Seasonal Pet Tips for Cats: Get Ready for Autumn in Dartmouth

Each season, we like to provide pet owners with tips that they can use to take better care of their furry family members. It’s hard to believe that fall is just around the corner, but the summer is passing by quickly. There are a couple of unique holidays and celebrations that are notable for the autumn season, including Halloween and Thanksgiving. It is the beginning of the “family holidays,” when people travel from far and near to be together and celebrate with food, drink, and parties. Unfortunately, this can be a difficult time of year for our pets. Not only is there more traffic in and out of the home, but the weather changes can be difficult for pets that like to spend time outdoors.

Before the cold weather hits, it is recommended that you bring your cat in for regular veterinary care in Massachusetts. This is especially true if your cat spends the warmer months outdoors. A quick check-up to rule out any parasites, injuries or other common outdoor cat issues, will help you and the whole family feel safer about cuddling up with kitty by the fire. While fleas are not a huge issue in the northeastern states, ticks are a whole other story. It is important to make sure that your outdoor cat doesn’t bring ticks indoors and “share” them with the human residents or other pets. Our Dartmouth vet hospital has lots of preventive treatments available that will help keep your cat safe year-round. We do recommend annual check-ups to help keep your pet healthy throughout the seasons.

Outdoor Dangers for Cats
By the time the leaves begin to fall, outdoor cats are even more at-risk for certain health issues than they are during other times of the year. One example is seasonal mold. Molds can develop in piles of moist and decaying leaves, which can be toxic or poisonous to cats. Also, these piles can attract local snakes and other dangerous wild creatures, which can cause serious damage to pets. It is important to clean up any piles of leaves around your home and if at all possible, bring your cat in for the season at this time. Most veterinarians will recommend that your cat remains indoors year-round, due to the lower mortality rate for outdoor cats and the increase in risk to their safety.

Another area that can cause problems for cats is the compost and trash areas. If food scraps are left around, it can draw cats and other animals that should not mix. Make sure your trash and compost areas are shut securely to prevent any animals from getting inside. If you have a lot of raccoons in your area, you may need to get creative to keep them from getting at scraps. In addition to mold, mushrooms and other fungi can also proliferate in a damp pile of leaves. Keep a close eye on your pets if they venture outdoors during this time of year to protect them from harm.

Indoor Dangers for Cats
Dartmouth cat owners who keep their pets indoors year-round still need to be aware of the sometimes hidden dangers of the autumn season. Following seasonal pet tips and articles like these can help you to become more aware of the things we take for granted every day that could become dangerous to our pets. Veterinary care in Massachusetts is important to the ongoing health and safety of your pet and vet care for cats and dogs is available at the Dartmouth vet hospital. Make sure to schedule an annual exam at Anchor Animal Hospital and prevent many of the problems faced by pet owners by keeping up with vaccinations, using preventive treatments, and staying on top of dental care programs.

Most people think about “spring cleaning,” but there’s the big “fall cleaning” before the holidays to consider as well. It’s time to start putting away all of the summer gear, clothing and toys to prepare for the coming cold and snow. Cleaning products can be dangerous to cats and kittens, who are naturally curious about their surroundings. Make sure that cleaning solutions and storage items, such as mothballs, are kept away from cats. Mere contact with a cat’s skin can cause serious side effects, so you can imagine that licking or consuming these products would be even more dangerous. Pest control products that are commonly used this time of year to prevent mice, rats, snakes, and other pests from coming into the home can also be dangerous for cats.

Holiday Decorations
One of the biggest hazards this time of year are the things that we humans tend to enjoy the most. Fragrances that we enjoy are created through the use of scented candles and potpourri. Loose potpourri can seem “edible” to your cat and can be quite dangerous. Curious kitties might be drawn to burning candles, so keep an eye on them and never leave them alone with a lit candle. If your cat begins to sneeze a lot when you bring these items into your home, they could be irritating your cat’s respiratory system. Holiday foods and decorations can also be tempting to chew on, regardless of where you place them in the home or how many cat toys you buy.

Stay alert and keep your cat away from:

  • wreaths and garland
  • artificial and dried flowers
  • electrical cords and electrical decorations
  • baking ingredients, supplies, and baked goods

Time for a Fall Check-Up?
Is it time for your little furball to come in and get vet care for cats and dogs at Anchor Animal Hospital? Since 1975, our Dartmouth vet hospital has provided top quality veterinary care in Massachusetts for patients in the South Coast area. Give us a call at 508-996-3731 to schedule an appointment for a check-up or to learn more about our ever-growing and expanding practice!