Thursday, 13 April 2017

Preparing your cat for Easter

For many people, Easter means spending time with friends and family or going away for a long weekend break. Combine this with hot cross buns and chocolates galore and it’s easy to see how it can be a stressful and risky time for our cats.

Fret not, follow the following tips!

Going away

If you’re planning to use the bank holidays for an extended weekend break, we wouldn’t recommend taking your cat with you. Cats are generally very stressed by travelling and without the familiar smells of their home territory, can become disorientated in a new environment. This also means they are more likely to get lost.

So instead, ensure you’ve made arrangements for your cat while you’re away; don’t let them fend for themselves. You could arrange for a trusted friend or cat sitter, preferably that your cat is familiar with, to feed, groom and play with your cat while you’re on holiday.

Alternatively you could book your cat to stay in a boarding cattery. Ensure that your cat’s vaccinations are up to date and the cattery knows of any special dietary requirements or medications that may need administering while your cat is in their care.

Cat with Easter basket
Photo: istock.com/kozorog

Welcoming visitors

Unfamiliar people and noisy children visiting the home can be very stressful for cats. Try to stick to your cat’s normal routine as much as you can.

Provide your cat with a quiet place to retreat to where they will not be disturbed. Ensure it contains their resources, such as a litter tray, an area for food and a separate area for water, a scratch post, toys and somewhere to sleep or hide. Cats like elevated places to hide, such as shelving or on top of a wardrobe, to make them feel safe and secure. Ensure they can access these, for example by placing a chair nearby.

Easter treats

A number of foods that we typically find in the home at Easter, such as chocolate eggs and raisins in hot cross buns are toxic to cats, so keep them out of reach, stored in sealed containers or closed cupboards. Keep Easter egg or basket packaging and wrapping out of the way as ingesting can be dangerous.

The signs of poisoning aren’t always obvious but can include vomiting, difficulty breathing and drooling.

If you think your cat may have ingested something harmful, seek veterinary advice immediately. Tell them where, when and how the poisoning occurred, if known and take packaging or samples of the substance with you.

Find out more about toxic substances and recognising the symptoms of poisoning here.

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