Monday, November 5, 2012

How to Keep Cats Warm in the Winter

Domestic cats came from Africa and Asia, although they can tolerate the cold it can take its toll on a cat.  Learn some tips for keeping your outdoor cat warm this winter.

Cats can get frostbite, their ears and tail are the most likely places to suffer from this.  The cat, Binx, whom was left here after his owners moved away had suffered frostbite at some point as the tips of his ears were missing.  Even large animals such as horses have lost their ears due to frostbite so you can only imagine what it could to to the thin ears of an outdoor kitty cat.

Old cats, and of course the very young, are particularly vulnerable to the cold.  In the old cats they also have aches and pains due to arthritis, and they really need to be kept warm because the cold weather makes their pains worse. For these cats a heated cat bed can really help.

Cats who are outside in the winter need extra food, they should not be on a restricted diet.

I have couple of cats who stay outdoors in the winter, they have a warm barn and several other outbuildings they can go into, but I have run into a few problems with feeding these cats.  It is a good idea to leave dry food out at all times, but I have had skunks come and eat their food at night, and blue jays steal their food in the day.  As such I have had to find a few places to leave cat food where neither the skunk nor the jays can find it.   I have some cat food in a stall in the barn, and some on a ledge in the garage, as well as the bowl on the deck that I can take in at night.

When it gets very cold outdoor cats benefit from the extra energy that canned food can give them.  Try to give them a little bit every day when it is cold out.

If your cats are outdoors in the winter and you do not have warm outbuildings for them to go into you can get a small dog house and the cats will use that, be sure to put down straw or towels to add warmth, or consider getting a heated blanket for outdoor use.

Also make sure your outdoor cats have fresh water as they should not be made to eat snow.  You can buy electric heated water bowls to make sure your cats stay hydrated.

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