Cats come in all different shapes and sizes.
Big cats like lions and tigers typically live in very hot climates and still have coats, but then there are cats like cougars or mountain lions that live in very high altitude and cold environments.
Your typical household cat can either be furry or hairless, but they all like to stay warm, dry and comfortable – so you’ll likely find your feline in your house most of the day!
As cats can’t communicate with us with language, it can be difficult to know if they’re struggling with cold climates and whether they actually get cold as we would in weathers like snow or heavy rain.
This guide will examine how cats cope with the cold, if they like it or not and how you can help them with their everyday temperatures.
So, let’s dive right into it.
Cats And The Cold
Most cats come equipped with fur coats, and just like us with a fur coat – they can keep warm in cold environments.
Additionally, you’ll usually find cats indoors somewhere for most of the day. In fact, if the weather is bad – they’ll likely avoid going outside at all if they can help it.
They also feel the cold as we do if the heat has been turned off or cut out in the house, or if they enter a particularly cold area of your property – like your garage or basement.
This can of course be worse in the winter months as any normal body temperatures will struggle with the weather.
If your cat is especially prone to going outside even in the worst weather, you might want to help them out by trying to keep them indoors when temperatures really plummet.
Outdoor kitties will definitely be unhappy with your intervention, but it’s for their protection.
Cats are likely to get cold related problems like frostbite and can get into accidents with icy surfaces – which can mean they’ll struggle to make it back to the safety of your home.
In fact, a cat can actually exhibit issues relating to the climate as we would.
This includes the common cold and symptoms that come from that like a runny nose, difficulty regulating body temperature and other cold symptoms.
If your cat has severe symptoms, you will have to contact a vet as soon as possible. They might have contracted viral infections and will need medical attention.
This is perhaps a good time to bring up stray cats.
We all like to help out our furry friends but if you see a stray cat that seems to be outside and struggling, it’s wise to stay a little out of its way.
They might have infections or illnesses that you don’t want to contract.
Additionally, they might have had hard times and can be prone to attacking – so you’re best off contacting your local shelter but remain vigilant of the cat.
Of course, if your cat is hairless, they’ll struggle with the cold even more.
They tend to originate from very warm countries in Asia or Africa and will find it difficult to adjust, biologically speaking, to snow and ice.
How To Keep Your Cat Safe And Warm In The Cold
Consider any of your cats the same way as you would with other humans.
The best thing you can do is to keep your cat indoors for as much time as possible when it’s the colder winter months, but of course let them outside to go to the bathroom if you don’t have a kitty litter.
Set up warm and dry blankets in areas for your cat to frequent for rest and ensure you’re washing and swapping these blankets frequently to avoid viruses, bacterial infection or other unwanted things.
Remember to keep the heat on when you leave your house for work or if you go out but do not leave an open fire unattended.
If you have to turn the heat off, ensure you’ve left an extra blanket for your feline friends.
Keep your cat fed with a good and healthy diet which will ensure their coat stays strong which can help them out further – including dry food and wet cat food.
The best thing to do is to put them on your lap and give them loving cuddles and strokes in a warm room. We all love that treatment and cats are no exception!
Just ensure if they’ve had enough, that you let them go and be themselves for a while.
Finally, you could even get involved in active games with your cat.
It gives them play time which they love, gets them moving to keep them warm and gives the owner a bit of exercise too! Winning all around!
Do Cats Change In Colder Months?
During the winter, cats sometimes build bulkier coats ready to deal with the temperature challenge.
You might also notice they have an improved appetite or eat much more, this is to let them build some fat for warmth but also to avoid leaving the home to hunt.
Their skin might get red and coarse, which is much more noticeable on hairless cats. You can ask a vet for assistance with this to keep your cat comfortable.
They often sleep more than usual in winter months, which is likely to conserve energy but can also be a way to remain warmer by regulating their body temperature.
Fleas are also more common in winter, but this is not usually down to the cat.
This is typically because fleas prefer warmer environments, and they will come in unknowingly to us via other pets like a dog, or from outdoor furniture being brought indoors for safety.
Yes, cats get cold – just like us! The best thing you can do is look after your kitties just like you’d look after yourself or somebody else.