Feeling the cold this winter? If you are your cat probably is too. Here are our top tips for keeping your cat warm and safe this winter

1. Watch out for Anti-Freeze

Anti-Freeze is very poisonous but also very appealing for cats who like its sweet taste and will often lap from puddles when outside. Just a teaspoonful can be lethal. The toxins take hold very quickly, damaging the kidneys and the chances of a recovery are very low. Prevention is the best approach so make sure any spills are cleaned up completely. If you do suspect your cat has ingested anti-freeze call your vet immediately.

2. Sheds and Garages

Many of us tend to access our outbuildings less regularly over winter but when we do a cat can easily slip inside and then be trapped when the doors are shut. Look out for your pet when shutting up the shed or garage, or, if possible, wedge the door open so your cat has free access.

3. Outdoor Routines

Some of us keep our cats indoors, other allow them to wander in and out freely. You may find your cat chooses to spend more time indoors in the colder months. If possible encourage them not to wander during traffic rush hours after dark, especially if there are hazardous driving conditions.

4. Keeping Hydrated

Some cats do prefer to drink outside but may struggle to find fresh water in frozen conditions so make sure your cat has access to fresh water at all times. If they have changed their routine and are spending more time indoors remember the air inside is often drier so they may need to drink more water anyway. Keep their fresh water topped up all day.

5. Frostbite

OK – this one sounds a bit extreme. How could those lovely fur covered paws suffer from frostbite? This is fairly rare but can happen if a cat is exposed to freezing temperatures for a long period of time. Symptoms may not be immediately visible but may include discoloration, swelling, sloughing of skin or skin ulcers of areas such as paws, ears and the tail.
Of course, most cats are very good at looking after themselves and the winter is a perfect time to make the most of your cat wanting to snuggle up more and spend time purring alongside you in a cosy room while snow falls, icicles form and the wind howls outside.

For more information on caring for your Cat in winter there is plenty of detail on sites such as:
Cats Protection – www.cats.org.uk
RSCPA – www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/cats
Vets4Pets – www.vets4pets.com