Christmas is an exciting time for young and old, who embrace all the celebrations and family gatherings, however for our feline friends it can be a very stressful time. Incidents of cystitis can be very common at this festive period as cats find it hard to adapt to all of the changes that await. There once quiet safe territory turns into a busy and noisy unsettling place. A cat spends time marking it’s territory with safe pheromones… This is the time when you might see a cat rub it’s face and body along things like chair legs and doorways allowing them to know there way around and feel relaxed. Imagine lots more people coming and going, a big Christmas tree coming in, packages arriving and being abandoned… All with unfamiliar scents that the cat may find upsetting. Children running around excited at the arrival of santa leaving cats feeling unsettled and unhappy. It can also be more prevelant when it snows as a cat that goes outside to the toilet may not want to brace the cold .. Therefore providing a temporary litter tray may be the perfect solution.
So be vigilant with your cats, don’t force them to stay in a room to socialise.. Let them go and hide if that’s what they want, try not to close-up any areas they are used to going in…a safe haven that they then lose may make them feel vulnerable. Take some time out of your hectic schedule and spend some time with them away from all the hustle either with playing, grooming or just a cuddle… But again don’t do anything that the cats not used to. If you overwhelm a cat when its not used to it this can even cause some stress. Monitor the cat especially with regards to toileting, when cats get cystitis they may act restless and go frequently to there normal toilet place whether outside or to their litter tray. They may be vocal whilst doing it attracting your attention. Sometimes they can even leave spots of urine around the house, often with a pink tinge. Please be extra vigilant with the males as if they get completely blocked and are unable to urinate it’s a true veterinary emergency. If you are suspicious of cystitis then seek medical advice but one thing is to ensure they take in lots of water. You can add water to wet food, keeping a cat who may have a mix of wet and dry foods just on wet food. However if you have a dry food fed cat ensure they have access to lots of water. Provide water away from their food, in wide mouthed bowls ideally ceramic or glass. Keep the bowls full to the top as cats like to see the meniscus of the water. Collect rain water if they prefer and some cats even like to drink from a tap.
If you are worried about your cat feeling anxious over the festive holidays you could consider putting them onto zylkene… It’s a tryptophan supplement which increases serotonin levels…. this can aid calmness and make them feel happier…it may be worth it.