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It’s hard to imagine anyone thriving in the cold, but cats, as we all know, are strange little creatures! We humans like to hunker down, light the fire, and have hot chocolate when it’s cold outside. But what about cats? Do cats like the cold?
Cats don’t like the cold. There are exceptions with certain breeds of cats originating from colder climates. Many cats are not equipped to naturally withstand freezing temperatures. It is essential that pet owners provide adequate and safe heat to their cats.
Below, we’ll look at how cats tolerate the cold and all the factors involved in ensuring your feline can be safe and comfortable when the weather outside is dreadful!
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3 reasons why cats like the cold
In some cases, cats can actually enjoy the cold. However, these reasons are few and restricted to certain breeds. Here are some of those reasons in detail:
● Cats whose ancestors were raised in the cold, such as the Maine Coon, the Siberian or the Norwegian Forest Cat, can sometimes like a snowy climate. Maine Coons in particular were bred with large feet to act as “snowshoes” and hair in their ears that kept snow out.
● Cats that have a little extra “padding” (fat) that keeps them warm may like to cool off in cold weather.
● An outdoor cat may have adapted to cold weather without worrying about it, although this does not mean that it can withstand extreme cold.
In general, large cats like the Maine Coon, or cats with thick coats tolerate the cold more naturally. Also, if you have a cat that goes indoors or is a hybrid, they may tolerate cold temperatures.
3 reasons why cats don’t like the cold
There are many reasons why a cat dislikes the cold, but here are a few that are worth highlighting.
● A cat’s natural body temperature is around 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. They are natural heat seekers, more so than humans. This means that for some, the cold can seem very abnormal.
● Small or particularly thin cats have little to keep warm and may be particularly cold.
● If cats go out on residential sidewalks in cold weather, their paws can quickly freeze or get rock salt stuck in them.
The important reason to note here is thin cats or cats with little or no fur. Think of the Sphynx cat, for example, they are certainly known to get cold more easily than any other breed. It’s also important to understand what temperature is too cold for cats, because you don’t want them to have an adverse reaction to the cold.
What temperature is too cold for cats
The temperature too cold for cats can vary somewhat depending on weight, breed, amount of hair, health, age, etc. But generally, the threshold for “too cold” seems to be right around freezing point (32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius).
Although a cat can tolerate this temperature for a few minutes, it is likely to become very cold at any temperature below freezing.
Can cats stay out all night in the cold
Cats should not be left out all night in the cold. Although cats may enjoy being outside for a few minutes, eventually they will seek shelter and warmth. If this is not available to them, they may become susceptible to frostbite, hypothermia, respiratory infections, or death.
How do I know if my cat is cold?
Cats that are cold will be on the lookout for warm places. They compress their body tightly (some call it the “bread” position) and cuddle near or under things like blankets or pillows. They may sit in front of heating vents or move away from windows. They can also snuggle up with their masters!
When cats get a true upper infection from the cold, they may show signs similar to humans, such as sneezing, wheezing, and respiratory drainage through the nose. They may also have drainage from their eyes. This means it’s time to check with your vet for treatment options.
What temperature do cats prefer
A cat prefers between 69 and 72 degrees for optimum comfort. As with humans, a cat’s preferred temperature depends on several factors. These include height, weight, age and race. The length of a cat’s coat also dictates its preferred temperature.
Are kittens cold
Kittens feel the cold and feel it much more than their adult counterparts. Part of it is that they are so small. They are also growing their coat and developing their adult fat, which will help them retain their warmth as they age. Everything about a kitten is new and still developing, which makes it much more susceptible to the elements.
How cold is too cold for kittens
While adult cats can handle the cold until it freezes, kittens shouldn’t be kept outside in temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. This also applies to sick, very thin or old cats.
Do older cats catch cold easily?
Yes, older cats are more sensitive to the cold. As cats age, they often begin to shed fur and body fat, two of the essential components of their body warming abilities. As your cat ages, you will definitely need to adjust the temperatures you allow her to be.
Can cats stay warm in cold weather?
Cats are very resourceful, so if they are cold, they will go on a mission to find a warm place. If they are outdoors, they will seek any shelter, including under the hood of a car, which is very dangerous. If they’re indoors, they’ll find the warmest blanket, nearest air vent, or coziest fire.
A cat’s natural heating elements will also come into play to do their job. Their fur acts as an excellent insulator and their body fat helps retain heat. Yet cats are not equipped to withstand extremely low temperatures.
How to keep cats warm in winter
To keep an outdoor cat warm in the winter, make sure they have a heated place, such as a pet house or garage, where they can get away from the elements. There are many heated pet shelters available for purchase, or you can make one yourself with a plastic bag and some foam. It would be helpful if you also used straw, not towels or blankets, for a bed inside these structures, as the straw will not freeze.
Outdoor cats should also have access to unfrozen water. This can be achieved by buying a single bowl, adding a pinch of sugar to the water, or placing it somewhere where sunlight will melt it.
Keeping an indoor cat warm is much easier but still important. Make sure they have blankets and warm beds to sleep on. If a cat is particularly skinny, old, or sick, you can put a low-temperature heating pad under a few layers of blankets. You can also run a nearby humidifier to create warm, humid air, or have a safe space heater in a place where your cat can’t knock it over.
Things to consider
Cats may think they are invincible, but they are susceptible to the effects of cold. If you live in a colder climate and want an outdoor cat, you may want to consider a long-haired breed or one that was bred to thrive in the snow.
Before buying an outdoor cat, make sure you’re equipped with all the items you’ll need to keep him warm when temperatures drop. It is an investment that will ensure the comfort and safety of your feline.
If you have cats that live outside in the winter, it’s important to check under the hood of all your vehicles before turning them on each time. Cats can burrow into it to keep warm.
Keep a close eye out for any cats that travel with you in the car during the winter, and remember how much smaller cats are than their human owners. If it’s cold and your cat has to travel, make sure your car is fully warmed up and your cat has plenty of padding inside its crate before you take it out. Never leave a cat in a cold car.
Common sense and empathy can go a long way in keeping our feline friends comfortable during the winter months. The best part is this: winter is the perfect time for cuddling, which keeps everyone warm and happy!