If you live in New York State, you know that winters can be brutal. The cold can drop down into negative temperatures when you factor in wind chill and snow. That's why doing this one thing can make a life-or-death difference.
If you park anywhere outside of a locked and secure garage, you need to do this before you hit the road in the morning during the winter season. If you do this one thing, you can potentially avoid killing an innocent stray cat, who is just trying to survive through the night.
Stray cats often find a car to crawl in during the winter to avoid freezing temperatures. Cats may be sleeping under cars during the winter, or they may even make their way into the engine area of a vehicle in an effort to stay warm.
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Unless you park in a closed garage, attached to your house with no openings to the outside, other than the garage door, you should check underneath your car each morning, especially during really cold temps. According to Pet Health Networ, you can,
give a little pound on your hood or slam the car door before you start [your car]. It's always a good idea to check underneath your car to see if cats are hiding.” You can also honk your horn before starting your car to help wake up any sleeping cats under or in your engine.
You can go above and beyond by popping the hood too. This will allow you to check for any cats that may be using your vehicle as a cover from the wintry weather. Stray cats have it hard enough living in New York, there's no need for us to unnecessarily add to the hardships they suffer.
It may seem like a "big" ask to do each morning, but do you really want to be responsible for the death of a cat, who was just trying to stay warm? Checking under your vehicle/hood will only take a few minutes at most, but it could save the life of an innocent animal this winter. And who knows, you might end up finding a little furball to join your family.