When the temperature drops during the cold winter months, outdoor cats will seek out warm places for shelter. One of the most irresistible and dangerous places for cats is a warm car engine, like the one in a car that has just been parked. Cats can easily access and fit the space under the hood of the car and can be killed or injured when the car is started. The BC SPCA strongly encourages cat guardians to keep their cats indoors, however, an easy and important check you can do to help keep stray and neighbourhood cats (and wildlife) safe is, “think and thump”.
Before starting your car:
- Tap or lightly thump the hood of your car, allowing time for a four-legged friend to make their escape.
- Honk your horn.
- Wait a few moments to listen for any sounds of movement.
- Check under your car for cats that might be hiding there.
You can help share this message by putting a Think & Thump decal on your car.
Poor Fievel was found under the hood of a car trapped inside a vehicle engine after a long drive. The owners of the car were shocked to find her but thankfully, Fievel did not suffer any injuries from her harrowing ordeal.
She was brought to the West Vancouver BC SPCA and without any identification, it was impossible to find out if she had a previous guardian. It wasn’t long before this cute cat was adopted and is now enjoying the warmth and safety of her new indoor home.
Outdoor Animals during Winter
- While the BC SPCA is opposed to keeping animals permanently outdoors, it does acknowledge some guardians still house their dogs in this manner.
- In such cases, the animal must have shelter protecting them from cold, windy, and damp conditions; the protection must be appropriate to their weight and coat. The shelter provided should also be elevated, insulated, and regularly cleaned.
- You should also ensure your four-legged friend has enough clean, potable drinking water that has not frozen over.
- If you happen to have stray and community cats living nearby, there are also a number of ways to keep them safe this winter.
More Winter Resources
- 4 Ways to keep community cats safe this winter
- How to keep your pets safe in colder weather conditions
- Wild animals in the winter
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