Cat Care in Winter
You know all the tell-tale signs. The trees outside slowly starting to surrender their green foliage for vibrant reds, oranges and yellows. The slight chill in the air when you retrieve your morning paper. And the sun hanging a little lower in the sky when you leave work can only mean one thing. Fall is coming. And after that the blank canvas of a fresh white snowfall. Here is some basic cat care in winter:
- A fur coat does not prevent frostbite and hypothermia! When the temperature drops below freezing don't leave indoor cats out for extended periods of time, especially when there's a wind chill warning.
- Signs that your cat is too cold: shivering, paw hopping or excessive meowing or verbalizing.
- It's also a good idea to keep cats that are young, old or on medication indoors as much as possible as they are more vulnerable to the cold.
- Just as in summer, never leave your cat in a car during the colder months. The space is too large to heat with their own body heat and there is a very real danger of freezing to death.
- Keep in mind when letting your cat outdoors during snowy weather that it will be harder to hear oncoming cars due to the sound dampening effect of snow.
- Before starting your car in the morning knock on your hood. Cats often seeking warmth curl up inside a car engine which can be fatal.
- When your outdoor cat returns home, wipe his paws to remove any salt or ice balls and check for dry cracking pads.
- Anti-freeze contains Ethylene Glycol which has a sweet taste to cats. If ingested it can prove fatal. Symptoms to watch out for include stumbling, vomiting and behavior that resembles being intoxicated.
- For cats that spend a majority of their time outdoors it is important to remember that they will require more calories to generate body heat. On those really cold days, your cat should always be allowed to come indoors.