This winter you should be aware of cold weather and how it affects your cat even if they never go outdoors! Cats can be sensitive to cold and here are some ways to help your cat be safe and comfortable this winter.
Older cats need to keep warm because older joints and metabolism may not be up to facing colder temps. You, as an owner, can provide a warm place with blankets or beds that help your cat stay warm. Also, make sure your cat is getting enough to eat and drink as colder weather can cause a cat to need more calories and need more water to stay hydrated in the dry heated house air or the drier cold outside air. There are special heating pads that you can use for you pets! This pad from Amazon is a good bet: K&H Pet Products Extreme Weather Kitty Pad These pads are set with a safe maximum heat level and are washable and durable! If you have a favorite outdoor cat, these pads with a protected house /box will provide comfort in these cold winter nights!
Siamese are a naturally slim breed and Tonkinese are slim as well, and have very little insulating under fur that keeps other cats warm. So it is very important to know your kitty will be looking for a warm place to snooze. Be especially aware of the clothes dryer or other enclosed heated spaces they might get trapped in! During the cold winter months, many people use space heaters and wood burning stoves. Do not allow unsupervised pets in areas with space heaters which could be knocked over by a curious pet and cause a fire. Wood burning stoves are especially dangerous for cats who may try to jump up on them and burn their paws. Train your cat to stay away from the stove by using a squirt bottle of water or shaking a pop can filled with coins near the stove when the cat approaches it. Placing “scat mats” on the floor may also be helpful in keeping cats away from stoves and heaters. Also be very aware if your cat goes outside, (we do not recommend this!) that you make sure your car is clear before you start, as cats love the warmth a warm engine provides.
Other dangers that lurk outdoors include salt used to melt ice and antifreeze from cars. Salt is commonly used as a de-icer on roads and sidewalks in cold climates. Some cats are drawn to licking it up. Cats also ingest salt when they walk through it, then lick their feet, bellies, and legs to clean it off. Eating small amounts of de-icing products can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Eating larger amounts can cause your cat to develop an electrolyte imbalance and this can lead to increased thirst, kidney damage, seizures and death. Salt products are also very irritating to cats’ paw pads and skin. Your cat’s feet and pads can become cracked, bleed, and even get infected if they walk on too much salt. So, limit the exposure your cat has to salted walkways and roads!
Anifreeze tastes sweet to animals and cats may be drawn to it! As little as a teaspoon can be deadly! During the winter exposure is more likley so be sure to wipe up spills and make sure there are no open containers to spill!
And at last we must include a note about boarding and travel during the holidays. If you are traveling during the holidays and need to leave your feline companion at home, start to make accommodations for your pet early. Many boarding facilities fill up very quickly. Responsible pet sitters are a good alternative. If they are unfamiliar with your house or cat, have them come over and get acquainted before you leave.
Cold waether doesn’t need to be unpleasent for your cat just be carefull and follow these tips and all will be well this winter!
Thanks for reading…