Looking after your cat in winter

Kitten snuggled on a blanket

Wintertime can be lots of fun for all the family but only if you’re prepared for the hazards that come with it. Read our advice to help keep your cat warm, happy and safe from danger during the cold spell…

Cat winter guide:

  • Most cats prefer to snuggle up inside during the winter but if yours is the outdoors type make sure they always have a warm place they can go to at all times. And, if it’s really cold, keep them inside even if they are unimpressed – pet cats aren’t used to the extreme cold and can develop hypothermia and frostbite, so it is very important to keep an outside cat warm in the winter.
  • ​Cats left outdoors often crawl into a warm car engine to get warm and, when the engine is started up, they can be seriously injured or even killed. They might also venture somewhere they shouldn’t and get trapped without food or water. If in doubt, keep your cat inside.
  • Cats that usually go to the toilet outside may need a litter tray inside, especially when there’s snow on the ground. Also, when snow is deep cat flaps can become blocked so you’ll need to check them to make sure that your cat can get out and, more importantly, back in again. 
  • Make sure your cat is fitted with a microchip so if they do wander off in search of a warm place they can be traced back to you.
  • Look out for hidden dangers over the festive season – poinsettia and lilies are popular Christmas plants but they’re actually poisonous to cats. And keep tinsel out of reach if you don’t fancy a trip to the vet to have it removed from your cat’s gut or rear-end.

— Page last updated 10/12/2018

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