Keep your cat safe and warm this winter

While it’s wet and cold outside, now’s the time to make sure your cat has somewhere warm and safe to weather out the winter.

While it’s cold and wet outside we all like to snuggle up inside and stay warm. Though, if your cat is on the adventurous side, they might still be tempted to go outside and explore, even if your nose gets cold just at the thought of it.

But whether your cat is an indoor cat only, or an indoor cat mostly, here are some tips for keeping them safe and warm this winter.

1. Keep up the exercise

You know how you warm up while you’re doing exercise and – even once you’ve stopped running around – some of that warmth lingers? Well, the same occurs for your cat. If it’s too cold or wet for your cat to explore the great outdoors, make sure you provide them with plenty of opportunities to play and expend their energy inside. This will not only keep their blood pumping and warm them up, but it will also help prevent them from putting on weight during the winter, which can have adverse health effects.

2. Give them plenty of warm places to snuggle up

Winter is the time to bring out the warm fluffy blankets for your cat to snuggle into and make sure all their favourite sleeping spots are made extra cosy. If you have an older arthritic cat, you may also find that heated pads will help keep them more comfortable. Just like us, cats feel their aches and pains a little more when it’s cold outside, so keep an eye on your older cat, in particular, and find ways to make them feel more comfortable.

3. Check your heating

This is especially important in the areas of New Zealand that get really chilly. While it’s good to conserve energy and keep the heater off while you’re away, it may mean your cat is stuck in a cold home all day. If you can’t keep your house warm, it’s extra important there’s a space for your cat where they can hide out and keep themselves toasty.

4. Block off your fireplace

If your home has a working fireplace, make sure your kitty can’t get too close to the heat. Set up a screen, or other barrier, so they can’t wander too close to an open flame or jump on top of the fireplace or wood burner.

5. Watch for signs of hyperthermia

Finally, cats are unpredictable and, unless your cat is staying inside 24/7, you can’t always be sure of what they’re getting up to. If it’s been especially cold and they’ve been outside, keep an eye out for shivering, inactivity or weakness, which could be signs they have hypothermia.

And, if your cat is showing any signs of illness during these cold and wet winter months, it’s worth taking them to the vet for a check-up.

While August might feel like winter should soon be at an end, it can remain quite chilly in New Zealand for a while yet. So, be sure to follow our tips above to keep your cat warm and healthy until the temperatures start warming up.