Cats are generally good at finding warm, cosy places to rest if the temperature drops but young, old or cats struggling with health conditions may need additional care.
With a cold spell affecting much of the UK, Cats Protection has some top tips to help protect cats in plummeting temperatures:
- If your cat is seeing snow for the first time, let them explore a safe, enclosed area first and accompany them in case they get into difficulty.
- Check your cat’s paws when they come in and gently wipe off any road grit, salt or compacted snow.
- Like humans, cats can get frostbite. Be vigilant for any signs of skin discolouration, pain, swelling and/or blisters, particularly on extremities such as their ears and toes.
- Consider keeping your cat indoors at night when temperatures are lower and the risk of road traffic accidents is higher.
- Provide shelter for cats that have access outside. Keep the doors of sheds and outbuildings closed, or wedged slightly open, or install a cat flap so cats do not become trapped inside.
- Check your cat flap regularly to ensure it hasn’t frozen over or become blocked by snow.
- Cats may climb into vehicle engines for warmth while out roaming. Be vigilant and check under the bonnet of your vehicle before starting your vehicle.
- The cold can severely affect the joints of arthritic cats. Provide plenty of warm and comfy places to sleep and ensure your cat can access them easily.
- Your cat may love to snuggle in front of the fire to keep warm; screen off open fireplaces and always supervise your cat if you have a fire lit.
More advice on keeping cats safe can be found here.