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A beautiful, yellow-eyed cat receiving treatment. Doug Hall feeding a well-loved client.

Paws For Thought- Article 17

18th September 2019

Dark Nights


With the nights getting longer, you may be concerned about your cat spending more time outdoors in the dark. Cats are generally more active at night as it is easier for them to hunt and young, male cats are particularly keen to be outside. It is important (where possible) to encourage your cat to perform natural behaviours and restricting their access outside can be too stressful but some owners will either close the cat flap at night to limit their time outdoors, or provide places outside that they can hide in.

We do sadly see an increased incidence of lost cats and road traffic accidents at this time of year so even if you are not a cat owner, we urge you to take care when driving in the dark as cats will be less visible in the dark and can often be hiding under cars or in garages/sheds.


What to do if you find a lost/injured cat

Unlike with dogs, it is not against the law to have an un-microchipped cat, but the majority of cats are microchipped when they are neutered. If you find a cat then we recommend taking them to a veterinary practice so that their microchip can be scanned and they can hopefully be reunited with their owners.

If the cat is not microchipped, we can put a post up on our social media sites and contact the RSPCA so that they can also help us find the owners.

On the subject of microchips- if you move home or have recently acquired your pet from a breeder or rescue centre, please do remember to change the microchip details so that your address and number can be found on the database. All too often, the animal is microchipped but the owner’s details are incorrect and we cannot reunite them with their owner.


Anxiety related to the change in season

With the dark nights, we can sometimes see that our pets start to become anxious as they may start to anticipate fireworks. Please look out for our upcoming article on Bonfire Night which will be released in October to give you time to prepare your pets for the potential stresses that fireworks may bring.


Catherine Hannah BVSc MRCVS.