Ash Veterinary Clinic


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Looking for Warmth in Winter

With temperatures falling and winter finally setting in, everyone is trying to stay warm. This goes for our furry family members too. While you can put on another layer of clothes or pull out another blanket, your pets cannot. Many times they will look for the warmest place, even if it is inconvenient for you or dangerous for them.

The most common one we see is outdoor cats who curl up under the hood of a car where there is a warm engine. A cat that hides or lies in this warm, seemingly safe and protected place, it can be disastrous if they do not get out of there before the engine is started. A common cold-weather recommendation is to bang on the hood and blow the horn of your car before starting the engine. Simply getting in and closing the door may not be enough to encourage a comfortable cat to depart in time to avoid severe injury or death.

Cats are notoriously curious creatures and can slide into small spaces very quickly. Your clothes dryer may catch your cat’s attention because it is warm, dark and small. These are a cat’s favorite things. If your cat does get in the dryer, they will suffer from burns and brain damage from being tossed around inside the dryer. Make sure to double check before starting your drying cycle!

There is nothing more relaxing than sitting in front of a nice warm fire. Many cats are big fans too, so keeping an eye on them is a good idea.  They may snuggle up to the warmth and not realize they are getting too hot because of the insulating effect of their coat. By the time they move away, it is possible to have sustained first or second degree burns to the skin because of that indirect contact. Make sure if you have a wood burning fireplace that you always move the cat when adding logs because of the danger of sparks.

Scented candles are a staple in many homes, particularly around the holidays. There are some great “pet odor eliminator” candles that can cover up most odors. However, this is one of those times when curiosity truly could result in the death of the cat. If you have any sort of an open flame, make sure it is completely protected and out of reach. Singed whiskers are not the end of the world, as they eventually grow back and it is a myth that removing them affects the cat’s balance; however, particularly in longer-haired cats or any cat not paying attention to the proximity of its tail to a source of fire, the risk of igniting the hair is just too great.

Cats may jump onto counters where hot stovetops can burn their feet. If your cat hangs around looking for scraps when it is meal time or is a known counter surfer, you may have to shut them away until the stovetop is cool to the touch. Cats may also jump onto heaters and radiators with similar consequences. Burned feet are treatable, but they are VERY painful. It is no fun to manage these wounds in an angry, hurting cat.

Much like with children, it is up to us pet owners to try and predict what can go wrong and prevent it in order to protect our furry family members from harm. Try to troubleshoot by looking around your home and thinking about what kind of trouble your cat can get into. At Ash Veterinary Clinic and Emergency Center, we know that cats can get into a lot of trouble very easily, so please call us at 734-782-2827 if you need to schedule an appointment or have any questions.

[4:06:25 PM] Dianne Raftopoulos: