Cat Care – Cats and Cold Weather

Cats and Cold Weather

This is Charlie. He was rescued in late December 2017 from low minus 30 c weather with even lower wind chills. Charlie is a timid cat and required to be caught in a live trap. So the question is, When is it to cold for cats outside. The answer is simple – If it is to cold for you to be outside its to cold for cats.

Cold weather is hard on felines and sometimes deadly. It’s even harder on kittens. Ears and feet get frozen. I have seen cats with frost bitten ears. Imagine if your ears froze. I froze mine once and it hurt like crazy.

This picture is of Charlie’s paw and you can see the cold damage on the pads. This picture was taken about two weeks after capture. Charlie is an adult unaltered male. When the amazing Janet captured him he was as I mentioned quite timid.  Even though he didn’t trust right away he used the litter box and didn’t mind being fed. Within two weeks he allowed Janet to handle him and is becoming more socialized all the time. The local humane society has a 50 % discount for cats that are fostered for rehoming. This includes neutering, vaccines and a FIV blood test. So for those of you who rescue cats be sure to check for assistance from the local humane societies. I want to remind everyone that a FIV cat is not a threat to you or your other cats. FIV cats will live normal lives. Charlie will be getting all the necessary medical attention plus neutering and be ready for adoption.

Capturing feral cats is not always easy. When live trapping be sure to check the trap regularly to prevent freezing the poor kitty. As with any feral cat an isolation time is necessary to prevent bringing parasites and disease into your house. A veterinarian visit is a necessity. I isolated Roxanne for three days and after her vet visit I introduced her to the clowder. Have a plan in place handle your new rescue. It might be necessary to go straight to the humane society. If you are going to foster your capture the socialization time might vary from quick to months.  Read Raymond’s story for how long it took him to trust people. Now he loves to be cuddled.

If you can’t capture your feral cat it possible to put up temporary shelters so they can get out of the cold. On my Find a Veterinarian page  I have a great picture of a outside shelter from Amazon. Shelters can be made from bales of straw. I have seen pictures of shelters made from plastic storage bins with a smaller one inside a larger one with insulation in-between the tubs and a door cut in the side.  Shelters need blankets or mats on the floor. It is possible to purchase heated pet mats to put inside these shelters. There are also various heated bowls for cold weather shelters. The double bowl illustrated here may not be necessary if you feed dry food to your rescue.

It’s great when people go out of their way to rescue these wonderful creatures. If you can’t rescue please call someone to help these cats. I always recommend finding no-kill shelters for your rescues if you don’t find a home on you own. Remember if it’s to cold for you outside its to cold for the kitty, Same goes for dogs.

That’s my story for today. Please hug a kitty and do something green for the environment. If you have a comment please do so below. Have a wonderful day.

Trevor

 

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