Keeping your cat healthy and safe in winter

The temperature is dropping and the winter months are fast approaching. So take a look at our helpful tips to find out how you can help your cat stay happy and healthy this winter.

As the weather turns colder, it is important to check that you have prepared your cat for the winter months ahead. Firstly, if you live in a cold climate, it is worth taking your cat for a check-up. Your vet can check to see that she doesn’t have any medical problems that will make her vulnerable to the cold.

Outdoor cats can freeze to death overnight, especially if an unexpected cold snap arrives. Make sure she stays inside at nighttimes. During the day, make sure that she doesn’t stay outside for extended amounts of time if it is particularly cold. If you feed her outside, check that her food and water aren’t frozen. She can become dehydrated in winter too.

Pay special attention to older cats or those with arthritis as the cold can seriously affect inflamed joints. Make sure she has somewhere draft-free to sleep, and if she’s stiff, help her reach her favourite places with steps or a ramp.

Safety first

Cats love a warm spot, especially in winter, and have been known to sleep under car hoods for warmth. Even if you keep your cats inside, bang loudly on the hood or honk your horn before starting your car to make sure she isn't hiding underneath.

One of the biggest dangers to animals in winter is antifreeze. Even in tiny doses, it is a lethal poison for cats. Poisoning with antifreeze affects dogs more frequently than cats due to its sweet flavour, which dogs can taste but cats cannot. However, in times where cats lack drinking water, during periods of freezing temperatures and simply when owners change the antifreeze in their cars, cats can easily lap up spillages. If you think your cat might have ingested antifreeze, see your vet immediately.

During the Christmas and New Year period, fireworks tend to make an appearance. On these nights make sure to keep your pets safely inside - sadly cats are killed every year either by accident or cruelty. The loud noises could also stress and disorient her into running across roads or getting lost.

25% - The amount of extra food your cat might eat during the winter months if she spends a lot of time outside in freezing temperatures. It all depends on your climate and cat’s lifestyle. See your vet for advice on whether you need to increase your cat's food intake.
Never leave your cat alone in a car during cold weather - vehicles can act as 'refrigerators', and hold in the cold. If left long enough, she could freeze to death.