Your cat may not need a coat to go outside in the cold weather, but they still have special needs when colder weather approaches. Special precautions will keep your cat healthy and avoid any visits to the vet. Here are a few things you will need to be aware of during the winter to keep your cat healthy:
- Food and Water: Do not keep your cat’s food and water outside where it can freeze. It is important to make sure your cat is eating quality cat food and has fresh water available. Good nutrition will keep it healthy and able to fight of illness due to the weather. Feed your cat a larger amount in the winter. It takes more energy for your cat to stay warm in cold weather, it will need more food.
- Amount of Time outside: Try to get your cat used to the change of temperature slowly. Do not let it out for long periods, especially overnight. It is a good idea to let it out only during the day, and to call it in after an hour or so. If your cat pesters you to go outside more often, be stern. It will learn you are not going to give in before too long.
- Burns: Cats love to curl up in warm places. Be sure they cannot get to the furnace or space heaters. If you have a fireplace or wood stove, check all around before lighting a fire. A sleeping cat may not wake up until it is already burned. They like to curl up on a warm car motor too, so be sure to honk your horn before starting your car.
- Antifreeze: The sweet smell of antifreeze is attractive to cats but can be lethal if they drink it. Check your care daily for leaks and be sure to wash away any antifreeze. If possible find a product that does not contain the poison ethylene glycol.
- Bedding: Provide your cat with a bed to sleep on. Cats like to sleep in warm, soft places. They lose body heat while sleeping. Even an old pillow is better than making them sleep on the cold floor.
- Grooming: Your cat needs to be groomed more frequently in the cold weather. A tangled coat will not provide adequate warmth. Remove any leaves or sticks and comb it after it has groomed itself.
- Check for Frostbite: Your cat is susceptible to frostbite. After it has been outside for over an hour be sure to check its ears, tail and footpads for white or glossy skin. Seek veterinary help if you notice signs of frostbite.
If you notice your cat is acting differently, make an appointment to see the veterinarian. Check its food bowl to make sure it is eating. Play with it to make sure it is not lethargic. Besides, your pet is a very important part of your life so when they become ill it makes you feel bad also.