The Truth About Cats in Cold Weather
I hear it all the time. "They'll be fine. After all, they are wearing fur coats."
With temperatures existing in the 20's here in Pennsylvania, and lower in other regions of the country, how can we possibly believe that our domestic cat friends are fine when we, ourselves, are shivering in our wool coats? The cold weather can have damaging, even fatal, affects on your pet cats. Here are things to remember this winter for cat safety:
Hypothermia and Frost Bite
Cats are just as susceptible to hypothermia and frost bite as humans. And, although you may think that cats are fine just because they have smooth paw pads, or a fur coat, they aren't necessarily comfortable. Once the fur coat gets wet from outside elements, body temperatures drop and their feet can get frost bitten at any point. Sadly, numerous cats each year are picked up by rescue teams because they are found frozen to the ground.
Your cat should always have a place to go to for warmth. If you are thinking of the garage, think again. Although you may argue that cats now have a roof over their head, there are hidden dangers keeping cats in a garage. Antifreeze leaking from a car may be toxic to a cat, if ingested. Also, chemicals that melt ice can be toxic to cats if they decide to lick the 'treat.'
If your outdoor cat must stay in the garage or separate room, make sure they have plenty of food, fresh water, and blankets.
Pay attention to the behavior of your cat. If your active cat is now lethargic and not eating or playing, they may be experiencing health problems from the cold weather. Consult a vet asap if you feel your cat may be too cold from the harsh temperatures.
- Jenn Smith