Cats can suffer from various conditions in winter.

Cats can suffer from various conditions in winter.I mage: Pixabay

Winter woes: Protect your cat from these conditions

In winter, cats can be affected by conditions like hypothermia, frostbite, and dehydration due to the cold temperatures.

Cats can suffer from various conditions in winter.

Cats can suffer from various conditions in winter.I mage: Pixabay

While we often relish cosy nights by the fire during winter, our feline companions can be more vulnerable to colder temperatures. Unlike us, they can’t simply throw on a jumper, making them susceptible to certain health conditions.

According to Blue Cross, as cats aren’t used to extreme weather, they can develop hypothermia and frostbite, so it’s best to keep your cat warm during winter months. Here’s a look at some possible winter woes that might affect your cat and how to keep them healthy:

Chills and Thrills (or lack thereof):

  • Hypothermia: This serious condition occurs when a cat’s body temperature dips too low. Outdoor cats, senior felines, and breeds with short fur are most at risk. Signs include lethargy, shivering, and weakness. If you suspect hypothermia, gently warm your cat (not hot) with blankets and seek immediate veterinary attention.
  • Upper Respiratory Infections: Just like us, cats can catch colds and flu during winter. These are often spread by other cats through close contact. Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and loss of appetite. Consult your vet if your cat shows these signs.

Winter Wonderland Hazards:

  • Frostbite: Prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures can cause frostbite, especially on a cat’s paws, ears, nose, and tail. Signs include pale or discoloured skin, swelling, and blistering. If you suspect frostbite, gently warm the affected area with lukewarm water and seek veterinary advice.
  • Antifreeze Poisoning: Antifreeze has a sweet smell that can be attractive to cats, but even a small amount is highly toxic. Keep antifreeze containers out of reach and clean up any spills immediately. If you think your cat may have ingested antifreeze, take them to the vet straight away.

Indoor Issues:

  • Dry Skin: Winter’s cold air and indoor heating can dry out your cat’s skin, leading to itchiness and flaking. Brushing your cat regularly and using a humidifier can help.
  • Arthritis Flare-Ups: Colder weather can exacerbate existing arthritis in older cats. Providing soft bedding, ramps to access furniture, and pain medication prescribed by your vet can help manage discomfort.

Keeping Your Cat Cosy:

By taking some simple precautions, you can ensure your cat stays healthy and happy throughout winter:

  • Limit outdoor access during very cold spells, especially for senior or short-haired cats.
  • Provide a warm, draft-free place for your cat to sleep, such as a heated cat bed.
  • Ensure a constant supply of fresh water to prevent dehydration.
  • Monitor your cat’s behaviour for any signs of illness and consult your vet if you have any concerns.

With a little extra care and attention, you can help your cat purr through the winter months safe and sound.


Artificial Intelligence assisted in compiling this article.