Winter time is fast approaching and while it is important to prepare your home and your car for the coming chill, it is also important to prepare your pets. If you have an outdoor cat as I do, you know how important it is to keep them inside during the winter months, but I have some tips that will make the experience easier for both you and your pet.
Combat Cabin Fever
Just like humans, outdoor pets can get cabin fever during the winter months. The last thing an outdoor cat wants is to be kept indoors when they are accustomed to being outside. To help prevent the negative effects of cabin fever for your cat, set aside a larger amount of time each day to talk and play with your cats. Cats are very social creatures and they need interaction, especially when they have lost a large portion of it by being kept indoors.
Bring the outdoors indoors
While my cat is the young age of twelve, she still wants outside any chance she can get. To help distract her from the feeling of not being outside I give her free access to an open window and a platform where she can lay. While Ohio winters can get pretty cold, there is still a large amount of sunlight for the majority of the day. Try to bring the feeling of the outdoors into your home by allowing the most sunlight into your cats’ general area. Since winters tend to shorten the amount of daylight time available I suggest buying some bright florescent bulbs from the store that mimic the rays of sunlight. This will give your cat the same amount of sunlight that they get during the summer months and also provide them with extra warmth. Be sure to turn them off when it gets close to normal summer nighttime hours however so that your cat can get proper rest.
Ease the loneliness of winter
Just like people cats can get very lonely during the winter months as activity levels slow down and they are limited in the activities they can take part in. To help combat this feeling of loneliness, purchase a heating bed or blanket for your cat and get them used to laying on it and using it. The heat and comfort of the blanket will mimic the contact with the human body and make them feel safe and secure. This will lower the level of loneliness they feel and also keep their joints lose and prevent injury from lower amounts of use. If you will be gone for a long period of time, turn on your television or radio as the noise will also help to make your outdoor cat feel less lonely.