Tonawanda News —
The ASPCA would like to remind those people who care for cats to keep them inside. “Outdoors, felines can freeze, become lost or be stolen, injured or killed,” according to the organization. “Cats who are allowed to stray are exposed to infectious diseases, including rabies, from other cats, dogs and wildlife.”
The ASPCA also would like those who care for cats outdoors to check under their hood before starting their cars. Often outdoor cats sleep under the hoods and when the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, banging loudly on the car hood before starting the engine could give the cat a chance to escape.
If your pets do spend a lot of time outdoors, consider increasing their food supply to keep them warm. Pets and all living organisms use extra energy to stay warm, so this is one time a little winter weight is OK. Fresh drinking water is always important regardless of the month.
If your pets spend a lot of time inside, consider increasing their physical and mental activities with enrichment. I’ve mentioned at least seven categories of enrichment in the past to help keep your pets occupied when you are snowed in. Thinking about foraging, self maintenance, their senses, how they move, novel food items, feeder and toy puzzles and rearranging their environment.
If you have pictures of your pets in their winter attire or stories of your pets entertaining themselves this winter, ‘Like’ us on Facebook and share them. It will help inspire other critter companion caretakers.
Always make sure your companion animals have a warm place to sleep. A spot off the floor and away from all drafts is important. A cozy dog or cat bed, or fabric hammock for your bird, is perfect. My cats will be on the human bed sleeping on my legs, keeping both of us warm this March.
Kenny Coogan has a B.S. in animal behavior and is a certified professional bird trainer through the International Avian Trainers Certification Board. Please email your questions to email@example.com, or search for “Critter Companions by Kenny Coogan” on Facebook.