6 autumn dangers for cats: obesity and rat poison are high on the list

Hangai Lilla

2023. October 7 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

We have entered the season of falling leaves, cozy and soft sweaters, and pumpkin lattes. Autumn has arrived! However, our favorite season can present new dangers and challenges for kitties as well.


In order to ensure that the afternoon snooze in the warmth of the home remains undisturbed even during this period, we show you what to pay attention to! Here are some autumn dangers for cats to look out for.

1. Road accidents and car problems

As it gets darker earlier and the evenings get longer, your outdoor cat is more at risk, because it spends more time outside in poor lighting conditions. Unfortunately, the number of accidents increases significantly during this time of year, so it is important to protect your pet’s health in several ways.

It is most practical if you order a curfew. All joking aside, if it starts to get gray, definitely invite your cat over for a nice dinner, and if that’s possible, keep it inside for the night. Although they can see well in twilight and in the dark, car headlights confuse them, blind them, and very little is enough to result in a fatal accident. It might be worth getting a light-up or reflective collar as well, just to be sure.

Moving cars are not the only danger. It often happens that the kitties hide from the cold under the car or in the hood. As a driver, we recommend that you check these places before leaving to avoid accidents.

2. Fleas and ticks

Cats are exposed to the risk of fleas and ticks all year round, but in the colder months we tend to forget about this nuisance, especially if the kitty spends time outside or only lives outside.

Prey animals such as squirrels, rats, and mice are more active in the fall months and are busy preparing for winter. This means that the cat’s hunting instinct is naturally enhanced, and thus the risk of bringing unwanted hitchhikers home. Even in the autumn months, stay regular and up-to-date with regard to flea control and regularly check the cat for ticks.

3. Rat poison

As mentioned in the previous point, the rodent season has started. Dealing with this can be a problem both in the countryside and in cities, so in most places these pests are exterminated not only with traps, but also with poison. The twist of fate is that cats also hunt more in autumn, so it is possible that they come into contact with an animal already infected with poison.

Symptoms can take 3-7 days to appear, which unfortunately means that sudden death can occur before symptoms appear. You should pay attention to the following:

  • bleeding, bruising or very pale gums;
  • a swollen belly, which may indicate bleeding;
  • breathing difficulties,
  • cough
  • wheezing
  • lethargy and weakness;
  • unsteady gait;
  • loss of appetite.

To avoid accidental poisoning, do not use rodenticides in your home, garden, shed or garage. Consider using traps instead. If you suspect that your pet has eaten poison or has been in contact with a poisoned animal, contact your veterinarian immediately!

4. Weight gain

It’s a natural phenomenon that as the cold seasons approach, cats put on some weight on their slim, summer figure. However, it is worth paying attention to the fact that these kilos should not be more than the absolutely necessary.

Obesity is one of the biggest risk factors when it comes to the health of cats, so do not increase the dose of the cat’s meal, especially if your pet does not stay outdoors at all.

5. Candles and open fire

Since cats are instinctively attracted to warmth. In addition to this, a fire in the fireplace or the candles also bring a pleasant vibration to the darker evenings, so it can be very attractive to them in this way too. To protect the precious fur and whiskers from getting scorched and your home from getting burned, never leave your cat unattended near an open fire!

The burning candles and open fires are one of the autumn dangfrs for cats.

6. Arthritis and cold

As it gets colder, older cats can start to slow down, which could be due to arthritis. In autumn and winter, pets without arthritis too should also be provided with several, warmer nooks so that they don’t get cold.

Arthritis can be extremely painful, so sometimes, despite our best intentions, we can’t do enough for them as owners. If you experience the following symptoms, contact your veterinarian to find out the most suitable treatment method:

  • difficulty jumping, running or climbing stairs;
  • limping;
  • rigidity;
  • swelling and hotness of their joints;
  • more sleep than usual
  • less exercise than usual;
  • the cat grooms itself more;
  • unkempt or dull hair in areas they find painful to groom;
  • difficulties in using the litter box.
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