Cat Freezing and Hypothermia
Being exposition to intense cold can cool off the whole body. Hypothermia happens when the body's internal temperature descends drastically; then life is in danger. The majority of cats are protected from the cold by their dense hair. The extremities, as well as the tops of the ears and the tail, have a minor protection and thus can become frozen in specific places.
Monitor possible shock.
- Pale or whitish gums
- Agitated breathing
- Weak and intense pulse
- Coldness of the extremities
- General weakness.
Has the cat been immersed in cold water or exposed to intense cold and is shivering and disoriented? Is he drowsy and exhausted? Does he have a rectal temperature lower than 36,7°C ? Does he have convulsions or is he in coma? Is he a puppy, or a mature cat that for any reason has suffered a shock or has just gone out from anesthesia? Does he belong to a small size breed or fine skinned, as the Rex, and has been exposed to a moderate cold, but shows some of the previous symptoms? YES
Hypothermia - First Aids. Go to the veterinarian NOW
Has the cat been exposed to freezing winds, snow or low temperatures and has the face is pale or red and the ears swollen? Does he react with pain when you touch the ears, tail or legs? Is its skin cold? Is it wrinkled? YES
Freezing - First Aids
Hypothermia in Cat
- Wrap the cat up with a warm blanket (a good system to warm blankets quickly is in a clothe wringer) .
- Wrap a bottle or a bag of warm water with a towel, and put it close to the cat's abdomen (Be sure of wrapping the bottle well, if not done, it will burn the skin)
- If the cat is conscious, make him drink warm liquids
- Take its temperature every ten minutes. If it is lower than 36,7°C, go immediately to the veterinarian. Passed 37,8°C, take the bottle or the bag away, but keep the animal in a warm room (Avoid excess of heat).
- If it has been exposed to extreme cold examine its paws, ears and tail in search of pale areas and symptoms of freezing.
- Softly massage these areas with a warm towel. (Do not rub or compress them strongly, you might cause more injuries in the affected skin).
- Warm up the frozen areas with lukewarm water to a maximum of 32.2°C. As it is being defrosted, the skin reddens.
- If the skin turns dark, go immediately to the veterinarian.