Although it's still been warm here during the day, it is very cold as soon as the sun goes down, which is around 4:30 p.m., local time. While all my cats are toasty warm indoors, I've noticed some neighbors in our new community, leave their cats outside. The ASPCA sends annual reminders that cold weather can be a killer for cats that are for one reason or another, outside cats.
Although cats really belong indoors, many people feed stray cats or care for feral colonies, and this is important information for those who care for outdoor cats. I had a little outdoor cat at one time. She was a neighborhood stray that I was feeding, and if she had owners, they refused to let her inside, even on very cold, rainy nights, or 110 degree summer heat. I bought her a medium sized dog igloo, fitted with an outdoor heated mat. Even then, as soon as circumstances permitted, I brought her inside and made her mine. (Jenny aka Jennifur) is pictured at right)
Photo Credit: © Franny Syufy
Among the tips the ASPCA offers are:
- Keep them sheltered from the cold and wind
If you take your cat out for a walk, dress him in a warm jacket (dogs' small size works well).
- Keep them well-hydrated
Heated water bowls are available for this purpose, if you have a stray colony in your yard.
- Watch out for spilled anti-freeze
It's very attractive to cats and dogs, and it's poison.
- Ice melts are dangerous too
Used to rid sidewalks and driveways from ice and snow, these products contain sodium products, which can irritate tender pads and cause even more problems if ingested.