When I was younger, I used to dislike winters a lot. the main reason being, my parents would never let me eat ice cream during that time so I wouldn’t get sick.
My mom even forced me to cover my ears and bundle me up in jackets which I hated so much during that time.
When I became a parent to the three cats myself, I realized how my parents always wanted to keep to safe exactly as I enjoy with my babies.
After having your own little furry babies your first concern is their well-being. I find myself wondering often if they are too cold even when they are inside the house? or if they are comfortable or not.
If you ever wonder the same things here are a few things that might help you.
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Can Domestic Cats Survive Winter?
Yes, domestic cats can easily survive winter. if the pet parents looking after them are careful on observant they do not have much to worry about.
Even if they aren’t cats are self-sufficient animals and know how to look after themselves. Cats adapt to changing weather very quickly and do not need much to be comfortable.
If pet parents aren’t careful young kittens in the household may be a little exposed and it could be risky for them.
Young kittens are sensitive and they are not trained to take care of themselves at such a young age so they may feel threatened under such conditions but adult cats may not be in much danger if they are kids with too ignorant parents.
Domestic cats actually have better chances of survival than feral or stray cats.
Domestic cats do not have to face the weather directly and they are always made comfortable around the house while feral cats have to find shelter and food on their own.
This risks the life of stray cats but indoor cats are probably not prone to such situations.
Must Read: How Cold Can Cats Survive Outside?
How Cold Is Too Cold For Indoor Cats?
The advised temperature under which the cats shouldn’t be exposed is 45 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the minimum temperature that would be considered survivable for the cat but this value can vary from cat to cat so there is no definite temperature that could be too cold or too warm for cats.
Cats are generally more adaptive, but cats in old age or younger kittens seem uncomfortable with much lower temperatures. They are at higher risk of losing their lives to hypothermia or frostbite if exposed to harsh weather.
Winter also tends to lower immunity which makes them prone to diseases like the calicivirus.
People with pets have to say that if they have to leave the house during winter without their cats they usually set the temperature ranging from 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is not harmful to cats and it also does not cause much pressure economically.
While in these situations you need to check that you do not leave any windows open through which winds might creep inside the house. This would make the thermostat useless and your cat may be in danger.
Interesting Read: Do Cats Get A Winter Coat?
Various Ways To Keep Your Indoor Cats Warm In Winter
One of the few ways to keep your pet warm as Dr. M.A. Crist, a clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences suggests is,
“During the winter months, outdoor pets need a significant number of calories to help keep them warm. This increase in caloric intake needs to be maintained throughout the season. Food is the fuel our animals need to maintain their body heat.”Dr. M.A. Crist, a clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
as Dr. Crist says that outdoor cats need more food, the same stands true for indoor cats too as they may not face as much cold but their bodies still work to keep them warm.
Other suggested methods to keep your pet warm are:
- Use soft blankets around the places your cat loves to lounge in. spreading out soft blankets around the house in winter will help them keep warm and conserve energy. The use of rough blankets is not much appreciated as it may be uncomfortable for them.
- Sweaters are not always an option. They can overheat your cat’s fur and make it itchy and uncomfortable. Do not use sweaters unless it is absolutely necessary.
- You can use heating pads around the house as they provide more heat than blankets would. But cats do not have that high intolerance to cold.
Interesting Read: Do Cats Get Cold During Winter?
How Can I Keep My Cats House Warm In Winters?
If your cats live inside the same house as you it wouldn’t take much to get them comfortable.
Cats stay comfortably in the temperature that makes us humans feel warm inside the house. Houses that are equipped with thermostats are easy enough for the cats to adjust in.
If your cat likes to live outdoors they would camp out in places like the doghouse or garden shed.
Dr. Crist says that “The dog house or structure should contain a wind-block to protect it from northern winter blasts.
“Outdoor pets in colder climates should have an outdoor-rated heating pad. Also, adding blankets or dry straw in the structure can give the animal a place to bed down and keep warm.
Just make sure the bedding stays clean and dry and remember to change it out frequently.”Dr. M.A. Crist, a clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
It is also crucial that your cat gets plenty of unfrozen water. In these months if the cats choose to live outside the house make sure you frequently keep changing the water and keep checking if it is getting frozen or not.
Interesting Read: How Do Stray Cats Survive Winter?
Special Precautions To Be Taken For Your Indoor Cats While Winter
Some things to keep in mind that may concern your cat during winter are:
- Keep them indoors if the conditions are extreme.
“Pets that are not acclimated to the colder weather and those that are very young or old should be brought in during the colder temperatures,” said Susan Nelson, clinical professor at the Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
- Warm blankets and sweaters are needed only when they are unavoidable.
“A sweater is really only needed when they are going into a cold environment” Dr. Lorraine A. Corriveau, DVM, a small animal primary care clinician at Purdue University Veterinary Hospital, says of hairless cats—like Sphynx—in particular. “Cats that have fur could get overheated from wearing a sweater—as their fur is a ‘natural coat’ for them.”
- If you have cars and your cats wander outside sometimes. thump the bonnet of your car a few times so that if the cat is hidden somewhere around the car it may get out.
- Mind antifreeze spoils as they are highly toxic for cats and ingesting it could kill the cats
- Changing weather may also cause seasonal depression. To keep them engaged, try to lure them into observing new things indoors like fish in a fish tank. This would distract them from their gloomy mood.
Must Read: How To Keep A Stray Cat Warm Outside In Winter?
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Indoor Cats Go Outside In Winter?
Yes, they can go outside but make sure they are not gone for too long. If the weather is too cold it is advised against taking your cats outside. For kittens and cats of age, it would be better to keep them inside.
Are heating pads necessary for cats in winter?
No, they are not necessary but they can be used occasionally. If your cat lives in a doghouse-like structure or a shed you should use a heating pad to keep its quarters warm.
Do cats eat more in winter?
Cats burn more calories in winter to keep their body heat intact. They may have more appetite than usual because their bodies are burning more energy. if their feeding patterns do not change you should still feed them more than usual. this would help them maintain their weight and protect their immunity
even though indoor cats are sheltered inside houses they may still feel cold. They have more adaptive qualities but they still have a limit to which they can adjust.
For indoor cats finding ways to keep them warm is easier. Laying out a blanket or a heating pad may be enough for the job. cats sometimes are not comfortable with blankets so leave that up to your cat. if they find the blanket comfortable they may even snuggle up in it
Feeding them more is also a piece of very crucial advice as their bodies burn more calories to stay warm. Increasing the intake of food would prevent them from losing weight. Losing weight can make them weak and prone to diseases.
Sweaters are not the most important thing. sweaters should be worn only when it is necessary, not to make them look pretty. the material could overheat their fur. Would you like your cat to look fancy or make it feel comfortable?
You might also like to read:
- Do Cats Need Winter Clothing?
- Can I Walk My Cat In Winter/Snow?
- Can I Bathe My Cat In Winter?
- Do Cats Get Dandruff In Winter?
- Do Cats Go Into Heat In The Winter?
- Do Cats Have Kittens In Winter?
- Do Cats Drink Less Water In The Winter?
- Can Cats Live In A Garage In The Winter?
- Do Cats Really Like Snow?
- How to Bury a Cat During the Winter?
- Lost Cat in Winter? Here’s How to Find Them
- Do Cats Sleep More in Winter?
- Can Cats Get Ticks In The Winter?
- Can Cats Get Fleas In The Winter?
- Do Cats Shed More In Winter?
- What To Feed Feral Cats In Winter?
- Do Cats Eat More In The Winter?
- How To Keep Cats Warm Without Electricity?