Toronto Veterinarians - Pet Wellness Network

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Contact Willowdale Animal Hospital

Open 24 Hours, Year Round

256 Sheppard Ave. West
Toronto, ON M2N 1N3
(416) 222-5409

Longhair over shorthair, indoor over outdoor, to declaw or not to declaw, decisions, decisions, decisions. Life is full of them. Some of them are nice, should I walk my dog along the beach, or in the park today? Some of them, like, should I buy my cat from a breeder or adopt one from my local animal hospital are a little more complicated and take some background knowledge to make an informed decision.


I went with a cat from a shelter and since she was used to being outside (and seemed to prefer it) that decision was easy. (Oh, and in case you are wondering, Fuller, my Great Dane, and I walked in the park today.)


Like I was mentioning earlier Raymi, my beautiful feline baby, is an outside cat. In the summer time she pretty much takes care of herself, although I like to her treat every now and then with some new toys, new flavours of wet catfood and a nice brushing. With winter now in full swing,  independent as “she thinks” she is, she needs my help to survive the colder months.


The two most important things to remember come straight from Maslow. Food and shelter are the most basic and the most integral to your cat’s winter health.


Food – Although cats hunt on their own food can be scarce in the wintertime. You’ll always want to make sure you leave some food for her in a consistent and safe place. In the winter I like to use a veterinary wet and dry diet mix to ensure Raymi get the nutrition she needs. Providing your cat with food will also decrease the risk of them contracting a disease or parasite from something they have killed. The food not only supplements her diet but the extra calories help to keep her warm as well. (It takes more energy to stay warm, so animals naturally need to eat more in the winter.)


Water – Refresh their water daily. As with the food, put it out in the same place at the same time every day. Cats will learn the schedule and come for the fresh water while it is still drinkable and not frozen over.


Shelter – Your cat should have a place that your cat can go to during those long, cold, winter nights. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy or too big. Just something that can provide protection from the elements and gives them just enough room to curl up. If you have a spare blanket or some straw to put in there your cat will appreciate the extra effort and comfort. If at all possible place the blanket or straw off the ground, not only do cats prefer this, but the ground can get very cold, very quickly.


Lastly, it’s important to remember that sometimes it’s just too cold (although those days seem few and far between this winter). For the days when I feel it’s too chilly for Raymi to stay outside I coax her in with some of her favorite treats and be sure to have lots of cat grass and toys around to keep her entertained till the cold snap passes.


That being said, if you feel your cat may be suffering from hypothermia or a cold weather related injury, it is important to get her or him to your vet immediately. At any Pet Wellness Network animal hospital  the vets there will have plenty of experience in treating cold related pet afflictions. If you have any questions about your pet’s well being this winter, give your local Pet Wellness Network animal hospital a call — I’m sure your cat will thank you for it.

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