Cats and cars – winter safety advice
January 21, 2023
Winter can be a dangerous time for cats, especially when it comes to cars. We have some advice for owners on how to keep their cats safe this season.
Car winter warmers
When it’s cold outside, cats will instinctively find somewhere warm to take shelter. If that’s outside, your cat may head for a car.
Cats are often attracted to the warmth of a car’s engine and may crawl up under the bonnet to take shelter from the cold. This can be a major problem, as the car’s engine can become very hot when it is running and can cause serious injury (or worse) to your cat. To prevent this from happening, it is important to check your car’s engine before starting it, especially on cold winter days. Make sure to look under the bonnet and around the front of the car and tap on the bonnet to alert any cats that may be hiding there. You should also make sure to keep your car’s bonnet secured, as cats may be able to open it if it’s not properly latched. In wet weather they may shelter under the car too.
To help you spread this important message, you can share our winter cat safety advice for drivers image on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter – remember to tag Clarendon Street Vets!
Another winter danger for cats is the risk of being hit by a vehicle. Clearly this is year round risk, but there may be more cars on the road in bad weather and animals are harder for motorists to spot on dark evenings. To reduce the risk of accidents, encourage your cat indoors more during the winter months, especially during the evening and overnight. If your cat wears a collar, a reflective one (with quick release clip) may help visibility.
Our vets advise all cats owners in Cambridgeshire to get their cat microchipped as soon as possible. If your cat is microchipped already, are your contact details up to date? A microchip is often the only way for a vet surgery to contact you if your cat gets lost or is brought in after an accident. If you have persuaded your cat to wear a collar, you should keep their identification tags up to date too, in case they do get lost or injured.
Overall, winter can be a dangerous time for cats, especially when it comes to cars. To protect your cat, our advice is to check your car’s engine before starting it, keep the bonnet secured, ensure your cat can be identified and encourage your cat indoors more. Happily, once the heating is on and a cosy bed is provided, most cats will be more than happy to oblige!