Cat in the snow - tips for the cold season
It's winter, so many are happy that it is finally snowing and everything is covered with white snow. Some cats really like snow and like to play with it. But they often eat it out of curiosity - and that can be a problem!
When cats are out in the winter, they can eat snow or drink from puddles. For them, not only is it cold, the snow is often also contaminated with harmful road salt, sand or even toxic antifreeze. Therefore, some animals may develop so-called snow gastritis, an inflammation of the stomach lining.
Snow gastritis can cause the following symptoms in your cat:
- loss of appetite;
- sometimes diarrhea.
How can I protect my cat from snow gastritis?
It is best to prevent the animal from eating snow. Of course, with cats, it's not that easy when they're outside and roaming around alone. Therefore, if your cat tends to eat snow, you should monitor it outside, at least during the first days of snow. You should also avoid throwing snowballs at your cat as this will encourage him to catch them.
If your cat is already showing symptoms of snow gastritis, you will need to follow a diet for a few days and drink only warm water for 24 hours. You can also help your cat with proper nutrition. Prefer to feed him light meals, such as lean (boned) chicken with rice in small but frequent portions. Unsweetened porridge can also soothe your cat's stomach.
Often, the symptoms of snow gastritis in cats disappear after a day. If your cat's condition does not improve, it is strongly recommended that you see a veterinarian.
Should I put my cat out in the winter at all?
In principle, outdoor cats can cope with cold temperatures and can go outside in winter. However, they should always be able to return to the heat. Therefore, a door for a cat can be useful, but the possibility is also a winter-resistant cat house outside. There, the cat can find shelter when it is too cold, rainy or stormy.
However, young or sick animals and cats that do not have a sufficiently thick fur should remain indoors when there is frost outside. Otherwise, they may easily catch a cold or become infected.
Snow and cold rainwater can not only cause gastritis. If your cat gets wet, it is best to dry it immediately to avoid a cold. You should then be able to warm up in a warm, cozy place. Your outdoor cat may need more food than usual to recover from the cold, as it now needs more energy to maintain its body temperature.