How to care for your cat in winter

I have been feeling bad for our cat lately. Our winter is long to us, but I imagine it feels like a lifetime to our little cat who longs for days laying in our garden. We’ve been lucky in Edmonton this year with above average temperatures and even some days sitting nicely on the plus side of the thermometer.

But then the temperature drops and the snow flies and I can just see the complete look of confusion on my cat’s face. It’s as if she’s thinking, “Wait, that was summer? One day? Pffffft.”.

How to care for your cat during the winter months. Photo copyright Sheri Landry (This Bird's Day)
Here are some tips for keeping your cat comfortable during the long winter months inside.

A space to call their own

Buying a small pillow, or a cat tower for your feline during the winter months gives them their own space while inside. Our daughters know that when she is on her spot sleeping, that they can go give a quick gentle pet and that is it until she wakes up and chooses to play.

Cats play too

Cats are curious by nature. They love to pretend play situations that happen when they are outdoors. Playing with small balls, or toy mice stimulates their natural hunting abilities. Make sure the toys can not be swallowed and check them for pieces that may fall off. One of our favourite toys (and our cat’s too) are those laser lights. This way, our kids are playing with our cat and she loves to be involved with them. Be sure that the rules on the use of these laser lights are very clear (no shining in any eyes) and monitor kids while playing.

Schedule a check-up

I try to schedule vet visits in the early stages of winter. Our cat is an outdoor cat, so we often get a de-worming pill after the snow starts flying and she has stopped going outside to make sure she is clear and comfortable during the winter months.

Maintain a healthy diet

Make sure your cats maintain a healthy and balanced diet. This may require consulting your veterinarian. Just like humans, cats have different nutritional needs depending on their age and health. Otherwise, stick to quality food and fresh, clean water. Despite popular belief, milk shouldn’t be their main source of hydration and may actually cause stomach discomfort.

Let’s keep it clean people

Just like we want to curl up during the cold winter, so do our cats! That’s why it’s important to make sure your cats are comfortable. Cats are naturally very clean so an untidy litter box won’t do. Place litter boxes far from food areas and use the North and South, East and West rule. Putting food and litter at opposite ends of your home encourages proper practices.  

Try Arm & Hammer™ Clump & Seal™ Complete Odour Sealing Cat Litter, the only litter that forms a tight seal around their mess and destroys it with unique odour eliminators and Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda.

Quality time

When cats are outside, they are independent. But stuck inside during the winter months and you might notice a change. Our cat has become a very big part of our family, to the point where she inserts herself into our day and our girl’s play time. She is often seen plopping herself down on my daughter’s toys in a big display of ‘play with meeeeeee.’

Take this time to cozy up with your furry family member this winter. Include them and they will be closer to you when the snow melts and the doors open in the spring.

Sadly, according to the Ontario SPCA, nearly one-fifth of cats were returned to shelters in Ontario in 2013, post-holiday. The top three reasons included cats conflicting with other pets in the home, allergic reactions, or facing behavioural problems, including litter box issues. Ensure you spend quality time with your cat to make them feel at ease and part of the family.

For more tips and information on taking care of your pets, check out your local SPCA or Humane Society.

Disclosure: I am a Church & Dwight ambassador. Opinions are not influenced.

Found in Pets, Winter