Five ways to look after your cat in the cold weather

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 for more information on pet insurance policies and to get a quote.

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35 thoughts on “Five ways to look after your cat in the cold weather

  1. FreeMurrli says:

    Murrli is such a “determined outdoor cat”, On the advice of the animal shelter years ago, we have created a cardboard box hourse filled with straw. Murrli loves her winter palace (pawlace?). Nights here are pretty cold with temperatures going down to minus 8 sometimes. She has an awesome winter coat by the way.

    • Marc-André says:

      One of ours produced a thick winter fur despite being indoors. Even renegade tries to have a winter fur but as oriental not so much luck. ?

  2. Léa says:

    Good information for the outdoor felines. The divas do not venture outside but stay close to the heat sources, including me!

  3. helentastic67 says:

    Have the opposite problem in OZ right now. And as you can read in my today’s post…..Hikaru has been bitten by a snKe. I foresee some house arrest on his horizon. Cheers,H

    • Marc-André says:

      Oh no! And yes it’s hot hot hot in your part of the world. We have relatives in OZ from my partners side. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Five ways to look after your cat in the cold weather – Katzenworld Shop

  5. syl65 says:

    It has been extremely cold here for the past two weeks and I have seen some ferrel cats out and about. I wonder how than survive this cold weather.

  6. Diana says:

    I have barn cats, so they are outdoors always! I recently aquired a new barn cat (not by choice). He just showed up in the barn one day, starving! I thought he might have wandered from another barn, and would return home, if I didn’t feed him. I waited 2 days, and that was all I could stand. He is just the cutest, friendliest fella! He has grown on me fast!
    But it has been bitterly cold here in Michigan. Colder then usual, and for longer periods. I had one shelter I made, that I found on Pinterest, that are often used for feral cats. It is insulated, and has a sheepskin rug inside. Toasty warm. But the new fella, all I had for him was a open box and a fleece blanket. I had put a mylar blanket under the fleece, hoping that helped, till I could get him a better bed (bed on it’s way).
    Their beds are kept inside the tack room, away from any weather, with a window for heat from the sun, when it’s out. 🙂
    They seem to be doing ok. My girl I have seen shaking from the cold, when outside. She seems to warm up inside her hut.
    But to think about the ferals that are outside in this bitter cold (-3 to -13 below we have had recently). It is sad. It was a worry, but each morning and night I go out to the barn, there they are, greeting me, as usual.

    • Marc-André says:

      That’s a lot colder than here. :(. Your barn cats are very lucky to have you make them cold weather more comfortable for them. <3

      • Diana says:

        I have one article I have written about a barn cat. It’s not necessarily about barn cats, but it’s about A barn cat. It’s ready to submit, just tell me how. I can work on a barn cat submittion and how to’s, in addition, if that works for you. But it takes me so long to do, because of time constraints.
        Just let me know what fits you best. 🙂

      • Diana says:

        I have an article about a kitten I found that became a barn cat, if that will work. It’s something I worked on, when you last invited me, but it takes so darn long for me to get an article done, because of time constraints.
        If that fits for you, I am ready to submit, just tell me what to do. 🙂

        • Marc-André says:

          Oh yes did I already setup a guest account? Either way drop me an email and I’ll either resend the account details to give you the instructions. 😀

  7. Colin Noel-Johnson says:

    Everyone should be aware that the ice melter people use on their sidewalks and driveways can contain ingredients dangerous to cats, even an indoor cat can be exposed to it from your shoes and boots, not to mention the container if it’s left at the front door.

  8. Sean says:

    I think the point about anti freeze getting into water is important and yeah check underneath your cars for cats and be careful not to lock them into garages and sheds by accident! Thanks Sean

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