How to Keep a Stray Cat Warm Outside in Winter

How to Keep a Stray Cat Warm Outside in Winter

Lets find out how to keep a stray cat warm outside in winter, how to keep cats warm in garage. How do stray cats survive in cold weather, how do cats survive in extreme cold.

No matter how cold it is, some cats still want to be outside. Which means they are at risk from potential hazards but with care, the trouble can be prevented.

The clocks have just gone back, and this means one thing: darker mornings and nights and a lot less daylight. Then we have the colder weather to look forward to!

When it’s cold, cats can look for shelter in sheds, garages and outbuildings. So keep the doors either shut or wedged open, so that cats do not become trapped.

More cats tend to go missing in the winter months as many lose their bearings so it is advisable to have your cat micro-chipped. If you have moved to a new address, ensure the microchip database has your new contact details with phone number. If your cat goes missing, you can be reunited much quicker.

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Going out

In the winter, try to let your cat out-side when temperatures are warmer and avoid peak hour traffic levels. Try to keep your cat inside during the dark hours when there is a greater risk of cats being involved in road traffic accidents, theft and physical attacks.

Check your cat flap on a regular basis to ensure it has not frozen over or be-come blocked by snow. The festive season is a busy one for a lot of families. Many have visitors, which can mean the door being open and shut more often. Which can result in a stressed-out cat sneaking out.

This is particularly worrying if your cat is an indoor cat. She is not familiar with outdoor surroundings or busy roads. You can prepare for this by preparing a quiet room in the house where your cat/cats can feel safe. Also where she feels secure and can seek sanctuary if things get too noisy.

A stressed-out cat with nowhere to seek solace is more likely to try to escape and apart from the potential dangers of this. There are also possible health implications in the form of feline lower urinary tract disease ‘FLUTD’. Which can vary from cystitis to a urethral blockage which would require immediate veterinary intervention.

Anti-freeze and Vehicles

As the weather gets colder and frost appears, this is when many of us reach for the bottle of anti-freeze. Being sweet in taste it is attractive to cats due to its palatability and even if only a small amount is ingested.

It can cause serious kidney damage and be life threatening so please keep antifreeze out of the reach of your cat. If you suspect that your cat has ingested anti-freeze please take him/her to the vets as a matter of urgency; unfortunately, the longer the delay between the ingestion and the start of treatment, the less favorable the outcome.

With the temperatures dropping, many cats who are out on their daily travels seek out warmth. So they may climb under the wheel arches of vehicles or into the engines. If your car is routinely parked out on the driveway, check underneath the car to ensure that no cats have taken shelter.

Before you reach for the deicer either tap on the bonnet or beep the horn just to make sure the resident cat has not made their way underneath the bonnet. A cat outside in plunging temperatures for periods of time can occasionally succumb to frostbite and hyperthermia.

Frostbite can affect anywhere on the body but in particular where the fur is thin. As an example the tips of their ears, tail, nose and footpads. The skin looks either pale white or a blue tinge and is the sign of the circulation being affected. Please do consult your vet without delay.

Snow and ice

Snow on the driveways and paths, along with ice, bring their own dangers. Salt and chemical melting products can be toxic to cats, especially if any gets on their paws. When they clean themselves they could ingest some of the products so if your cat has been outside, wipe their paws to remove as much residue as possible.

Also, grit and salt can cause the paws to be sore and irritated, so it is always best to check their paws for any sign of injury or discomfort.

“Check your cat flap on a regular basis to ensure it has not frozen over or become blocked by snow”

Christmas Season

It is worth noting that if you are wanting to offer a cat or kitten a home in time for Christmas. The majority of rescues stop re-homing in the lead up to the festive period until the New Year. This is because cats need time to settle in and get used to their new owners and surroundings. She also need to settle with the hustle and bustle of this busy period could cause them unnecessary stress. You can also give your pet some training to avoid these issues.

By the middle of October, Katie Lloyd from Bradford Cat Watch Rescue was already getting a worrying number of inquiries from people wanting to adopt cats and kit-tens around, and for, Christmas.

Cats and kittens are upset by leaving the security of their mothers and the rescue to go to a strange, very busy & noisy house at Christmas so they could not choose a worse time of year to home a kitten!! Therefore, the decision was taken not to re-home any felines from 8 December to 1st January.


With a lot of people setting off fire-works on New Year’s Eve it is advisable to try and keep your cat inside, in a place where they feel safe and secure to minimise their stress levels. If a cat is out on his/her nightly ventures and they hear or see the fireworks, all they want to do is get away and hide.

This can lead to them panicking and displaying a ‘fight or flight’ reaction; some become disorientated as they have run in an unfamiliar direction so become missing. In their quest to run for safety it may sadly lead to them being involved in a road traffic accident. If your cat is uninsured, have you considered taking out a policy?

Vet bills, especially emergency vet treatment, can run into hundreds of pounds if not more. So they are definitely worth the peace of mind for the sake of a few pounds a month. Depending on your budget, do try to get ‘cover for life’ or ‘lifetime cover’.

Whilst there are so many hazards that can potentially affect a cat, prevention, as they say, is better than cure and as long as cat owners are aware of the possible dangers. You can prevent your feline friend from coming to harm, meaning you can all enjoy the winter period.

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