Outdoor cats are hardy creatures, but they do need special care that indoor cats can do without. Without the protection of a comfortable house at all times, outdoor cats need provisions to keep them safe from the dangers of weather extremes, both in summer and in winter. One can care for outdoor cats in winter through the following measures.
The first step is to provide adequate shelter that will be both clean and warm. There is a science to building a cat house; the enclosure needs to be small enough that the chamber can trap and insulate body heat. It also needs the right insulation: avoid using blankets, towels, hay, or folded newspaper. Instead, use straw or a pillowcase stuffed with shredded newspaper or packing peanuts. You could also simply insulate the chamber with Mylar. Replace the insulation and clean out the shelter as necessary.
Provide Food and Water
The next step is to provide food and water. The problem is that winters in Maryland can often go below the freezing point, which is why it is crucial to have a way to keep the bowls from freezing. Perhaps the niftiest solution is the solar-heated water bowl. Another option is a thick, wide, and deep plastic water bowl. Keeping the food from freezing is less of a concern, but one can also invest in a heated food bowl. It is best to keep the bowls near the cat houses so they won’t have to travel far.
Shovel Snow Away
In the event that Maryland experiences deep snowfall, you might want to shovel your outdoor cat’s pathway out of its enclosure. You don’t want it to get snowed in! If you are anticipating a heavy snowstorm, however, you might want to at least provide extra food and water in a sheltered area close to their enclosure.
Keep Poisons Away
If you have outdoor cats roaming your property, be sure to keep deadly chemicals like antifreeze and other snow-melting products out of reach. Should your cat lick it up, it will most likely die. Antifreeze in particular can have an irresistible taste to cats and other animals.
Check the Hood of Your Vehicle
If you have an outdoor cat and an outdoor car, it’s always better to be safe than sorry before starting your engine. Lift up your vehicle’s hood or give the hood a few taps to check that nobody has curled up inside there on especially cold days.
Trust the Care of Your Pet to the Professionals at Everhart Veterinary Medicine!
At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With two Maryland locations in both Baltimore and Pasadena, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131 or 410-793-7670! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!