In autumn, Montana has a lot of chilly days and some downright frigid nights. And with winter fast approaching, it’s important to remember that your pets need to stay warm to stay safe. It’s especially important for cats that spend a lot of time outdoors. Being cold for too long can predispose a cat to hyperthermia and frostbite, or make underlying medical conditions worse. Staying warm and dry will help your cat stay safe this winter—here’s what you can do.
Winter Hazards for Cats in Montana
While they sport a fine fur coat, if cats become overly cold or, even worse, wet and cold, it can be very dangerous. Hypothermia and frostbite can set in quickly for small animals. Cats left outside on a cold night could lose the tips of their ears to frostbite or even freeze to death.
During the winter, cats will try to find the warmest place to sleep—even if it’s the engine of a car or truck. If a vehicle was running recently, its engine will stay warm for some time. Cats will climb into places like engine blocks and wheel wells, but it could be deadly for the cat if someone starts the engine again.
Antifreeze is another winter hazard for cats. Water is scarce in winter, and the taste and smell of antifreeze will not deter a thirsty cat. However, antifreeze is extremely poisonous, and if a cat drinks it, there could be deadly consequences.
Five Tips to Keep Your Cat Warm in the Winter
- Keep your cat indoors during the winter months. If that is not possible, make sure your cat has a winter shelter that they can use if they need to. It should be insulated, off the ground, and—most importantly—waterproof.
- Ensure that indoor cats have places to perch that are cozy and high. Heat rises, so put cat beds in a place that’s off the floor to make sure your cat stays extra warm and cozy.
- Feed your cat a little more. It takes a lot of work to keep warm. If you notice your cat is losing weight this winter, consider adding a little extra food to their bowl.
- Before starting your car in the winter, check the wheel wells and make a loud noise. Cats like to hide under the hood of cars and trucks during the winter, so smack the hood or honk the horn before starting the car to scare off any cats sleeping near the engine or on the wheels.
- Keep extra food and water on hand in case there are storms. Winter is unpredictable, and severe storms can make getting to the store difficult, or make it difficult for a pet sitter to get in. Make sure your cat has enough food and water to last for several days in an emergency.
Veterinary Dentistry, Even in the Cold
Just like humans, cats can suffer from extreme dental pain. Unlike humans, cats will suffer in silence until the pain is unbearable. This can lead to an increased risk of infections, and the pain can make them lash out or try to hide.
Regular dental checkups are a must for the health of your cat. Early detection of dental problems can prevent tooth loss and save your cat a great deal of pain. From tooth decay to stinky breath, let Montana Pet Dentistry and Oral Surgery take care of your cat’s oral health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.