Cats in Cold Weather

Cats in cold weather, if they are outdoor cats, can get into difficulties associated with the cold. Here's some brief examples:

Going in and out from warm to very cold can, it is thought, raise the potential for catching a cold and cats get 'em just like us.

cat on ice
Cat on Ice -- DoBe not sure about ice -- photo by yeimaya

Cats if locked out will seek warmth. That could be under a recently parked car or actually in the engine compartment - very dangerous. People say we should bang on the car before starting off in very cold weather, to frighten off any cat inside.

Roads are salted in icy weather. Fine, but not too fine for the humble domestic cat as the salt and perhaps other chemicals used to de-ice roads gets picked up in between the toes and on the paws. This then gets licked off and into the cat, which can cause health problems. Sometimes salt is not used as it is too expensive. Substitutes could be more toxic to cats.

Cats with a single coat (see cat hair) such as some moggies or the purebred Oriental Shorthair will feel the cold more. How about a coat!? Specially tailored, very flashy.

Older cats will be more susceptible to falls and breaks in the cold just like us. If it's very cold it is probably better to keep our cats in all the time, which is commonplace in the USA anyway. Cats in cold weather need special consideration really.

Feral cats are more able to survive in the cold particularly if they have a reliable source of food.

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