If you live in an area where the winters are cold, you likely dress warmly when you go outdoors. You bundle up in a winter coat, a hat, gloves, a scarf, and if there is snow on the ground, boots. Most people who are going to be spending a great deal of time outdoors in the cold will double up on their shirts, pants, and socks. If you have a cat, you need to understand that he will get cold outside as well. If your cat is an indoor/outdoor cat, it is important that you take precautions and that you know a few safety tips to keep your cat safe and comfortable during the winter.
Keep Him Indoors When it is Bitterly Cold
Since your cat cannot bundle up before going outdoors, it is up to you to keep him inside. He may have a coat of fur to keep him warm, however, it is not going to be enough. The extreme cold can be very dangerous to the cat’s exposed skin, such as the tips of his ears. Also, if it is very cold outside, predators might have trouble finding food. If they see your cat walk by, they may look at him as their next meal. If it is very cold and windy outside, you should keep your cat indoors. He may not like it, but it is for his own good.
Salt Can Be Dangerous
After it snows, there will likely be salt on the roads and de-icer on your walkways and stairs. These things can be very dangerous for your cat. When your cat walks on the salt and de-icer, it can stick to the pads on his paws. This can be painful. When he comes inside and his paws are burning, he will likely start licking his feet to soothe them. If he ingests the salt or de-icer, it can make him very sick. When your cat comes in from outside, you should wash his paws for him with a wet cloth.
Clean Up Spilled Antifreeze
Antifreeze is highly poisonous to humans and animals. Luckily, humans have the sense and the knowledge to avoid drinking it. Unfortunately, cats aren’t as smart as you would like them to be. If you put antifreeze in your car and you spill some, even just a little bit, the cat might try to lick it up. To keep him from getting sick, you should clean the spill up completely.
Check Your Car Before You Leave
If it is cold outside and your cat wants to get warm, he might climb up under the hood of your car and take a nap on your warm engine. If you start the car when the cat is under there, it can be deadly. Before you drive off in your car, you should bang on your hood a few times. Even if your cat is in the house, you should still bang. You never know if there is going to be a neighborhood stray cat under the hood trying to warm up.
Don’t Put Him in a Coat or Sweater
When it is cold outside, you will bundle up to keep warm. When people take their dogs for a walk in the winter, they will sometimes put a coat on the dog to keep him warm. This is something you never want to do with a cat. When a person walks their dog, the dog is with them at all times. When a cat goes outside, the owner is not there. If the cat tries to jump over a fence or a hedge, he could get stuck. If you don’t find him in time, he could freeze to death.
If you are like most people who have cats, you love him like he is your child. Because of this, it is up to you to keep him safe during the winter.