As the temperature drops this winter, awareness of your cat’s safety and health should rise. The Humane Society of the United States offers the following winter tips for cat owners:
1. Never let your cat outside when the temperature drops dramatically.
2. If your cat has been outside for even a few minutes in extreme temperatures, watch for shivering, cold extremities, depression or other distress signals that indicate hypothermia. Contact your veterinarian immediately and keep the cat wrapped in a warm blanket if you think it is suffering from frostbite or hypothermia.
3. Ethelyne glycol antifreeze is extremely toxic. Consider using antifreeze containing propylene glycol, a safer chemical. Clean up any spills, and store antifreeze in sealed containers.
4. Salt and de-icing chemicals can irritate a cat’s paws and can be toxic if ingested.
5. Free-roaming cats often seek relief from the cold in warm car engines. Before starting your car, bang on the hood or tap your horn to alert any unsuspecting cats.