Do Cats Get Cold?
29 November, 2016
Winter is approaching and as we bundle up to keep ourselves warm, we often wonder about our pets. While cats are mostly indoor pets, our homes can get very cold during the winter months. So, the question is then, when we leave the house for the day, do our cats get cold? The answer is yes!
Our cats fur helps warm them up, but a good barometer is what temperature feels good to us
As a general rule, if your home feels too cold for you when you first come home and take off your coat, then it’s too cold for your kitty. Maybe set the thermostat at 68 – 70 as cats run a bit warmer. A healthy cat with a good coat will be fine but an older, thinner or ill cat may be uncomfortable.
Below are some other recommendations to keep your cats’ warm:
Make sure your cat has a warm place to sleep away from the drafts
Make sure your cat has a warm place to sleep far away from all outside drafts and preferably off the floor such as a basket or a cardboard box with a warm blanket in it. If your cat normally sleeps on the floor, provide her with a warm and comfortable mat or a cat bed. Have blankets around that your kitty can crawl and sleep under.
Certain beds can really be appealing to your cats during the winter
Donut beds, tented beds and other cozy-looking beds will help retain your cat’s body heat to keep him warm. If possible, move it away from doors and drafts and keep it off the floor, or at least on a carpet or folded blanket for a little extra insulation. Or if your cat isn’t a fan of beds, throw a towel or blanket in the dryer, take it out and leave it out for your kitty who will gravitate there for warmth.
Watch for window drafts if your cat likes to hang out by the window
Your cat probably enjoys sitting at the window to watch the outdoor activity. If there’s a draft there, it’ll be uncomfortable so take care of any leaks, especially at favored window locations. Place a padded window perch at the window so your cat doesn’t have to sit on the cold, hard window sill. There are also heated window perches available or if it’s a sunny spot, all cats love to nap there!
Protein helps keep your cats’ fur thick and/or essential fatty acids
Increase your cat’s supply of food, particularly protein, to keep her fur thick and healthy through the winter months. So long as your cat does not have a weight problem, give her extra food and treats during the winter months to help her keep warm. Supplementing their diet with essential fatty acids which help the coat grow in a bit thicker for the cold months. Vegetable oils such as canola oil, and fish oils are high in these fatty acids and can be added to the food which helps thicken your cats’ fur.
Keep an eye on your elderly or arthritic cats during the winter
Elderly and arthritic cats really feel the cold winter months. The cold can leave their joints extremely stiff and tender, and they may become more awkward than usual. You might need to change their surroundings to make it easier for them to get around. Make sure they have a thick, soft bed in a warm room for the chilly nights or even a heated blanket that you can monitor.
Keep your cat’s coat well groomed. Matted fur won’t properly protect your pet from the cold.
Continue to groom your cat and make sure your kitty is mat-free throughout the winter as mats reduce the fur’s ability to properly insulate him. If you have a serious matting issue, take your kitty to get groomed.