Winter is coming! As humans, at this time of year, we tend to shut ourselves indoors, crank up the heating and drink copious amounts of piping hot tea, all too aware that the air is rife with coughs and sneezes. While we can take precautions to stave off illness and keep ourselves warm, it might surprise you to learn that our felines too need a little TLC at this time of year. Thankfully, keeping them both well and warm this winter is a breeze thanks to these easy-to-follow tips.
BE FEARFUL OF FROSTBITE
While typically uncommon, frostbite in cats does happen! If your cat is regularly outdoors, no doubt they’re more than capable of taking care of themselves. However, as the temperature drops be mindful of its incidence. Frostbite tends to affect the tips of the ears, paws and tail, so if there is frost, ice or snow, consider keeping your cat indoors. If this isn’t possible, keep a close eye on how long your cat is exposed to icy conditions. Some breeds such as Maine Coon are better adapted to cold weather, than Siamese cats, for example. Check out our guide to keeping your cat safe in the snow for more useful tips.
PROTECT YOUR CAT FROM ANTIFREEZE POISONING
Cats are notorious for licking objects as a method of exploring the world around them and sadly this can lead to antifreeze poisoning. The substance – which tastes sweet to cats – can leak from cars and is toxic if ingested. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, twitching muscles and increased urination. If you are worried your cat has suffered antifreeze poisoning, an emergency trip to the vet is a must.
CONSIDER YOUR CAT’S COAT
Most long haired cats such as Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest cat have thick fluffy coats which offer protection from the cold. Likewise, most shorthaired varieties have sufficient hair to keep them warm during winter. However, breeds such as Siamese, with its incredibly short fur, or indeed the naked Sphynx cat, will benefit from an added layer. Thankfully, there are tons of super stylish and comfortable cat jumpers out there, which we’re sure you’ll have fun dressing your pretty kitty up in. Etsy is a veritable treasure trove of stylish clothing for cats!
No matter how careful we are, cats can slip out the door or through a window with ease, meaning they’ll be exposed to winter’s elements. Sadly, hypothermia can happen. Watch for tell-tale signs such as shivering, weakness, muscle stiffness, low blood pressure and short and shallow breathing. Again, seek advice from your vet as soon as possible.
KEEP YOUR KITTY WARM
Undoubtedly, one of the easiest ways to protect your cat is to keep them indoors as much as possible, and usually, given the colder conditions, most will prefer the comfort of inside. However, it’s undeniable that they do love to wander, so making sure they can re-enter your home again freely is essential. If your cat sleeps inside, give them plenty of snuggly bedding, preferably near a radiator, so that they can stay warm and safe this season.
TAKE A TRIP TO THE VET
Finally, as cat flu is more common during winter months it’s vital that your kitty’s vaccines are up-to-date. Book an appointment with your vet and make sure he or she gives your cat a thorough check for any signs of illness.
Do you have some more tips for taking great care of your cat in winter? Tell us in the comments below!