When the temperature begins to drop, and the scarves, hats, and gloves make their way out of hiding, you might be left wondering what all this could mean for your cat.
Will they be safe dipping a paw out into the freezing weather? Should you be keeping them in overnight? What about the dreaded antifreeze? Read our handy guide for keeping your cat healthy and safe when the winter months hit.
- Keep your cat inside
If your cat enjoys the pleasures of the outside world, it’s crucial to keep an eye on them. Particularly if there’s no strict household rule on their night-time sleeping habits. If your cat is partial to spending the evenings outside, make sure they have easy access to come inside, or better still, lock that cat flap, seal up those windows and keep them inside overnight.
Outdoor cats can freeze to death overnight, especially if it becomes very cold, very quickly. Just remember that if you feel as though it’s too cold, your cat probably feels this way too.
- Get them checked out
As the weather gets cold, it’s crucial that your cat is prepared for what’s ahead. In this case, it could be worth taking your cat to the vets for a check-up. This way, your vet should be able to check out your furry companion to make sure they don’t have any medical problems that will make her vulnerable to the cold.
- Wash and dry their paws
When your cats comes in from their daily activities, grab a towel and give their paws a quick wipe. The drier they are, the less likely they are to feel the cold and develop an illness. If they have particularly muddy paws. Consider giving them a quick wash with a wet paper towel before drying them off.
- Check hidden areas
Ever seen your cat rolling their fur all around that one sunny area outside? That’s because your cat loves to bask in the warmth of that cosy little spot. When inside, a cosy fireplace, a warm human bed or little nook on your sofa are all firm favourite spots, but when Fluffy heads outside in winter? They seek the warmest spot available.
This often means they’ll hide out under the bonnet of a car or perch themselves on the tops of your car tyres. Some cats will also sneak into sheds, garages or smaller areas to try and feel the heat. So, make sure to gently bang the sides of your car and check nearby hideouts to ensure they don’t get trapped inside.
- Keep an eye on the ice
Anti-freeze and water coolant can leak from cars without people even noticing. This can look like a harmless puddle to your feline friend but sadly, this can be fatal if ingested by your cat. To help, keep your antifreeze clearly labelled, check for any spills to yours or neighbouring vehicles, and clear up any spills as soon as possible.
- Keep them well covered
Dogs are known for sporting fleecy coats and jackets when out for their wintery walks, but there’s no harm in doing the same for your cat. Many people think that because they naturally come covered in fur, cats don’t really feel the cold. But they’re still at risk in the colder months.
If they love the outside and aren’t inclined to rip off said cover-up, consider sending them on their outside jaunt with a jumper or jacket or cover them with a blanket if your house is particularly cold.
- Personalise your pet
And not with a trip to the hairdressers. When the weather turns arctic, cats are much more likely to become confused, and this can lead to them getting lost. In this case, make sure your cat has been microchipped and if you think they’ll keep it on, consider investing in a cat collar, complete with a tag with their name and your contact details.