Northlands' top tips for a happy cat at Christmas
Ever heard the saying ‘happy cat, happy life’? Ok, so maybe that’s not exactly the saying, but it’s still true. Northlands' team of cat-loving Vets have pulled together some helpful advice on how to keep your cat happy, healthy, safe, and purring ‘tis the season to be jolly’ over Christmas.
Your cat’s happiness is directly linked to their wellbeing. When cats become unhappy or stressed, they can develop abnormal behaviours such as overgrooming and overeating, which can affect their health. Try these tips below and don’t forget to download our festive guide to making your cat happy.
Five ways to make your cat happy this Christmas:
Cat toys – Christmas doesn’t have to be expensive when it comes to getting a gift for your cat. Like small children, cats often get the most joy out of the packaging the gift came in. Why not make some DIY cat toys? Attach a piece of string to a toilet roll tube and encourage your cat to chase it like it’s their prey. Also, start saving cardboard boxes to make your cat a series of fun hidey holes and tunnels.
Cat nip – Our team hasn't met a cat yet who didn’t go nuts over catnip - a member of the mint plant family that releases a chemical called nepetalactone. Most cats respond to this chemical in different ways ranging from hyperactivity to completely mellow for around 15 minutes. You can buy catnip in edible treats, toys, and sprays to give your cat some extra festive fun.
The right diet – It might be tempting to give your cat human food as a treat ‘because it’s Christmas’. However, too much can cause weight gain, and some common festive foods are harmful to cats including onion gravy, chocolate, and mince pies. Get more advice on giving your cat a safe festive diet by downloading our cat guide.
Coat care – Winter in Northamptonshire can play havoc with your cat’s coat. Extreme temperature changes between outside and inside your home can cause static electricity, itchiness, and dandruff. And don’t get us started on snow problems! Brush your cat more regularly this season to help prevent their thicker coat from becoming matted & tangled, and to remove dirt and debris. Some cat foods contain omega-3, which is good for coat condition. Talk to a Vet before changing your cat’s diet.
Avoid cat troubles - Being in overwhelming situations at home and getting injured are common occurrences for cats at Christmas time; both will affect your pet’s happiness and wellbeing. We’ve included our handy guide, which includes advice on dealing with visitors and celebrations, and avoiding decorative hazards.
Here is one final piece of festive advice for you - when it comes to buying a Christmas tree, our team at Northlands Veterinary Group recommend that artificial trees are usually the safest option for cat owners. This will avoid poisoning from fir tree oil, injury from eating pine needles, and sickness from drinking mouldy standing water.
Yes, all of these things can and do happen!