Does it seem like your cat suddenly has a case of Spring fever? Is he more energetic? Meowing loudly at the windows? Trying to escape when a door opens? Maybe he’s waking you up at dawn all of a sudden? All of these things and more can pop up in your cat’s repertoire once the days start getting warmer. What can we do to help ease some of this behavior change?
As with any sudden behavior change, it’s important to check in with your veterinarian if you’re seeing abrupt behavior changes, but rest easy… Springtime is a fairly common period for cats to go a little bananas! With longer periods of light, warmer weather, open windows and more critters running round outside of those windows, it’s not uncommon for the average cat to exhibit some mischievous behaviors. Follow these tips to help your feline friend feel a little less frustrated as the days begin to get longer:
- Now would be a great time to leash and harness train your cat. Being able to spend time safely outside can be transformative for a lot of cats. Giving them access to real trees to scratch, real grass to munch on and real, live squirrels to run after can be so satisfying for your average, indoor cat.
- If possible, create a “catio” for your cat. Similar to taking a walk outside, safe access to an open outdoor space can really resolve so many concerning behaviors in cats!
- Make the indoors as enriching as possible. When it’s safe** to do so, put bird feeders outside of a favorite window and make sure that this particular window has a really comfy space for your cat.
- Bring the outdoors in by bringing in sticks or leave for your cat to play with, making sure that the foliage you’ve chosen is cat safe. Google “DIY cat enrichment” and see what’s possible from things you might have lying around the house.
- Offer your cat really great energetic play often…. And make sure that they have toys at home that they love and engage with. Keep play and meals on a schedule, even with the days getting longer. By keeping your cat busy during the day and making sure you stick to a schedule, your cat will be less inclined to continue early morning wake ups, which can really help both of you to feel more rested.
- Make sure that there are comfortable spaces in your home for your cat to sunbathe. It’s something every cat loves to do and as the sunshine ramps up, being able to take a little sun bath in the middle of the day can help your cat to feel more relaxed.
Understanding that this is a phase and will pass once the sensory overload of the season passes can also really help. Just as you’re eager to jump into Spring, so is your cat, they may just need a little help to settle into the new season!