Top Winter tips for cats - Learn how to treat & avoid Cat 'Flu, sneezing, running noses & sore joints!

Cat Flu symptoms and treatment

1. Keep your cat safe

Make sure that your cat is micro chipped even if he is an indoor cat – he’ll be easier to track if lost, stolen or injured. Outdoor cats are frequently hit by cars, especially at night when it’s dark and rainy. Try to train your cat to be out during the day and indoors at night. They often also look for shelter and warmth in dangerous places such as inside the wheel well or engine of a car or may get shut in a neighbour’s garage. 

Outdoor cats will seek warmth under the bonnet of your car – before starting your car, give a few loud bangs on the bonnet to allow the cat to make his getaway. Indoor kitties love snuggling in warm areas for a nap – keep them protected from fireplaces and heaters. No one wants a burned kitty on the hands! Sitting too close to a fire or heater can cause scorched and singed skin in cats sooner than you think (as many vets will tell you!) and we all know how much kitties love sitting RIGHT on top of a heat source!  My cat, Felix will INSIST on sitting with her fur right up against the heater if she can! This has caused skin problems in the past and now I know to provide a barrier which makes it impossible for her to do that! I have also invested in a pet bed which I place about half a metre away from the heater and this seems to satisfy her – no more roasted cat!
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2. Provide shelter and warmth

Create outdoor shelter for your cat if he doesn’t want to be indoors. Find an area in your garage, under a covered patio or carport which can offer warmth and dry shelter. Use a wooden or cardboard box lined with plastic at the bottom and then layered with newspaper and old blankets. Raise the cat house off the ground to prevent the cold from seeping in. Even though cats are indoors, they still get cold. If their favourite napping places are in drafty areas in your home, keep them warm with extra cushions and fleecy blankets. You may want to invest in a cocoon pet bed to keep Felix snug as a bug this winter!
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3. Feed a healthy diet

Feeding your cat a healthy diet which contains all the essential nutrients is very important for them to be able to cope with the harsh conditions of winter. Keep fresh water available at all times – cats are very fussy about their water and tend to drink less in winter, if the water is not changed every day, they may drink less than they need. Monitor your kitty’s weight and food intake as he may not be getting as much exercise during the winter months. 
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4. Don’t forget about sick and elderly cats!

Cats need special care and attention when they are sick. Just like we humans need to boost our immune systems during winter, so do kitties! Strengthen your feline pal’s immune system with Immunity & Liver Support from the Feelgood Pets range. Kitties are prone to colds and other respiratory illnesses, and a good few doses of Respo K which is a 100% homeopathic remedy will have them feeling better in no time and help your cat to get over symptoms like sneezing, runny noses and coughing.

Another word of advice is to keep Feelgood Pets FeliSafe on hand for indoor and outdoor cats to protect them against any viral infections which they may pick up on their many adventures. FeliSafe is a wonderful homeopathic cat flu vaccine and treatment option that can help to protect your cat from cat flu and other feline viral infections, as well as reduce the symptoms of sneezing, runny noses, diarrhea and general malaise that accompany cat flu.
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Older cats often struggle with arthritis and joint problems which worsen during cold weather. Cats are particularly stoic, as showing signs of pain could make a solitary survivor in the wild vulnerable and arthritis is often missed in cats because they don't have an obvious limp. Instead, signs to look for include a reluctance or inability to jump onto furniture, a loss of muscle may be seen in the hindquarters and legs, inability to use the litter tray or get to toilet spots in the garden.

Sometimes the only noticeable sign is a change in behaviour - the cat may be irritable, resent handling or just sleep more. It is also important to pay more attention to the eating, drinking and toileting habits of older cats in order to detect problems early, as well as general behaviour changes.

If your cat is drinking more than normal, eating more or less, is not grooming itself, is having difficulty going to the toilet, is urinating or defecating outside of its litter tray, is becoming less interactive with the family, or becoming aggressive (often due to pain), then please call your vet for advice. Keep their joints warm and comfy, and supplement with our Adding Vondi's Diatomaceous Earth to your cat's food will also help to improve joint health, with the added bonus of protecting your cat's digestive system against worms and other parasites. Now may also be good time to transition elderly cats that have been going outdoors to life indoors.
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