#1 – Lock away de-icing solutions and antifreeze
Do you use a de-icing solution to free your car windows of ice? Be aware that these products are extremely poisonous to cats and can quickly turn deadly! Store your anti-freeze and deicers away safely, clean any spills right away and immediately contact your vet in case of ingestion – even when your cat only licked a small amount of anti-freeze off their coat. Many de-icers, screen washes, and some types of anti-freeze that go into your car radiator have ethylene glycol as one of their main components, a dangerous substance that’s highly poisonous yet, for some reason, highly appealing to cats. We honestly cannot stress how important it is to rush your cat to the vet right away.
#2 – Accompany your kitten
Is this your cat’s first snow? How adorable! However, your little furball might get spooked by that crunchy sound and the cold feeling underneath their paws. Make sure to let your kitten discover snow in an enclosed space first, so they don’t run into traffic in a blind panic. You can do so by simply filling a large plastic container with snow and bringing it indoors. Make sure to have your camera ready because things are about to get super cute!
#3 – Prevent the cat flap from freezing
If your cat is an indoor-outdoor cat, remember to check the cat flap every now and then. Heavy snowfall could block it, or cold weather could cause it to freeze shut. If it gets this cold, you should probably consider keeping your cat indoors for their own safety though.
#4 – Wipe your cat’s paws clean
When your cat comes back in after enjoying the outdoors, make sure to wipe their paws clean. Icy paws can result in frostbite, while road grit and salt can hurt your cat’s paw pads. The greatest danger, however, lies in anti-freeze, which when ingested can prove deadly!
#5 – Provide clean water
Outdoor cats’ water supply might freeze in cold weather. Make sure to provide your feline with fresh, liquid water – preferably indoors. Never add salt to their drinking water to prevent it from freezing. Although it is true that cats can process salted water better than humans, the crystals are still pretty bad for your feline’s kidneys.
#6 – Make sure to get a litter box
If your cat is an indoor-outdoor cat, you may not own a litter box. Make sure to have one ready though, just in case a snowstorm or downpour forces you to keep your cat inside. If you have multiple cats, it would be best to provide one litter box per cat plus one additional one.
#7 – Check under the bonnet/hood
In winter, cats look for a warm spot to hide. The empty space under your car hood/bonnet, close to the warm car engine seems perfect to them. Always check for cats before you leave by car. If you’re in a hurry, at least tap the hood/bonnet a few times to alert any cats that they better leave right away.
#8 – Get your cat microchipped
Make sure your cat can be traced back to you in case they get lost. Get your cat microchipped and provide them with an address collar so kitty can be brought straight back to you in case they lose the way looking for a warm spot. Did your address change since your cat was first microchipped? Make sure the contact data on the chip are up-to-date.
#9 – Keep your cat indoors if possible
In winter, it’s not just the cold temperatures and snowfall that pose a risk, but also the reduced amount of daylight. In the darkness, your cat is more prone to get hit by traffic or get lost. Prevent your cat from going outdoors and instead entertain them indoors with our Senses Toys. They keep your cat happy and active, even when you’re not at home.
#10 – Be careful with fire and heaters
Fireplaces and candles pose an obvious danger to cats. However, space heaters can prove a fire hazard too when tipped over by your pet. Make sure to only use space heaters that switch off automatically when tipped over and keep open fire out of reach of your cat at all times.
#11 – Feed your cat a nutritious diet
Providing your feline friend with the right nutritious diet is vital to keeping their coat thick and healthy. This, however, doesn’t mean your cat should fatten up for winter. If you live in an area that is prone to snowstorms, don’t forget to stock up on cat food before winter hits.
#12 – Provide shelter for stray cats
Your cat might be having a cozy nap inside your warm home, but meanwhile stray cats are struggling to find a warm spot to have a rest. If you are a little handy, you can build a shelter box with just a minimum of resources. If there’s a shed or an outbuilding in your yard, wedge open the doors so stray cats can enter and exit. You can even make a cat flap in the door as a more permanent solution.