Our expert advice on how to protect your cats against the chill this winter.
1. AVOID USING ANTIFREEZE
Ethylene glycol, otherwise known as antifreeze, is a chemical commonly used during the winter to prevent freezing. It is frequently used in car radiators, screen washes and deicers, as well as in garden water features to stop them freezing over. Cats seem to be attracted to the taste of this chemical which can prove deadly if they ingest it.
2. BANG THE HOOD OF YOUR CAR
Cats have a habit of crawling under car bonnets to soak up the warmth from the engine so always tap the hood of your car before starting the engine to disturb any sleeping stowaways.
3. CHECK THEIR PAWS
Check your cat’s paws and dry them thoroughly after they’ve been outside. This is especially important with long haired cats as they are prone to snow compacting between their toes and turning into ice balls which can prove very painful.
4. PROVIDE A LITTER TRAY
Even if your cat usually prefers the great outdoors, give them a place to do their business indoors without having to go outside in freezing temperatures.
5. PROVIDE LOTS OF TOYS
Your cat will probably be spending more time indoors, so make sure they are entertained with lots of interesting toys and games to play with.
6. KEEP THEM WARM AND DRY
Dry off your cat if they get wet outside and make sure you provide somewhere warm and snuggly for them to curl up, especially if they are of the older feline variety.
7. HAVE A NIGHT IN
Try to keep your cat indoors in the colder evenings so they are safe from the traffic in conditions with reduced visibility.
8. MAKE SURE YOUR MICROCHIP IS UP TO DATE
Your cat’s microchip should always be up to date, but this is especially important over the winter months where they are more likely to wander off to find the nearest warm place.