It's winter and that means it gets colder and wetter outside. So most outdoor cats stay inside more often and for longer periods of time. Nice and warm by the stove or on the lap of their staff. Indoor cats often become couch potatoes. Keep your cat active in the winter with our tips!
Does your cat (almost) always stay indoors? Then he will not be bothered as much by the inclement weather and icy cold. Yet it is nice to make it extra comfortable for your cat in the house. Just look at yourself, we put on an extra pair of socks in winter and crawl under a rug on the couch. Cats also need a little extra warmth in the winter. Does your pet usually have a sleeping place on the floor? Then move it to a higher place in the winter so it is warmer and draft-free.
If the heating is on, your cat will seek it out automatically, because cats love warmth and can handle high temperatures. But: you may not think about it yourself, but often we turn off the heating when we leave for work in the morning. While you forget that cats can get sick if they spend a long day in a too cold environment. This is especially true for older or sick cats, as they cannot regulate their body temperature properly.
A cat that is mainly outside will not let this happen even during the winter months. Don't worry, cats automatically grow a thicker coat so can handle a little cold.
Does your cat sleep outside regularly? Then it is wise to give him a helping hand by creating a warm sleeping place for him. Make sure that the sleeping place is a bit higher up, so that the cold from the ground does not reach his sleeping body. Also provide some extra warmth by putting down a blanket or some extra nesting material such as straw. Help him create a warmer, draft-free and freezing sleeping place.
Protect the footpads
Your cat's foot pads are very sensitive and can be damaged if she walks a lot on cold surfaces. Then painful crevices can occur. Does your cat go outside when there is snow? Then lubricate the foot pads with some petroleum jelly. Did your cat's coat get wet? Then it's important to quickly warm it up again by rubbing it dry. The insulation of the coat decreases very quickly when a cat gets wet.
Keep your cat inside at night
Outdoor cats seek warmth especially at night and keep themselves warm by crawling under cars for example. Then of course there is the danger that they get stuck when the car is started. So check your car extra carefully in the winter before you start it in the morning.
For cat owners: keep your cats inside at night to guarantee a nice warm sleeping place and avoid accidents. Would you rather keep your cat inside completely in the winter? Then make sure your cat has enough material at its disposal to entertain itself inside.
Keeping your cat active in the winter
There are often fewer stimuli inside than outside and cats can get a bit bored. So it is nice for them if you come up with some extra things to keep them busy inside. How do you do that? We would like to give you a few fun ideas to turn your couch potato into an active cat.
Bring the outdoors in
Cats love to explore. They do this mainly with their nose. As soon as there is something new in the house, they always have to sniff it out. So you can make good use of that! Go to the forest and take some leaves, pine cones and acorns home. Put them in a bowl and put some chunks between them. This way your cat has a real discovery bowl and he can actively search for his kibble.
Playing hide and seek
To get indoor cats to use their hunting instincts a little more, you can hide some treats around the house. Do this in places where your cat goes daily so don't make it too difficult. A cat will initially not actively looking for treats but when he learns that there is something here and there, he may start to show more exploration behavior. This is good for his mind.
Toy fishing rod
For the real hunters, it is best to get a cat toy fishing rod in the house with real feathers and other animal hair. Play for five minutes twice a day and you'll have a happy cat.
Try our tips and keep your cat active in the winter! Need more inspiration when thinking up games and getting creative with your cat's meal? The experts from the Prins CareTeam not only know about good nutrition, but can also help you with many more fun ideas for your couch potato!