Unlike some of their other cat relatives, Bengal cats do not have a long fur coat. As a caring and conscientious pet owner, you might wonder if your Bengal cat is comfortable even in cold winter conditions. So, do Bengal cats get cold?
Bengal cats may get cold if they are outside or exposed to frigid temperatures for a long period. Temperatures below 45 degrees are considered too cold for a cat. Fur thickness, age, length, and overall body mass contribute to what temperatures a cat can handle. Bengal cats should be completely comfortable indoors even during the winter.
Bengal cats have a built-in layer of protection from the cold themselves. When the weather begins to get chillier in the winter, you may notice your cat’s fur changing. Like many other cats and dog breeds, your Bengal will develop a thicker winter coat. This thicker coat of fur allows them to stay insulated and warm. You might even find your Bengal cat enjoys snow days! It is not uncommon to have a Bengal cat that enjoys being outside playing in a fresh snowfall. Of course, limit their exposure to temperatures below freezing, and call your cat back inside after fifteen minutes.
What Temperature Do Cats Get Cold at?
Bengal cats typically get cold when the temperature is around 45°F. Usually, your home will not get close to that temperature, so the only time you have to worry about your cat being in an environment that cold is if they go outside.
That does not mean your cat cannot be outside at temperatures colder than that. It is just important to ensure your Bengal does not stay outside for prolonged amounts of time in the cold without a warm place to take shelter.
If you have a cat that spends a lot of its time outside, it may be more acclimated to the elements and not as bothered by cold weather. Even if your cat does not outwardly show signs of being cold, for their safety, it’s a good idea to bring them inside at temperatures below 45°F.
The cold weather becomes dangerous for cats when the temperature is below freezing or 32°F. At that temperature, your cat may develop hypothermia or frostbite.
Hypothermia occurs when your Bengal cat’s body temperature falls to a dangerously low degree. At that point, frostbite can set in on a cat’s extremities such as their tail or ears.
If you believe your cat has been exposed to cold temperatures for too long and may have developed one of these illnesses, take action fast. You should take them to the vet as soon as possible.
How Do I Know If My Cat is Cold?
While we all wish our cats could talk to us and tell us how they are feeling, there are some telltale signs to look out for that indicate your cat is feeling cold.
One behavior to look for is shivering. Much like humans, Bengal cats will shiver to try and warm themselves up when they are feeling cold.
This is not normal behavior for cats, so if you witness this, take action to warm your cat up quickly. Shivering is often an early sign of hypothermia.
Another way to tell if your cat is cold is to observe where they are spending most of their time. Please take note of where they are curling up for their naps in your home. If you find them sleeping by a furnace or fireplace regularly, that can be a good indicator your cat might be cold and is seeking out a warm spot.
Additionally, if you are in a specific situation where you are concerned, your cat has been exposed to the cold for too long, touch their ears or nose. If they are cold to the touch, that should tell you it is time to get your cat inside and warm them up.
Be aware that as your Bengal cat gets older, their tolerance for the cold may also change. It is often observed that as cats get older, they become more susceptible to cold temperatures.
This is also true for kittens or cats who have underlying health problems. They are often not as good at regulating their body temperature on their own and may require a little extra help to stay warm.
If your cat falls into any of those categories, make sure they stay out of very cold environments and provide them extra blankets for warmth in your home.
Tips for Keeping a Cat Warm
There are a ton of precautionary measures you can take to ensure your feline friend stays as cozy as possible during cold months. When the weather turns cold, please take a few extra minutes to prepare your home to make it extra toasty for your Bengal.
If you live in a home with tile or hardwood floors, you may notice your cat avoiding sleeping directly on these surfaces in cold weather. Consider putting down some extra rugs or cushions on the floor in rooms where your Bengal cat spends most of its time.
Turning your heater on as much as possible will also help your cat stay extra warm, especially during the night when temperatures are at their lowest.
If running your heater all day is not an affordable option, consider investing in a smaller space heater or getting a heated blanket you can put out for your cat in a secure area.
You may also consider getting your cat a “winter” bed. Look for a cozy cat bed with a fluffy thicker wool lining that will keep your cat extra warm in the cold months. While this bed may be too warm for your cat to comfortably sleep in year-round, they will appreciate the extra warmth in the winter.
Another item you can invest in that will make the winter months more pleasant for both you and your cat is a humidifier. Running the heater in the winter makes the air in your home extra dry, which can be uncomfortable for both you and your cat. A humidifier will help add some moisture back into your home.
Lastly, don’t overlook the easiest way to keep your cat warm: cuddling! Let your cat spend some extra time curled up on your lap or under the covers with you during the colder months. Not only is it a great way to bond, but it’s also an excellent way to keep both of you warmer.
Final Thoughts on Keeping Your Bengal Cat Warm in the Winter
As a responsible pet owner, you may be initially concerned about how your cat will do during the winter, but there is not a huge reason to worry about how your cat will fare in cold temperatures.
They are a smart and resilient cat breed, and they typically will seek out a warm spot on their own if they do start feeling cold. You can do your part to protect your Bengal from cold weather by keeping them inside on low-temperature days and making sure they have a warm place to sleep.
If you live in a super snowy or cold city, do not feel like the weather conditions should stop you from adopting a Bengal cat. You can take precautionary measures to ensure your Bengal is comfortable. Try turning your heater on higher or leaving out cozy beds or blankets for your Bengal cat to sleep on when you think they may be cold.
By taking all these actions, you can minimize any risk associated with the cold weather and ensure your cat will stay happy and healthy!