How to Keep Your Cat Safe in Winter Weather

If your cat is the outdoorsy type, it’s important to know the rules of winter safety.

While most cats enjoy the safety four walls bring, some cats just aren’t content unless they’re able to spread their legs outside. While that fluffy coat might help stave off the winter blues, it won’t keep your kitty from freezing without proper precautions.

Keep Your Cat Indoors
The obvious advice is usually the best advice. To keep your cat safe during the winter try to keep her indoors as much as possible. While it might not be a realistic ‘round the clock solution, limiting your cat’s outdoor time will significantly reduce the chances of her developing hypothermia and other illnesses. Keep your cat busy by increasing her playtime while indoors and do your best to ignore her cries to be let out. It’s for her own good.

Walking in the Snow
Cat’s paws are susceptible to ice and snow. While it might be easy to assume their bodies will naturally protect them from the weather, their paws are extremely vulnerable when the temperature drops. Ice can get stuck in between their toes, causing frostbite to set in. Hook your cat up with some beautiful booties so she can slink around outdoors for a little longer each day. If your cat is the type to refuse to wear socks or booties, no matter how fashionable they may look, it’s important to inspect her paws after each trip outside. Look for ice build-up and any cuts that need to be cleaned.

cat winter

©istockphoto/Linda Raymond

Provide Shelter
Once outside, some cats can be difficult to wrangle back in. If your cat likes to stay outside for hours at a time it’s important to provide her with shelter. Exposed cats in winter are known to hop up under the hood of cars to grab warmth from the engine. This is incredibly dangerous. Instead, build your cat a shelter of her own she can run to for protection from the cold. A heated blanket is a great way to steer her away from hiding in cars. You might also consider installing a cat door in your home so she can come and go as she pleases. Whatever you do, make sure you remove any semblance of a draft in your cat’s shelter.

Keep them Watered
Pets should not be attempting to drink frozen water. The extreme cold of ice in winter can be a shock to a cat’s system. Ensure that your cat always has access to unfrozen water when outdoors. Leave a bowl outside in a secure place and check it regularly to make sure it hasn’t turned to ice.

Check the Weather
Always keep an eye on the weather before letting your cat wander out the door. During the winter temperatures can drop in an instant, especially at night. Be on the lookout for below-freezing temperatures, freezing rain, and sudden snowstorms. You don’t want your cat to get trapped away from home. If there’s a sign of a storm on the horizon, it’s best to keep them inside no matter how much they protest.

Meet the Author: Ben Kerns

Ben Kerns is a freelance writer, photographer and outdoor adventurer based out of San Diego. When he’s not busy working you can find him hopping across the world looking for new places to climb big rocks. He’s also fanatically obsessed with funding his outdoor obsessions for as little money as possible. This stuff gets expensive.

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