Do Cats Get Cold? 6 Tips To Keep Your Cat Warm This Winter

Now that winter has arrived, many cat owners are concerned about keeping their feline friends warm and cozy.

Protecting your cat from the cold is essential whether you have a cuddly indoor cat or a fearless outdoor cat who chases prey through the snow.

Warning signs to look out for, the temperature at which most cats get cold (hint: it’s more complicated than you think), and tricks for keeping your cat warm both indoors and outdoors were all discussed in an article published by Daily Paws and based on interviews with veterinarians.

Do Cats Get Cold Easily?

Most cats are perfectly fine in frigid conditions.

According to Michael Arpino, DVM of the Veterinary Wellness Center of Boerum Hill in Brooklyn, N.Y., “cats who are used to spending a lot of time outdoors know when it’s time to come back in.” However, you shouldn’t leave your outdoor cat out all night, especially if the temperature is very low or very high.

Arpino warns against “definitely wouldn’t advise” leaving them outside all night without protection from the elements and predators.

Even cats kept inside can experience bouts of chilliness: Bond Vet veterinarian Dr. Zay Satchu recommends providing cats with warm places to sleep, such as insulated cat beds or blankets.

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What Temperature Is Too Cold for Cats?

As a rule of thumb, temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit are uncomfortably low. They run the risk of hypothermia if they remain outside for long periods of time if the temperature falls below freezing, as stated by Arpino.

The type of coat your cat has and its overall size are also factors:

“Hairless cats, cats that have been shaved down, and/or cats that have been groomed in any manner that would cut the hair beyond a minor trim should never be outside in colder weather,” Arpino says. Even in warm climates, hairless cats benefit from wearing a sweater.

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Cats that are overweight may be better able to endure the cold, but they are also more vulnerable because of their slower speed. ”

Injured or ill cats are more likely to suffer from hypothermia. Endocrine disease patients, such as cats with hyperthyroidism, are extremely vulnerable to the cold.

Arpino says that sick cats should not be kept indoors during any season. This includes cats with kidney disease, heart disease, cancer, etc.

What Are Signs Your Cat Is Cold?

Satchu warns that a cold cat will shiver, sit hunched over, and look for warmer places to rest.

A cat can suffer from hypothermia if she is exposed to cold temperatures for an extended period of time. See a vet immediately if your cat exhibits any of these hypothermia symptoms.

Pet MD lists the following as symptoms of mild to severe hypothermia:

  • Insomnia or mental muddle
  • Pupillary dilation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Painful, rigid muscles
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Rhythm that is slow
  • In the most extreme cases, a coma.

How Cold Is Too Cold for Cats?

According to VCA Hospitals, a cat’s normal body temperature is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. “If they are just cold, they can be brought into a nice warm room,” says Arpino.

A warm towel should be used to treat hypothermia in animals that have been left outside in temperatures below 45 degrees. ”

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Satchu warns that the dry air of winter can be just as dangerous for cats as the cold: “Make sure she always has fresh water available.”

You and your cat can have a happy and healthy winter if you keep an eye out for frostbite, keep your pet indoors when the temperature drops, and give it plenty of water.

Tips for keeping a cat warm in winter

It’s important to keep an eye on the numbers on the thermostat because humans, when properly attired, can withstand colder temperatures than cats.

We’re prepared for the cold winter nights with plenty of blankets and flannel pajamas. Those are luxuries that your cat does not enjoy.

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However, most housecats don’t mind temperatures around 60 degrees Fahrenheit as long as they have a nice, toasty spot to curl up in.

According to Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine, outdoor cats and indoor-outdoor cats should be brought inside if the temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cat Behavior Associates suggests that older, smaller cats may require warmer temperatures.

Here are some more suggestions for getting your cat comfortable.

First, provide a blanket (or several) made of flannel, as this is the most comfortable fabric for a cat to burrow in. Don’t try to wrap your cat up like a burrito in a blanket, no matter how adorable it may sound. They despise boundaries! The blanket should be laid out in your cat’s preferred fashion.

Second, give a heated bed a try; you can pick from a wide variety of styles, including donut-shaped beds, semi-enclosed beds, and traditional beds.

Choose a heated bed that looks and feels as much as possible like your cat’s regular sleeping spot. It’s convenient if the cover can be removed for washing. Here is a selection of the finest heated cat beds available today.

A simple heating pad wrapped in towels might do the trick. Pam Johnson-Bennett, an authority on feline behavior, says it’s not the safest choice.

Your cat could get burned if the heat isn’t closely monitored and kept on the lowest setting at all times. Consider purchasing a heated pet bed instead.

Consider the age and health of your cat, especially if he or she has arthritis, when choosing a bed. Choose a bed that he can easily get into by avoiding those with tall sides.

Your cat will be more comfortable in an elevated bed because warm air rises. Just make sure his bed isn’t precariously perched on anything.

Use the natural light inside—the image of a contented cat lazing in front of a window comes to mind. Your cat will appreciate the extra heat if you leave the curtains open during the day.

Five, play with your cat more often; schedule regular playtime into your schedule. Get your cat moving and jumping around. This will increase his core temperature and strengthen the bond between the two of you.

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6. Feed your cat more during the winter because they need more calories to stay warm.

Some veterinarians, such as Dr. Ken Tudor, a contributor to PetMD, argue that we should adjust the amount we feed our cats seasonally, rather than keeping it constant all year.

Sharing a bed with your cat can be a great way to keep them warm, so long as it doesn’t disrupt your own sleep.

How to help outdoor cats stay warm in winter

Until now, we’ve mainly focused on indoor cats for this advice. However, there are some things you can do to help feral cats in your area, whether you have a cat that can go indoors and outdoors or not.

Keeping indoor/outdoor or outdoor cats warm

Do Cats Get Cold?: How to Keep a Cat Warm in Winter

In an interview with VetStreet, Dr. Marty Becker, a veterinarian, emphasized the importance of providing shelter and food for feral cats during the winter.

You can either buy one at a pet store or, if you’re handy, construct one yourself. A plastic flap can do a lot to keep warm air in, but only if the openings are small enough that raccoons, skunks, and opossums can’t fit through them.

Fabrics that retain moisture, like regular towels or blankets, should be avoided in favor of insulating materials like hay or mylar.

Avoid putting shelters in the middle of busy streets. Keep them off the ground by a few inches if possible to help retain heat, and put the shelter’s entrance up against something that can block the wind, like a wall or a fence.

Careful cat owners can warm up canned food and leave it outside at regular intervals.

The cats will learn their lesson and be on time for their next hot meal. Canned goods will freeze if not consumed quickly after opening.

Bring some water just in case! It should be checked on a regular basis to ensure that it hasn’t frozen over.

Most importantly, keep in mind that if you’re cold, your cat probably is, too. A few straightforward adjustments are all that’s needed to keep him secure and comfortable throughout the season.

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