How to Keep Your Cat Warm in Winter
Just like us, our cats feel the effects of the cold weather that comes with winter, with some breeds less equipped for the harsh weather than others. Hairless cats, or cats with shorter coats, for example, struggle to retain their body heat during the colder winter months. Unsurprisingly, longhaired breeds such as Siberians find it easier to adapt to the cold because of their long and thick coats that offer layers of protection. However, sometimes all of our feline friends need that extra bit of help to prevent them from becoming too cold when the temperature drops. Here’s how to keep your cat warm in winter.
Do Cats Get Cold in the House?
If you have indoor cats, you may be wondering whether they can be affected by the cold weather as well. The answer is, yes! Whilst we can try our best to keep our homes warm by turning up the heating and wearing more layers, certain rooms always seem to feel as though they have more of a draft than others.
How Can You Keep Your Cats Warm in a Cold House?
Our homes can get pretty chilly over the colder months, which means you’ll often find your cat moving to areas where they can find the most warmth. Luckily, there are several ways that you can help keep your outdoor, or indoor cat warm in the home.
Do Blankets Keep Cats Warm?
One way to keep your feline friend warm inside of a colder house is to purchase a cat blanket, which you can place over a piece of furniture that your cat likes to spend time on, or even on top of their own bed. The Omlet Luxury Super Soft Cat Blanket is ideal for cold weather, with a quilted grey plush on one side, and a luxury sherpa on the reverse. How about using your pet’s blanket along with a cardboard box and cushioning to build them a cosy den? Find out how you can make one here.
A Cosy Bed
In a previous blog, we explained why some cats prefer to sleep on our beds instead of their own. However, having a good quality, cosy pet bed could help to resolve this issue as well as keep your cat warm in a cold house. The Bolster Cat Beds and Maya Donut Cat Beds are great options, both having been designed to provide your cat with ultimate levels of comfort in mind. The snug Maya Donut Bed is perfect for winter weather, with the deluxe faux fur being irresistibly soft and cosy, alongside its squishy cushioning, making for a bed that your cat won’t want to leave!
A Safe and Warm Hideaway
For additional comfort for cats during the winter weather, you can place your cat’s bed inside an indoor cat house. A cat house can be placed in any area of your home and will protect your cat from drafts and disturbances in their private den. Whilst many cats love having their own cat house, some initially struggle with using it, so take a look at our previous blog How to Get a Cat to Use a Cat House for a bit of advice.
An additional top tip to help keep your cat happy and healthy over this period is to feed them more. You might notice that when it’s colder your cat appears to be more hungry, just like us! This is a response to burning more calories as they maintain their body temperature to stay warm. Try adding a bit more to their food to their diet or provide them with a few more nutritious treats to keep them going.
Something else to be aware of during the colder months as a cat owner is the location of their litter tray. Of course, it’s only natural to want to keep cat litter odours at bay, which can mean placing their indoor litter tray in a room away from where the family spends a lot of time. However, secluded areas of the home such as the garage can have more of a breeze, so be sure to move it to a warm room if need be.
What Temperature is Too Cold for Cats?
Extreme weather conditions such as really low temperatures can be detrimental, and even fatal, to cats. Older cats and kittens, as well as indoor cats, in particular, are more susceptible to feeling the cold as their bodies are not as well adapted as cats who have spent more time outdoors. Other factors such as body weight and fur also play a role when it comes to dictating what temperature is too cold. The general rule of thumb, however, is that they should not be left outside once it reaches below 7ºC.
When cats are left outside in freezing temperatures, they become at risk of developing frostbite and hypothermia. If your cat has been outside and displays symptoms such as excessive shaking, shallow breathing, being cold to touch, having blistering on their skin, or icy paws, tail tip or ears, when they return, you must contact your vet immediately.
Is It Okay to Let Your Cat Outside in Winter?
The best place for cats to be over winter is indoors, where you know you can keep them safe. We earlier found out just how dangerous the low temperatures can be for cats, so it’s wise to keep them indoors until it warms up again. Fortunately, when the weather gets too cold, most outdoor cats will naturally retreat to their home, where they know they’ll be warm. However, it might take other outdoor cats a bit more convincing. Keeping your pets entertained with plenty of stimulating cat toys is a good idea to help them get through this period, which will help with meeting their physical and mental exercise needs.
Does Cats’ Fur Keep them Warm in Winter?
Cats’ fur plays a vital role in protecting their internal body structure, and how they communicate. Have you ever noticed how your cat’s hair stands on end when they’re agitated? Your cat’s fur is also there to keep them protected from the outside elements like the cold, but also from warm weather. The amount of sunlight affects how much your cat sheds, which is why you’ll find that they will often shed more during the summer months. During autumn, when we begin to lose sunlight, cats will grow a thicker winter undercoat to keep themselves insulated, ready for the cold weather.
As we previously touched on, this means that cats with longer hair have more protection from the cold weather. Hairless, or cats with short coats, need a bit more help staying warm over this season. It’s important that you are able to provide your cat with a safe, warm indoor space, regardless of breed, along with investing in additional winter supplies such as blankets. For hairless cats who struggle more this time of year, you may wish to purchase a jumper for them to keep snug. Just be sure that they are completely comfortable and the fabric doesn’t irritate their skin.
The winter can be a tough time for our pets but as we get through the last few months of cold weather, you should continue to make sure that you’re helping to keep your cats happy, healthy, and warm with the right resources!
This entry was posted in Cats