Now that we are truly in the thick of the winter season, it’s important to be extra careful with your cat spending long periods outdoors, especially in the snow. While it doesn’t always snow a lot in most areas, when it does it can be a worrisome experience if you have a finicky feline in your care. If you’re a first-time pet owner you may not even have a glimpse of what to do when temperatures hit freezing. Being snowed in can be a stressful time for everyone involved, but with these five pro tips to keep your pets safe, your mind can rest a little easier.
ACCESS TO FOOD & WATER
First, always make sure your pet has access to food and water during inclement weather. While it may not be much of a problem to keep your pets well-kept during cold weather, they are likely to consume more food than normal. On top of that you could be surprised how fast water can freeze in the winter, constantly check on your pet’s water supply every few hours to ensure it hasn’t frozen over. If need be you can always consider warming food or water to give it more resistance to freezing over.
2. WINTER SHELTER
If your pet doesn’t normally have shelter outside or primarily uses a tree for shade, consider supplying an outdoor home or even a cardboard box to them for rest in while they wait out the snow. If they happen to be an indoor-outdoor animal be sure that any pet doors they may use for access to your home don’t get frozen stuck leaving your pet out in the cold unexpectedly. Use some old clothes or blankets in the shelter to provide additional warmth.
3. GRAB YOUR SHOVEL
Once your pet has a steady supply of nutrients and a dry place to lay, consider shovelling a path for them. If you can clear normal places out of snow that your cat usually goes or a little path to a bathroom spot you’d make a tremendous difference in their snow management. You could even just shovel a small path from their shelter to your door if you’re worried about sending them farther away from your house to use the bathroom.
4. ALWAYS CHECK CARS & MACHINERY
Don’t forget to be vigilant when moving cars or other heavy machinery. Cats have been known to use cars for shelter when it gets cold due to the heat that comes off them after your exit!
5. TAKE EXTRA CARE WITH THE ELDERLY
If you have an older cat or a cat that has arthritis consider bringing them inside during the time there is snow on the ground. Always check with your vet when it comes to older animals to make sure they can safely handle inclement conditions.
Does it snow heavily where you live? Do you have some tips for looking after your cat in the colder weather? Share with us in the comments below!