Many cats, just like people, love the spot near the stove when it gets chilly outside. But for the real adventurers who love to get out and about regardless of the weather, there are a few things to keep in mind with your cat in the winter.
From hypothermia to antifreeze poisoning: these are five dangers that you should pay extra attention to. And do you have an elderly kitten or cat? Then you have to pay extra attention.
Cat in winter
If your cat is a real house sparrow in the winter or if it is not allowed outside at all, then there is little danger lurking. The only thing you can do extra is ensure that your cat has a nice place to sleep by the stove, so that it can enjoy the warmth. For real outdoor cats, there are more dangers that you should pay attention to in winter.
To drink water
Many cats who like to go on an outdoor adventure love to drink water in all places except their water bowl at your home. Normally this is not a problem, but in the winter your cat will probably run into frozen ponds, streams and puddles more often. As a result, your cat does not always get the minimum daily amount of water.
That may not sound like a big danger, but it can make your cat more likely to develop a bladder infection or constipation. It is therefore extra important to keep filling that water bowl in the winter, which your cat may usually deal with ungratefully, to ensure that it gets its water tax.
Your cat is provided with a great winter coat, but if the temperature really drops and it also rains, that winter coat can still fall short. Your cat’s ears, in particular, have thinner hair and are therefore more vulnerable in winter. Advice? Preferably keep your adventurous four-legged friend indoors in very rainy and cold weather. That may sound pathetic, but your cat can really get hypothermic and sick in winter due to the weather conditions.
Cover the pond
As mentioned before, cats love to drink water from ponds, but even with a fish in that pond, your cat can probably hardly keep its paws at home. Even if that pond has a thin layer of ice, not every cat will be able to resist the temptation. As a result, it can sometimes happen that that frozen layer on the pond is not thick enough and your cat sinks through it. And that in turn creates a risk of hypothermia. It is therefore best to cover the pond temporarily when it freezes.
Antifreeze and brine hazard
The dangerous thing about antifreeze is that it tastes sweet to cats and has incredible appeal. Still, it’s pure poison and can be very harmful if your cat ingests it. Brine is also bad for your cat’s health. Not only if your cat licks this, but it can also irritate the legs. It is best to check your cat for brine residue on the legs and stomach when you return home and rinse them with lukewarm water. Do you feel that your cat has ingested something that is harmful? Then contact the vet as soon as possible.
Warm up on the car tires
Every year in the winter month’s cats die because they seek a warm place on top of the tires of cars. For a cat it is a nice sheltered and warm place to sleep in the winter, but it can have fatal consequences. So always check before you get into the car that there is no cat on your tires and just give a (careful) blow to the hood to wake up the possibly sleeping critters.
Kittens and cats of age
Older cats and kittens in particular, as with babies and seniors, are the most vulnerable to cold temperatures. When it is really freezing in winter, it is best to keep these cats indoors and make a nice warm and draft-free place in the house for them.