Having a pet in your life is very similar to having a child. In fact, people often refer to their pet as their “fur baby.” So, it’s natural to want to learn how to keep them healthy and comfortable.
So let’s answer the question… do cats get cold?
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Do Cats Feel The Cold?
Most cats have are covered in thick, warm fur. The fur helps them keep warm. But you still may wonder if your cat can feel cold.
Most pet cats stay indoors, and as long as the home’s heat is working, your cat will not normally feel cold.
But, sometimes, cats get outside during periods of cold weather. When that happens, their fur helps only a bit. In cold weather, it is possible for your cat to feel cold.
Your cat might also get cold if you turn your thermostat down too low when you go out for awhile. During the cold months, think about your cats and leave the temperature at a comfortable level.
How Low Is Too Low?
You may wonder which temperature is safe to allow your cat to remain outside.
Most vets agree that 45 degrees F is the temperature at which it is too cold for your cat to remain outdoors.
At that temperature, cats are at risk for hypothermia ( a condition where the cat’s internal body temperature is too low to keep them healthy.)
Cats At Higher Risk For Hypothermia
Certain cats are at increased risk for hypothermia.
A cat that is hairless or has severely shaved fur should not be left outdoors. Hairless cats feel cold at a higher temperature than other cats, and often need to wear a sweater when indoors.
Cats with some medical conditions are also at higher risk for hypothermia:
- Cats who have hypothyroidism should not be kept outdoors, because that condition leaves them more sensitive to cold.
- Cats with chronic kidney disease or heart disease; or cats with cancer should not be let outdoors at all.
Signs Your Cat is Too Cold
When a cat feels too cold, they may shiver, sit in a hunched position or seek out a warm place in the home.
If your cat remains too cold for too long a period of time, they can develop hypothermia. Here are the signs of hypothermia:
- Confusion or mental slowness – your cat may react more slowly than usual, or stumble when walking. They may not act as they normally do.
- Dilated pupils – the dark centers of their eyes will become large.
- Difficulty breathing – their respirations become visibly difficult. They may wheeze or pant.
- Muscle stiffness – they would show stiffness when moving their body
If you see these symptoms, call your cat’s veterinarian ASAP
How To Keep Cats Warm In Winter
When your cat is indoors, it will be easy to keep an eye on them to be sure they are not showing signs of being too cold.
Here are some ways to keep your cat warm:
- Be sure to keep a blanket, towel or pet bed in a warm room. Be sure you bring your cat to see it. Your cat will find it when they are feeling cold.
- If your cat is older and has arthritis, they are more sensitive to the cold. The best solution to keep them comfortable is a special pet bed that will soothe your kitty’s aching bones.
- Choose pet food that is nutritious. Check the label and look for pet food that is designed to promote a healthy coat. Keeping your cat’s fur thick and healthy will allow them to feel as warm as possible.
Be sure your home heating system is in good condition. This is especially important if you need to leave your cat home alone all day; while you go out for the day.
What About Outdoor Cats?
Pet cats are better off indoors to protect their health and safety. If your cat goes outdoors, they are at a higher risk for acquiring parasites from other animals.
They are also at risk for getting hurt in a fight or by accident.
During the cold weather, it is possible for a cat to feel cold. A cat could get frostbite, or slip on the ice.
If you see a cat who is outdoors, or discover a stray cat who wanders near your home in search of food or shelter, you should call your local Animal Control or an animal shelter rather than let them in.
No matter how friendly a stray cat may look, they could be hurt or carrying a disease. If a cat is sick or hurt, they are more prone to be aggressive and might bite or scratch you.
Do Cats Get Dry Skin in Winter?
Just as we do, our cats can develop dry skin in the winter months. Dry skin can get red, scaly or flaky. If their dry skin becomes too itchy, the cat may scratch, bite or claw at it.
This can cause your cat to bleed, and can even lead to an infection. If this occurs, you should call the veterinarian.
Some veterinarians recommend giving your cat Omega 3 fatty acids to help keep their skin and fur healthy. Be sure to keep the dosage at your vet’s recommendations.
What Cats Do When Cold
A cat will instinctively try to regulate its own body temperature in order to keep it at the normal level.
If a cat feels too cold, they will begin looking for a warmer place to go. Keeping a soft, warm pet bed reserved for Kitty is available is important for indoor cats.
If your cat goes outdoors, you can build an outdoor shelter for them.
The shelter should be big enough for your cat to turn around inside if. Keep the shelter elevated off the ground.
Wood is the best material to build a shelter, but it needs a plastic opening to allow the cat inside. There should be a soft blanket inside to help keep the cat warm.
Keeping your cat warm is one of the many things you do to keep them healthy. So now we have answered the question, do cats get cold, if you have any further questions on this topic, you should ask your veterinarian.
If you want to learn some interesting cat facts, just follow the link.