The Nebraska Humane Society says an animal control officer brought Jack Frost, an eight week old kitten, into the shelter with frost bite to both ears.
"Cats ear tips are so delicate, and have such thin hair that they are very susceptible to freezing," spokesperson Pam Wiese says. Wiese says once frostbitten or frozen, the skin will be painful and eventually die and slough off.
Animals feet are also vulnerable, especially when there is a covering of snow or ice on the ground. Wiese says they have seen 4 cats in the past two weeks with damaged ears due to frost bite.
She urges all pet owners to bring their animals inside during the bitterly cold temperatures.
Frostbite affected skin will be pale to bluish white in color and much cooler to the touch than surrounding skin.
This is due to loss of circulation to the area, brought on by the cold. If the circulation returns, the affected area will be red ,swollen, and painful.
Pet owners will need to warm the skin and stimulate the return of circulation to the affected area with luke warm, moist heat.
Immerse the area in warm water for 15 to 30 minutes, or apply a warm moist towel to the area.
DO NOT rub the area as it will cause more damage.
As the circulation returns, the skin will redden but if the areas begin turning dark that indicates tissue damage, and your pet should see his veterinarian.