Cat Life

Chill Out, Kitty: Winter and Your Cat

Winter weather can present challenges to cats, especially those who are accustomed to long periods outside. Elderly or small cats particularly feel the cold – my cat Emma falls into this category. Emma doesn’t go outside so often anymore, but when she does, it’s for a short, supervised stroll and then back to her wintertime bed, with some extra fleece and a hot water bottle. If you cat spends the night outside, be sure to set up a bed (ideally windproof) where he can retreat from nighttime cold. We really like the KatKabin for this purpose.

Cat outside needs protection from the coldIf your cat is mostly indoors this winter, you might want to cut back on the treats to prevent wintertime weight gain. On the other hand, cats that are outdoors a lot might display increased appetite due to the calories burned fighting the cold. Make sure that playtime is a regular event, especially if your cat is cooped up indoors for the winter.

Above all, keep your cat safe. Store your antifreeze safely and bang the hood of your car before starting the engine in the morning. Remember that a cold rain can be as dangerous as sub-zero temperatures. If your cat is shivering uncontrollably and seems disoriented, she may have hypothermia. Get her to a warm place immediately and call the vet.

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