Keeping your cat safe this winter

Keep your cat safe this winter
Keep your cat safe this winter

Once the nights draw in and the temperature drops, we all naturally become aware of the potential hazards that face us.

We are forever reading in the news that snow is on its way and I, like most people, are probably not really convinced until that morning arrives when we wake up, look outside and panic sets in, writes Peterborough Cats Protectionn spokeswoman Sheridan Gaunt

Whether you’re a pet owner or feeding a stray cat, this time of year there are so many risks that our feline friends face. By following a few simple tips, you can make such a difference in helping to keep them safe.

Cats may climb into vehicle engines for warmth. Before you start your vehicle, give a firm tap on the bonnet and take a few moments to check the tyres as they often tend to take shelter there. Stray cats are renowned for doing this, which is highly dangerous.

Antifreeze is deadly to cats, less than a teaspoon of antifreeze – even a curious lick from a small driveway spillage – could be enough to cause potentially fatal poisoning in cats.

Cats are particularly susceptible to poisoning from antifreeze due to their specialised metabolism. When ingested, a small amount of antifreeze can cause rapid and fatal injury to a cat’s kidneys.

If your pet shows any of the following signs of poisoning, consult your vet immediately: Increased drinking and urination, vomiting, depression, being abnormally sleepy, appearing ‘drunk’ or uncoordinated, abnormally fast heartbeat or very fast, shallow breathing.

If your cat enjoys being outdoors, then try and only let it do so when temperatures are highest and traffic levels are lowest. Also, check your cat flap regularly to ensure it hasn’t frozen over or got blocked by snow.

Keep your cat in during the hours of darkness when there is a greater risk of cats being involved in road traffic accidents.

When your cat comes in from the snow, wipe off any road grit and any other substances that may stick to his/her paws or fur.

If your cat uses an outdoor water source to drink, make sure it doesn’t freeze.

Always have clean, fresh water available inside in case the outdoor source is inaccessible. Remember if you are feeding a stray cat, wet food can freeze so pop some dry in a bowl in a sheltered area and refresh the water as often as you can.

During the colder months all charities will see the number of calls increase asking to help stray or homeless cats. They are likely to be full, with a waiting list. If you are especially concerned about a sick or injured stray, then please call our helpline on 0345 371 2750.

If you would like to support us and help a cat or kitten in our care, you can do so by donating any item from our amazon wish list at