Spring has officially sprung. In just a few weeks the weather will be warmer (we live in hope), which is fantastic for felines who love to get out and about and explore their local surroundings. However, with the arrival of the new season, comes a few changes which will need a little attention. Thankfully, getting your kitty ready is a breeze! Check out our top tips on how to prepare your cat for spring.
SAY HELLO TO SHEDDING
Many cat owners judge the arrival of spring due to the sheer volume of cat hair that covers their homes. As your cat swaps their winter coat for spring fur, you may notice an increase in the amount of fur being shed. If you are a new cat owner, this can be a little worrisome but seek reassurance in the fact that it’s completely normal. While there’s nothing you can do to stop it, there are some easy ways to deal with it.
The key here is grooming. Start by brushing slowly in short sessions, using treats if your cat protests. This will help reaffirm brushing as a positive experience. As your cat becomes used to these grooming sessions, increase their length and frequency. This will ensure you fully remove dead skin and fur, meaning less fur lost around your home and a healthy coat for your happy cat. Not sure what you need to get started? Check out 5 of the best cat grooming tools to get your feline spring-ready.
BE MINDFUL OF WHAT YOU PLANT
With the warmer weather, no doubt your cat will be keen to explore the great outdoors. Start by making your garden a safe zone. Be mindful of what pesticides and chemicals you use, such as slug and snail pellets, which can be toxic to cats. When it comes to blooms, lilies, daffodils and azaleas as poisonous so are best avoided.
CATS HAVE ALLERGIES TOO
Not something that’s typically associated with cats, but is commonplace nonetheless, felines suffer from allergies too, which are rife with the arrival of spring. Plants, pollens and grass can lead to irritation, with symptoms arising, similar to those of humans. These usually take the form of itchy skin and ear problems, hair loss or inflammation. Respiratory symptoms and runny eyes are indicators of a reaction too.
Cats will often eat grass as a way of ridding their bodies of those nasty fur balls but with long grass comes the risk of the blades getting stuck in their nose and throat. This can cause difficulty breathing as well as coughing, sneezing, loss of appetite and discharge from the nose. To help avoid this, ensure you tackle that first grass cut of the new season as soon as possible, and continue to keep its length as short as possible.
AVOID A STING IN THE TAIL
Cats are notorious for chasing anything that moves and that definitely includes bees and wasps, which are plentiful in spring. Thankfully, a sting usually isn’t severe. With a bee sting, tackle it by checking the area, removing the sting if it’s still present and gently clean the area with bicarbonate of soda (one teaspoon to 300ml with warm water). For a wasp sting, bathe the area in lemon juice or malt vinegar. If the sting is near the mouth or neck, you may need to seek the expertise of a vet. And just like humans, cats can be allergic too so watch for swelling or difficulty breathing.
TACKLE FLEAS AND TICKS
With warmer weather comes an abundance of insects, most notably fleas and ticks which are a cat’s worst nightmare. The first step is to ensure your cat is protected against them. There are an abundance of products available so ask your trusted vet for their recommendation. Staying up-to-date with treatments is the best way to keep fleas and ticks at bay.
Watch out for symptoms such as scratching, dark specs in their fur, hair loss around their back or tail area or bites on your own skin. Check regularly for fleas by combing the fur with a fine tooth comb over a white sheet. A high presence of black spots may indicate flea droppings.
Spring is an amazing time for cats and with a little preparation, it is definitely safe. If you notice any unusual behaviour, do not hesitate to get in touch with your vet as soon as possible.