Five ways to look after your cat in the cold weather
During the cold months of the year which we often think have stopped with Christmas we often worry about our feline friends who enjoy exploring the outdoors. While cats are well adapted to the cold weather, they can still become unwell when exposed to extreme weather. Making sure they are looked after is important.
Here are five tips from Argos Pet Insurance on how to look after your cat in the cold weather:
1. Check your cat’s health
When the temperature drops below 0?C, your cat may be at risk of frostbite and hypothermia if they spend prolonged periods outside. Unchecked, hypothermia can lead to serious consequences, so make sure they’re in good physical condition during winter.
Make sure your cat is always dried when they come in from the rain, and ensure they can get back into the house, or for determined outdoor cats, take shelter somewhere when the weather worsens. Older and short-haired cats are more likely to be affected by the cold and low temperatures can be very painful for pets with arthritis, who may not want to go out. Setting up a litter tray indoors for outdoor cats and making private spaces with food and water can remove the necessity of going outside. Make sure that food and litter trays are kept separate, and you have enough feed/litter stations for all of your cats!
You can build in some regular indoor playtime with your cat to make sure they’re getting exercise. Investing in some cat play furniture or playing chasing and hunting games will help with this.
If your cat has been missing or outside for an extended period of time in extreme weather, take it to the vet for a health check.
2. A shelter
Cats tend to explore at night. Once their owner goes to bed, outdoor cats without a cat flap can’t get into their warm home until morning. Temperatures are at their lowest in the middle of the night so make sure there is a warm shelter available at all times. If your cat prefers the indoors, make sure they are home and safe before you go to bed.
An outdoor sheltered area such as a shed or an elevated box filled with blankets should keep your pet dry and warm.
3. Fresh water
Regularly replace your pet’s water as it will freeze in cold weather. Without fresh water, cats will drink from gutters and puddles. These can contain toxic chemicals, especially during winter when antifreeze is regularly used.
4. Check your vehicle
In cold weather, cats will look for warm spots to sleep in. They tend to find warmth around car engines, so check under your car and bonnet for any napping cats.
5. Be careful with chemicals
When using antifreeze on your vehicle during the cold months, keep the chemical away from pets. Antifreeze, though it tastes sweet, is deadly and pets that don’t know any better will want to drink it.
If your pet displays the signs of poisoning, which include loss of balance, vomiting and lethargy, seek help from your vet immediately.
If the cold makes your cat under the weather, make sure they are insured for a trip to the vet.
Visit www.argospetinsurance.co.uk for more information on pet insurance policies and to get a quote.