SIR - Banging on your car’s bonnet might seem a strange way to start your day, but as Storm Barra is due to hit the UK and the government warns that we should prepare for more extreme weather, it could save an animal’s life. Despite their fur coats, dogs, cats, rabbits, and other animals quickly suffer from exposure and frostbite.

Cats will often take refuge from bad weather under car bonnets and can become injured or be killed when the engine starts. Always bang on the bonnet, even if your companion animals are safe indoors, someone else’s or a stray might not be. Thunder terrifies many animals, leaving them disorientated and lost.

If the weather eases and allows for a short walk, ensure short-haired animals are wearing a warm coat and wipe any snow off paws, as it can contain salt and other chemicals which will make them sick. Look out for strays, and take them indoors while you try to find their guardians or to an animal shelter. Any vet can check for free if an animal is microchipped. Offer food and water and call the RSPCA for help if an animal can’t be approached. Visit

Natalie Tambini, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), All Saints Street, London