Cat Training for Severe Weather

Cat Training for Severe Weather

Ever wonder if you should be preparing and training your cat to endure severe weather conditions such as thunderstorms? The undeniable answer is: YES, a cat can and should be trained for severe weather.


One of the first and easiest things that you can do to ensure your cat is prepared for adverse weather is purchasing a cat collar and name tag. Ensure that you can fit at least two fingers between your cat's neck and its collar, while also making sure that it is snug enough to not come off. Have your cat wear its collar at all times and make sure that your name and phone number are etched onto the name tag. In the event that your cat escapes from your home - which can often happen when it is frightened from loud noises like thunder - it will already be equipped with an appropriate form of identity, and whoever finds it will be able to contact you promptly. Similarly, having your cat microchipped is another way to provide a form of identity in the event that it gets lost. This is especially useful if it loses its collar and name tag, as microchips are a more permanent means of identification and can be easily scanned at most veterinary establishments. Contact your veterinarian for an appointment to get your cat microchipped.


Learn more about collar training in cats in our blog post here.


When severe weather comes, you may notice your cat exhibiting signs of stress, such as running around or hiding. Allow your cat to do this in a safe space, preferably a quiet room with plenty of stable places to hide. Create a comfortable environment by providing food, water and objects with your cat's scent on it (such as blankets, pillows and toys). Make sure that your cat's litter box is accessible in this space. It is a good idea to establish a spot for your litter box in this designated space beforehand so that your cat is already familiar with its placement when a storm approaches. Your role at this point is straightforward: give your cat space and let it find solace in this safe space without interference. On the other hand, if your cat approaches you, soft petting and gentle tones may help ease their stress. Let your cat take the lead: if it wants to hide or if it wants to stay close to you, give your cat the ability to do so.


If your cat stresses out so much during a storm - to the point of potential injury - a comfortable crate is a great option for a safe space. Placing its favorite toys, blankets, pillows (or even catnip!) can help your cat cope with the storm as it passes through. Place the crate in a dark, quiet space that minimizes loud noises and overstimulation. Keep your cat in its crate for as long as your cat is comfortable, allowing for intermittent food / water / restroom breaks.


If you must leave your cat alone during a storm, make sure to leave its litter boxes fresh, and make available a good amount of water and food. Self-feeders, for example, are great tools for enduring cases of severe weather when you must step away from your home.


Make sure to prepare outdoor cats for severe weather conditions, as these feline friends are more prone to injury and illness during these times. Leave sufficient areas of shade for hot days with umbrellas, plants or sturdy boxes with good airflow. Even a small table would suffice - many cats enjoy laying underneath to cool themselves off from the heat. For cold days, if the cat is not accustomed to being indoors, provide warmth and protection with soft cushions such as pillows, blankets, or newspapers. 

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