and the Cold Weather
Cold weather can be hard on cats,
just like it can be hard on people. When the thermometer dips
below freezing, it is important to protect your cats from the
cold spell. The most important is to keep your cat indoors.
Probably the best prescription for winter's woes is to keep
your cat inside with you and your family. Being outdoors, unattended,
does nothing to improve the quality of your cat’s life.
Cold weather problems
Sometimes owners forget that
their cats are just as accustomed to the warm shelter of the
indoors as they are. Some owners will leave their cats outside
for extended periods of time, thinking that they are adapted
to live outdoors. This can put their pets in danger of serious
Hypothermia, or a body temperature
that is below normal, is a condition that occurs when the cats
are not able to keep their body temperature from falling below
normal. It happens when they spend too much time in cold temperatures,
or when cats with poor health or circulation are exposed to
cold. In mild cases, your cat will shivers and show signs of
depression, lethargy, and weakness. As the condition progresses,
her muscles will stiffen, her heart and breathing rates will
slow down, and she will stop responding to stimuli. If you
notice these symptoms, you need to get your cat warm and take
her to your veterinarian.
Another cold-related problem
is frostbite. Sometimes your cat may accidentally be left outside
or become lost during a heavy snowstorm. Frostbite may result.
If this happens, remember - frozen tissues should never be
rubbed. This causes additional tissue damage. Prompt veterinary
treatment is needed. If this is not possible, warm the affected
area rapidly by immersing in warm, never hot, water or by using
warm, moist towels that are changed frequently. As soon as
the affected tissues become flushed, discontinue warming. Gently
dry the affected tissues and lightly cover with a clean, dry,
non-adhering bandage. If frostbite is in the later stages,
gangrene may set in and cause all kinds of infections. So,
if you suspect your cat has frostbite, take her to the veterinarian.
How to deal with cold
As winter weather really sets
in, don't forget to help keep your cats warm and safe. Help
your cats remain healthy during the colder months by following
these simple guidelines.
winter season can be harsh on our cats, so that you should
fortify their coat. Supplementing their diet with essential
fatty acids that will cause the coat to grow in a bit
thicker for the cold months. Vegetable oils such as canola
oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, butter and fish oils
are high in these fatty acids. They can be added to the
food. Cats do have a preference for the fish oils!
supply of food, particularly protein, to keep her fur thick
and healthy through the winter months. So long as your
cat does not have a weight problem, give her extra food
and treats during the winter months to help her keep warm.
Give your cat vitamins
E and B-complex that will strengthen the tissues and make
cats more resistant to cold. But you should be careful,
because providing additional vitamins can actually cause
imbalances in her diet and medical problems.
Be particularly gentle
with elderly and arthritic cats during the winter. The
cold can leave their joints extremely stiff and tender,
and they may become more awkward than usual. Stay directly
below these cats when they are climbing stairs or jumping
onto furniture. Consider modifying their environment to
make it easier for them to get around. Make sure they have
a thick, soft bed in a warm room for the chilly nights.
Make sure your cat has
a warm place to sleep far away from sall outside drafts
and preferably off the floor - such as a basket or a cardboard
box with a warm blanket in it. If your cat normally sleeps
on the floor, provide her with a warm and comfortable mat
or a cat
Keep fireplaces screened.
Cats luxuriate in its warmth. However, if they lie too
close to the fire, they are in danger of hot cinders or
sparks. Fireplace heat also contributes to dry skin. Fumes
from the fireplace may cause respiratory problems in some
you have to take your cat to the vet, put a hot water bottle
in the carrier.
You can also put the cat's bed in the dryer for a few
minutes before putting into the carrier. A cover, or towel
carrier is good for blocking draughts.
Keep your pet's
coat well groomed. Matted fur won't properly protect
your pet from
Cats are social animals that
crave human companionship, so your animal companions deserve
to live indoors with you and your family. But if you permit
your cat to go outdoors or live outdoors completely, here are
some tips that will keep them in good condition.
your cat outside as the weather starts getting colder
so she can adapt. She needs to physically adjust to the
temperature change, grow a thicker coat and build up
a resistance to the weather.
Cats that spend a lot of
time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping
warm depletes energy. So the cat owners may also have to
change the eating habits of their pets during the winter.
Check food and water often
to make certain they are fresh and unfrozen. Don't use
metal bowls outside during the winter. Your cat's tongue
may accidentally stick to the bowl. Sometimes the cat owners
don't realize that a water bowl has frozen and their cats
can't get anything to drink. The cats that don't have access
to clean, unfrozen water are more likely to drink out of
puddles or gutters, which can be polluted with oil, antifreeze,
household cleaners, and other chemicals.
Especially important for
every outdoor cat is to have a place adequate sheltered
during cold weather. Ensure your cat with insulated
outdoor cat house
. The house should be large enough
for turning around, yet small enough to conserve body heat.
The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground
and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The house should
be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should
be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
Never use newspaper, towels,
or blankets inside a cat's shelter. They will retain the
cold and become stiff and hard. Instead, use straw.
During the winter, cats
sometimes sleep under the hood of your cars or in the garage
where it is warm and comfortable. You should be aware that
the antifreeze is of particular concern, as it can be deadly
for cats that lick it from garage floors. If your cat sleeps
under the hood of your car, when you start the motor she
could get caught in or flung about by the fan belt, causing
serious injury or even death. To prevent this, bang loudly
on the hood and sides of your car before turning on the
ignition to give the cat a chance to escape.