With winter in full swing, there are many risks that this time of year can bring to our feline friends.
Here are some tips and hazards to be mindful of:
1) Frostbite – pets are just as susceptible to frostbite as humans in freezing temperatures.
Areas most at risk are the extremities – ears, paws and tail. Keep pets inside and out of cold weather whenever possible and especially at night when temperatures drop!
2) Tap your hood – outdoor cats often hide under the hood of cars to keep warm. When the engine is started, the cat can be seriously injured or killed by the fan belt, or suffer from burns. Tapping on the hood of the car gives cats a chance to escape safely.
3) Antifreeze (ethylene glycol) – Extremely toxic substance if ingested! Just a few teaspoons can be lethal. The sweet smell attracts cats. Animals can become poisoned when licking spills in the driveway or garage. Choose an antifreeze product with propylene glycol, a safe alternative!
As a rule of thumb, keep out of reach of pets and clean any spills promptly.
4) Salt – If ingested, can cause severe burns to the delicate tissues of the mouth and throat. Salt is also damaging to pads causing burns, dryness and irritation. There are ‘Pet Safe’ salts commercially available made of magnesium chloride. Wildlife will appreciate this as well!
5) Cat shelters – help outdoor feral cat communities and strays by providing cat shelters! Here’s a link for how to build them : http://www.alleycat.org/resources/feral-cat-shelter-options-gallery/