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Pam’s Cold Weather Safety Tips for Cat Parents

Pam's cold weather safety tips for cat parents

Keep Your Cat Indoors

This is the number one way to keep your cat safe and warm in the winter. Cats are more at risk outdoors all year long but the danger increases in extreme weather. An outdoor cat can suffer frostbite on paws and ear tips and can actually end up freezing to death.

Outdoor cats who look for shelter may seek warmth in very dangerous places such as inside the warm engine of a car or inside wheel wells. This often ends up being fatal when an unsuspecting person starts the car up or in the case of a cat inside the wheel well, puts the car in motion.

Even if you keep your cat indoors exclusively, use some form of identification. Microchipping is the most reliable because collars with ID tags can come off. It’s not uncommon for an indoor cat to slip out the door and find himself lost and confused in the frigid outdoors. The best way to get him returned to you is through identification. If you do use microchipping, make sure you keep the registry information current.

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Bang on Your Car Hood to Alert a Cat

To protect the cats and other small animals who may seek warmth in car engines, give the hood of your car a couple of good hard smacks to startle any animal who may be in there. This will hopefully give an animal time to escape to safety.

Clean Up All Antifreeze Spills to Protect Cats

Traditional antifreeze has a sweet taste and can be enticing for animals to ingest. It’s not unusual for antifreeze leaks to occur so be aware of any puddles you see in your driveway or garage. If you happen to spill antifreeze while adding it to your car, clean it up immediately and make sure all antifreeze containers are wiped clean on the outside and tightly sealed before storing them away in the garage.

Photo: Fotolia

Don’t Leave Your Cat in the Car

When traveling, don’t leave your cat in the cold car. Depending on the weather, the inside of the car can become cold enough to be fatal to your cat. In the summer, the inside of the car can become an oven that can turn lethal in mere moments and the winter temperature can be just as dangerous.

Watch for Frostbite on Outdoor Cats

If you allow your cat outdoors, keep in mind that he’s susceptible to frostbite, especially on the ear tips. Always make sure your cat is indoors when the temperature gets uncomfortable and check your cat over physically to look for signs of frostbite.