After an incredible summer, it’s time to start thinking about what the winter will bring.
“Cats love to be out and about, and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t continue to enjoy the great outdoors all year round,” said Cats Protection’s Events Manager Emma Osborne. “However, there are particular dangers during the colder months which owners should be aware of in order to ensure their cats are safe and healthy.”
Here are some top tips on keeping cats safe this winter from national charity Cats Protection:
- Be aware of toxic substances:
Antifreeze is lethal for cats – avoid using it in water features and clear up any spills immediately. Keep all chemicals that may be stored in sheds or garages well out of your cat’s way.
- Check sheds regularly:
Cats may sneak into sheds, garages and outhouses to look for a cosy, warm spot for a snooze, so make sure you check to see if any cats are inside before locking doors or windows.
- Fireworks risks:
During fireworks season, keep your cat in after dark and provide a safe area with a litter tray, food and water bowls, as well as a place to hide. Ensure doors and windows are closed to prevent your cat escaping and reduce outside noise by keeping curtains drawn. A pheromone plug-in diffuser can be used to decrease anxiety and can have a calming effect – start using it a couple of weeks before the fireworks season starts and site it in the room where your cat spends most of his time.
- Be aware of road dangers:
As evenings become darker, remember that cats are at increased risk of road accidents after nightfall. Try to keep your cat indoors overnight and time meals to coincide with rush hour to help keep your cat away from busy roads.
- Book a vet check:
Ensure your cat is fully vaccinated to protect against diseases and parasites. Neutering is also vital to prevent unwanted kittens being born and to reduce roaming, keeping your cat closer to home.
- Get your cat microchipped:
Cats Protection recommends microchipping as a safe, effective way of identifying a lost or injured cat. This family was reunited with their cat recently after 5 long years thanks to an up-to-date microchip.