Caring for your cat in extreme weather
15th January 2018
Destinations around the world have recently experienced extreme weather conditions. Flooding and mudslides have affected areas of California. The east coast of the US has been battered by blizzards and many states across America have had record low temperatures. Meanwhile, Australia has endured its third hottest year on record. During such extreme weather, what can we do to ensure our cats’ safety?
Keep your cat indoors
Cats who are used to going outside may find it difficult to stay indoors, but if the temperature is extremely low or extremely high or there are floods and mudslides occurring nearby, keeping them indoors might be best for their safety. Make sure your cat has plenty of indoor enrichment including plenty of fun toys, surfaces to climb on, places to hide and scratching posts.
Keep your cat upstairs during floods
If you live in an area that is at a high risk of floods, consider keeping your cat upstairs until any flood warnings have passed. Keep your cat’s carrier to hand in case you need to make a quick exit. Make sure your cat has everything they need upstairs including food, water, a comfy bed and a litter tray.
Limited outdoor access
If your cat really wants to go outside, you could consider giving them limited access. If it’s very cold, keep your cat indoors at night when the temperature plummets further. When it’s extremely hot, consider keeping your cat indoors in the middle of the day when the temperature is at its hottest and the sun at its strongest. Areas of shade in the garden should be provided when it’s hot so that when your cat is outside, they can shelter from the sun.
Make sure your cats are microchipped so that if they become lost they can be returned to you more easily.
Keep your cat cosy
If you are giving your cat outdoor access, set up a shelter in the garden for your cat to retreat to if they get too cold. Indoors, get a fire going if you have a fireplace so your cat can warm up in front of it. Make sure it has a sturdy fire guard to prevent sparks jumping out onto your kitty.
Help your cat chill out
On extremely hot days, your cat may need some extra help to keep cool. Place a cool pack in your cat’s bed or put a fan on for your cat to sit in front of. If your cat will let you, place a cold towel on them while they are sleeping.
During hot weather, cats need access to plenty of water to prevent dehydration. Place water sources inside and outside so they can drink whenever they need to. Some cats might be used to drinking from outdoor water sources such as puddles. When the temperature drops below freezing these water sources will no longer be available so encourage them to drink more when they are in the house. Some cats prefer running water, so you might want to consider leaving a tap dripping or investing in a pet water fountain.
It’s always a good idea to have plenty of your cat’s food in the cupboard for emergency situations. If supplies are getting low and the weather starts to turn, be sure to stock up.