As the temperature in Buffalo, NY is hanging in the single digits, many people forget about our feline friends that live outdoors. Outdoor cats do not need to be brought inside; it actually might be more dangerous for the animals that live indoors year round. These outdoor cats are useful tools in many neighborhoods and farming communities, but there are ways we can look out for these tough kitties in the coldest winter months!
When the temperature drops below zero, outdoor cats are looking for a place to hunker down. Providing a small shelter for outdoor cats can help a lot during the most frigid winter days. An old dog house with a few modifications, or purchasing a shelter from a pet store are some great options! Just make sure the structure is small enough to keep the heat in, but large enough that multiple cats can snuggle up! If you are looking to insulate the cat shelter, look for hay, and not straw. Non-absorbent blankets are great for making sure the cats stay warm as well. Make sure the shelter is in a private area where the cats feel safe!
During the winter months, outdoor cats need extra calories to help them stay warm! In addition to anything they are finding by themselves, having dry cat food out at all times is extremely helpful! Warming up canned cat food is a good idea too; the cats will learn to come find it before it gets cold! Most outdoor cats are dehydrated during the winter. Looking for heated water dishes is a good but expensive option. You can just make sure you are checking the water so that it is clean, and not frozen!
When placing food out for cats, try not to use metal bowls! Cat’s tongues can get stuck to them, creating a painful experience for them! Plastic dishes or ceramic bowls are better options!
Check Your Car
Outdoor cats often seek shelter in cars during the winter because of the warm car engines. Starting a car without checking for critters can lead to some not so great outcomes for you and the outdoor cat. Tapping on your hood, or honking your horn before you start your car can scare them enough so they can safely vacate the engine space. Make sure they are a safe distance away before you drive off!
Taking precautions for outdoor cats helps them live happy healthy lives! Here at Veterinary Emergency Clinic we want what’s best for all the animals in your life. Call us with any questions or concerns about your pets this winter at 716-335-9925. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year!
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