set up by Sandra James in recognition of the fact that a stay in a cattery can be unsettling for many cats and also their owners.

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