How to keep your cat safe during winter
The winter season definitely has its charm for us people, but cats have to overcome several obstacles to stay warm and safe. We gathered some tips and tricks for you to make sure that your cat and those in your neighbourhood get to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year just as much as you.
Provide shelter for stray cats
While your cat might be having a cozy nap inside your warm home, stray cats may be struggling to find a warm spot to have a rest. If you are a little handy, you can build a shelter box with just a minimum of resources. Make sure to use straw as bedding and insulation since hay, blankets and towels retain moisture, causing cats to get freezingly cold, nonetheless. If there’s a shed or an outbuilding in your yard, wedge open the doors so stray cats can enter and exit. You can even make a cat flap in the door as a more permanent solution.
Keep your cat indoors if possible
In winter, it’s not just the cold temperatures and snowfall that pose a risk, but also the reduced amount of daylight. In the darkness, your cat is more prone to get hit by a car or get lost. Prevent your cat from going outdoors and instead entertain them indoors with our Senses toys. They keep your cat happy and active, even when you’re not at home.
Provide a litter box
If your cat is an indoor-outdoor cat, you may not have a litter box ready. Make sure to provide one litter box per cat plus one inside your home.
Prevent the cat flap from freezing
If your cat must go outdoors, check the cat flap every now and then to make sure it hasn’t frozen shut, or heavy snowfall isn’t blocking it.
Accompany your cat
Is this your cat’s first snow? How adorable! However, your cat might get spooked by that crunchy sound and the cold feeling underneath their paws. Make sure to let your cat discover snow in an enclosed space first, so they don’t run into traffic in a blind panic.
Get your cat microchipped
Make sure your cat can be traced back to you in case they get lost. Get your cat microchipped and provide them with an address collar so kitty can be brought straight back to you in case they lose the way looking for a warm spot.
Provide clean water
Outdoor cats’ water supply might freeze in cold weather. Make sure to provide them with fresh, liquid water – preferably indoors.
Wipe your cat’s paws
When your cat comes back in after enjoying the outdoors, make sure to wipe their paws clean. Road grit and salt can hurt their pads, and anti-freeze can even be deadly!
LOCK AWAY ANTI-FREEZE!
Do you use a de-icing solution to free your car windows of ice? Be aware that anti-freeze is extremely poisonous to cats and can quickly turn deadly! Store your anti-freeze away safely, clean any spills right away and immediately contact your vet in case of ingestion – even if your cat only licked a small amount of anti-freeze off their coat. Many de-icers, screen washes, and some types of anti-freeze that go into your car radiator contain ethylene glycol, a dangerous substance that for some reason is appealing yet highly poisonous to cats.
Check under the bonnet/hood
In winter, cats look for a warm spot to hide. The empty space under your car hood/bonnet, close to the warm car engine seems perfect to them. Always check for cats before you leave by car. If you’re in a hurry, at least tap the hood/bonnet a few times to alert any cats that they better leave right away.
Stock up on cat supplies
When doing your weekly shopping, don’t forget to buy sufficient cat food and supplies, especially if you live in an area that is prone to snowstorms. Don’t feel like going out? Order your cat’s favourite toys and food from our online store.
Feed your cat a nutritious diet
Providing your feline friend with the right, nutritious diet is vital to keeping their coat thick and healthy. In addition, healthy cat food will boost your cat’s immune system, which will help prevent typical winter ailments like upper respiratory infections.
Be careful with fire and heaters
Fireplaces and candles pose an obvious danger to cats. However, space heaters can prove a fire hazard too when tipped over by your pet. Make sure to only use space heaters that switch off automatically when tipped over and keep open fire out of reach of your cat at all times.