PRACTICAL TIPS FOR COLD & WET WEATHER.
The current wet weather is a timely reminder to highlight the dangers pets face when their human owners need to dry clothes or warm up the house.
In cold weather, pets (cats especially) will actively seek out the warmest spot available. A recently used tumble dryer, unfortunately, provides a warm dark hiding place, especially for kittens. Tragically, cats have been killed when their owner switches on the tumble dryer without realising their cat has crept inside to enjoy the warm spot it has discovered.
For pet safety, best to close the tumble dryer door after each and every use and always quickly check to make sure your kitten is not fast asleep inside the drum.
Just like humans, many pets find comfort in lying by the fire or heater to warm up. It is important to monitor pets around heating elements. Always place a barrier in front of an open fire and ensure pets are not lying too close to the heater. Heaters and fire can also damage a pet’s eyes by triggering dry eye episodes and also superficial burns.
Practical Tips for Cold and Wet Weather: Part 2.
During winter, cats love to curl up under the warm engine bonnet of a car. Sadly, this can result in a badly injured or burnt cat where the car was started up with the cat still curled under the car.
Before starting the car, always tap on the bonnet to wake them up. If you know your cat sleeps in the engine bay, it is best to wait to see the cat actually move out and away from the car before starting the engine.
Likewise, never leave a pet in the car even during winter. Cars can reach freezing point overnight, whilst during the day they can still rapidly heat up, leading to heat stress and possible death.
Do not, as we have seen advised elsewhere, honk or blow the car horn to alert the sleeping cat. Besides being distressing to the pet (and your neighbours), using your horn in this manner could see you face (under road rules) significant financial and licence demerit penalties for “illegal use of a warning device”.
For more information on the need to provide sources of heat in your house and in your car for your cat, read Dr Aine’s other post on WHY cats dangerously heat-seek in the first place.