Cold Weather Tips For Your Cat

Winter is quickly approaching along with freezing temperatures in many parts of the country. Now is the time to protect your cat from the elements and colder weather.

The most sensible and safe thing to do is to keep your cat indoors. Cats who are left outside can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite, get lost, stolen, injured or killed. They can also be exposed to serious infectious diseases.

The Bare Necessities

You should have enough cat food, litter, fresh water, warm bedding and any medications your cat takes on a regular basis, on-hand, to last a few days. Inclement weather often closes roads or makes them unsafe for travel. In addition, your veterinarian’s office might shut down during a storm so you’ll want to be sure that you are fully stocked up with everything your cat might need.

If your cat is an outdoor cat, keep in mind that she might nap under the hood of a car. This can be dangerous because when the motor is started, your cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. Bang loudly on the car hood before putting the key into the ignition, to give your or a neighbor’s cat a chance to get away.

Make sure your cat has a warm, dry place to sleep, preferably off the floor and away from any drafty areas, if inside. A bed with a warm blanket or pillow will keep her warm. If she’s an outdoor cat, her sleeping space should be, dry, windproof and off the ground with a bed and warm blanket or pillow, if possible.

Even healthy older cats can be less able to tolerate cold temperatures. In general, young, old, ill or pregnant animals are less able to tolerate temperatures extremes.

Your cat should have access to plenty of food and unfrozen water. Pets need more calories during cold weather to produce body heat. They also need unfrozen, clean water at all times.