As winter approaches, you will need to do more than bundle up to keep warm when you step outside. If you are a cat owner, you should also consider how to protect your cat from the cold weather when the mercury dips.
Keep Kitty Inside
If your cat is an inside-outside cat, winter time can be a hard time to train your cat to stay inside as he meows to be let out for his daily frolic in the garden. But keeping your cat inside at all times will help protect him from the elements and from ingesting potentially harmful chemicals that are used in winter such as salt or antifreeze. If your cat does get out, wipe off his paws, stomach and any other areas that are wet so that he does not ingest any harmful chemicals as he grooms himself, and gently pat him dry.
Risk of Hypothermia
Cat owners often think that their cat’s thick coat guarantees warmth. However, cats that are exposed to particularly harsh winter conditions are at a heightened risk of hypothermia, especially if they become wet and cold, while they are outside. If you do decide to let your cat out in winter, do not let your cat stay outside for prolonged periods of time. When he comes back inside, wrap him in a warm towel and dry off his coat.
Provide Extra Blankets
Cats will require extra sources of warmth during the cold winter months. Provide extra blankets, such as fleece blankets, inside their cat bed to help your cat feel more comfortable and warm when the temperatures go down. If your cat’s bed is beside doors or other draughty locations, move the bed so that your cat is not constantly battling to keep warm.
Check Car Engines for Cats
Cats are resourceful animals and if they are inside-outside cats, or even strays, they will find warm locations to curl up and go to sleep. Unfortunately, many motorists have inadvertently injured or killed cats that have crawled up into their car engines without their knowledge. If you park your car outside in the driveway, always check your car engine before you turn the key in the ignition. Tap on the bonnet of the car and then honk the car horn. Wait to see if a cat comes out before you start the engine.
Cats feel the change in temperature when the mercury dips just as their owners do, which is why cat owners should take care of their cat during winter when the weather cools down. If at all possible, keep your cat inside, guard against the risk of hypothermia and provide extra blankets for warmth. If you park your car outside in the driveway, always check your car engine each day before you start the engine to avoid the risk of injuring or killing a cat that is curled up inside.
Petsmart.com, Bringing cats in from the cold.