Cold weather affects cats just like it affects people. Cat owners should protect their pets from the cold, especially if the temperature is below freezing. It is essential to keep the cat inside and not let it go out because the cold outside can only harm the feline.
Feline Problems Caused by Cold Weather
Many cat owners don’t consider the fact that felines are animals that like warmth. Such owners leave their pets outside for long periods of time and believe that the cats will have no problems. However, this can cause serious harms to the cats.
One serious problem is hypothermia. This condition means that the body temperature is below the normal and occurs when cats spend extended periods of time in cold temperatures. Cats with health troubles or bad circulation can also experience this condition. At the first stages of the condition the symptoms include shiver, lethargy and weakness, but more severe signs are stiffen muscles, slower heart rate and breathing, discontinued response to stimuli. In case you notice such symptoms, you need to warm the cat and consult a vet.
Frostbite is another problem caused by cold. It may occur if you accidentally leave your cat outside. What cat owners should know is that frozen tissues should not be rubbed because this may result in tissue damages. A cat that suffers from frostbite should be immediately treated by a vet. If such treatment is not possible, you need to warm the frozen tissues, using warm water or warm towels. The warming should stop when the tissues become flushed. Then, you should dry the affected areas and cover them with a dry bandage. Severe cases of frostbite may result in gangrene and serious infections, so the cat should be treated by a vet.
Dealing with cold weather and its affects on cats
In winter, cat owners should keep their pets warm and safe. If you follow the next simple instructions, you will maintain your cat in a healthy condition during the cold season: Fortify your cat’s coat to protect it from the winter harshness. This can happen by adding more essential fatty acids to the cat’s diet. They will make the fur grow thicker, keeping the cat warm during the cold months. Fatty acids can be found in canola oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, butter and fish oil. All these oils can be added to the food that the cat eats.
Increase the levels of protein in the cat’s diet because protein makes the fur thicker. If the cat doesn’t have weight issues, you should feed it more during the winter in order to keep it healthy and warm. Vitamins E and B-complex make the tissues stronger and increase the resistance to cold. However, you should pay extra caution because additional vitamins included in the diet may lead to imbalance and health problems. Older cats and cat with arthritis should be treated extremely carefully during the winter because cold can make their joints very stiff and tender. It is recommended to modify their environment in order to facilitate their movements. In addition, provide such cats with warm and soft beds.
In winter cats should have warm places to sleep. Their beds should not be on the floor and should be warm. Ideally, the cat should sleep in a basket or box covered with a blanket. In case you have to take your cat to the vet during the cold months, you should put a bottle with hot water in the carrier. This will ensure the cat is warm during the visit. The feline’s fur should be we groomed in the cold season because if the fur is matter it won’t protect your pet from the cold.
Protection of outdoor cats
It is recommended to keep your cat indoor but in case you allow it to go outside or if it live outdoors, you need to follow some guidelines in order to keep it in a healthy state. Keep the cat outside when the weather starts becoming colder. This will allow your pet to adapt to the conditions.
Outdoor cats need additional food during the cold season because they use more energy to warm themselves up.
Cat owners should regularly check food and water to make sure they are not frozen. If the water is frozen, the cat may drink from gutter or puddles, which endangers its health. Outdoor cats should have a warm shelter, such as an insulated house. The dimensions of the house should allow the cat to turn around and to conserve its body heat. The floor of the house should be covered with cedar shavings or straw.
It is not a good idea to use newspaper, towels or blankets for the cat’s house, because these materials remain cold and become stiff and hard. Some cats sleep under the hood of your car or in the garage, so when you start the engine of the car, you should be extremely careful because the cat may get caught in the fan belt. In addition, make sure there is no leakage of antifreeze because the cat may lick it, and it is very dangerous.