With all the news reporting on energy costs this winter I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there wondering the same thing. Having the heating on this year is a question a lot of us will have to sacrifice to ensure we have other necessities such as food! When we’re worried about keeping ourselves warm, I’m sure that concern is only made worse if you have pets. At least you can throw a jumper or slippers on yourself. Cats however are less keen on clothing!
Below I’ll be exploring some options for you to try and help keep your kitty warm without breaking the budget.
Share the heat
If you’ve decided to have the radiators on for that short while, why not place your cat’s bed next to a radiator. Try not to move it too far away from its normal position, so they know where to look for it; and not right next to exposed metal (you don’t want them burning themselves!). You can also buy radiator beds for your cat. They simply hang off the radiator and means your furry friend can get nice and cosy. Check out the link below if this seems something you’d be interested in;
Of course, this only works when you’ve got the heating on – but means that your cat can get the benefit when you do.
Fancy a brew?
A nice hot drink is just the ticket to keep us warm this winter, hot chocolate, cup of tea or a fresh coffee. Well, why not fill your kettle a little more? The excess hot water can be used to fill up a hot water bottle. These can be a great way to keep your friend warm but be sure to make sure it’s well wrapped or covered so your cat doesn’t get burnt. They usually come with a furry cover but be sure to check it before you let your cat settle down. A blanket might need to go over the top as well. Popping this in a nice small basket to preserve the heat in a particular space will help make it last longer.
If you’re not one for a hot drink, don’t worry, there are heat pads you can buy that you microwave. For a few minutes of heating up they can last up to 12 hours! Brilliant! These can be bought from most pet stores, here’s the link so you know what you’re looking for;
Just make absolutely sure that they are covered in cover or blanket so that no-one can get burned – while healthy adult cats will protect themselves, kittens and the very old can fail to realise how hot a heat pad is until they’ve hurt themselves.
Does your cat need to move house?
Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting in this economy that you need to relocate to keep your cat warm! I’m just asking you to consider what you cat likes to sleep in, where they feel most safe. There are some great little baskets you can get that are little furry igloos. These are great, because not only will your cat feel safe in their protected surroundings, it’s also a great way to help keep them warm. Like having a quilt over you at night, being an enclosed basket helps keep the heat in the same area. And you can also throw a light blanket over the top to help even more. These are also great to pop a hot water bottle underneath. They have fairly thick bedding to protect from scalding. Check the link below to get some ideas of what would suit your house;
Baby it’s cold outside
If your cat is an outdoor roamer, you could try and limit their time outside, so they don’t get too chilly. This might be easier said than done. If you’re struggling, try finding somewhere safe and dry they can hide out if they get too cold or damp. Make sure it’s cosy, dry and out of the wind. To encourage your roamer into the safe space, you can place their food bowl in there, being wary of wildlife having a nibble on it, or their litter trays. A dirty litter tray contains familiar scents and believe it or not your kitty will want to find those familiar scents.
If you can limit it, make sure your cat has lots of activities to play with at home. When they’re out wandering, they’re up to lots of things! There are lots of toys you can get to keep their minds active. Little plastic balls with bells inside so they can bat them about, food reward toys, even a little feather tied to the end of a stick is a fantastic toy for them. If you’re at work all day, you can even get battery operated toys to do the hard work for you.
Of course, you don’t need to buy anything – home-made and recycled cat toys can be cheap and just as effective as anything purchased.
It’s going to be hard this year, we are all going to be struggling with keeping warm this year. Please don’t feel alone in this and don’t suffer in silence. If you’re struggling there are lots of places to find help and advice. I’ve attached some links below for you to check out. Don’t worry alone.