Winter can be a wonderful time of year and there is nothing quite like snuggling up with a cat indoors during a cold spell. However, the cold weather can present a few risks to our feline friends, so it is important you're prepared. Read our advice on how to keep your cat safe, happy and warm during the colder months or take our quiz to find out how much you already know.
You can do your part to keep a cat warm in winter. Our video has a range of tips for keeping cats safe and warm in the winter months, including providing outdoor shelter and checks around the home.
Antifreeze, used in car radiators or in screen wash or de-icers in the winter, is particularly poisonous to cats. The solution contains ethylene glycol, a substance that can prove fatal if ingested. It only takes a small amount to harm a cat, whether they consciously drink it or walk through a puddle and then groom their fur.
To protect your cat (or cats in the neighbourhood) from antifreeze poisoning, try our top tips:
Some cats might prefer to head indoors during the winter and find a warm spot for a snooze. Warm, comfortable and draught-free places are ideal for your cat, while heat pads or beds that go over radiators are even better.
When temperatures drop or if you experience a power outage in your home, you may be wondering how to keep your cat warm without electricity. Cats are generally good at finding warm, cosy places to rest if the temperature drops indoors, but young, old or cats struggling with health conditions may need additional care. Here are a few things you can do for your cat when it gets cold inside:
Does your cat have arthritis? Arthritic and elderly cats can suffer in cold weather as it severely affects their joints. Offer plenty of warm places for your cat to sleep in and make sure they are easily accessible. If you are concerned about your cat’s health, or they seem arthritic, seek veterinary advice as they can provide pain relief medication.Find out more about arthritis in cats
The autumn and winter brings with it the promise of fireworks and Bonfire Night. Unfortunately, this can be a stressful time for cats as they become distressed at the loud noises and lights. Ensuring they feel safe and happy is particularly important.
Cold weather presents a number of risks for cats. Here are a few other potential dangers your feline friend might encounter during the winter months and what you can do to protect them:
Cats that are outdoors may crawl into a warm car engine to get warm. Tap the bonnet of your car before you start up the engine to avoid a cat getting injured.
As the evenings get darker, reduced visibility makes traffic conditions riskier for wandering cats. If you’re concerned, keep your cat indoors overnight. See also: Cats at night.
From tinsel to holiday plants like poinsettias, various festive decorations can pose risks to curious cats. Keep potentially dangerous items out of reach and supervise your cat or opt for cat-safe alternatives. Read more about keeping your cat safe during the festive season.
Although ticks are usually most active between March and October, some of them are around during the winter months and stay in damp places like woods or tall grass. If your cat goes outside, this is something to consider. As for fleas, they cannot survive in the cold and need warmth, so they can still spread in winter when we raise the temperature in our homes.
To protect your feline friend, we recommend discussing your cat’s lifestyle and individual risks with your vet, who can advise which treatment option is best for your cat.
Noticed your cat sneezing or having a runny nose? The symptoms of cat flu are usually caused by various viruses and bacteria. It can make your cat get a sore throat, runny eyes and nose. Other symptoms can present such as muscle and joint pain, fever, loss of appetite and eye ulcers.
All cats can get it, but the most vulnerable to cat flu are kittens, older cats and those with weakened immune systems or other medical conditions.
It’s important to see the vet as soon as possible when you notice any of the symptoms. Maintain good hygiene at home by keeping other cats separate, and a cat that’s ill will need to be kept indoors until they are treated.Find out more about cat flu