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Do Cats Like Cold Weather – The Ideal Temperature!

It’s hard to imagine anyone thriving when it’s cold out, but cats, as we know, are odd little creatures! We humans like to hunker down, turn on the fire and grab some hot chocolate when it gets frigid outside. But what about cats? Do cats like cold weather?

Cats do not like cold weather. There are exceptions with certain cat breeds that originated from colder climates. Many cats are not equipped to handle frigid temperatures naturally. It is essential for pet owners to provide adequate and safe warmth for their cats. 

Below, we’ll look at how cats tolerate cold weather and all of the factors involved in making sure your feline can be safe and comfortable when the weather outside is frightful! 

3 Reasons Cats Like Cold Weather 

In some cases, cats might actually enjoy the cold weather. However, those reasons are few and reserved for certain breeds. Below are some of those reasons in detail:

● Cats whose ancestors were bred in the cold, like a Maine Coon, Siberian, or Norwegian Forest Cat, can sometimes like a snowy climate. Maine Coons especially were bred with large feet to act as “snowshoes” and hair in their ears that keeps the snow out. 

 ● Cats who’ve got a little extra “padding” (fat) that keeps them warm may like to cool off in cold weather. 

 ● An outdoor cat may have adapted to some cold weather and not mind it, though this does not mean they can handle extreme cold. 

In general, cats who are large in size such as the Maine Coon, or have a thick coat can handle the cold more naturally. Also, if you have a cat who is transitioning to indoor, or is a hybrid, then they may be fine with the cold temperatures. 

3 Reasons Cats Don’t Like Cold Weather

There are many reasons a cat doesn’t like cold weather, but here are a few that are worth highlighting. 

 ● A cat’s natural body temperature is around 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. They are natural heat seekers, more so than humans. This means that to some, cold can feel very unnatural. 

  ● Small or especially thin cats have little to keep them warm and can get especially cold. 

 ● If cats go outside on residential sidewalks in the cold, their paws can quickly freeze or get rock-salt stuck in them. 

The important reason to note here is with thin cats or cats with little to no fur. Think of the Sphynx cat, for example, they are certainly known to get cold easier than any other breed. Understanding what temperature is too cold for cats is important too as you don’t want them to have an adverse reaction to the cold. 

What Temperature Is Too Cold For Cats

The temperature that’s too cold for cats can vary somewhat depending on weight, breed, amount of hair, health, age, and more. But generally, the threshold of “too cold” seems to be right around freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees celsius). 

While a cat can tolerate this temperature for a few minutes, they are likely to get very cold at any temperature lower than freezing. 

Can Cats Stay Out All Night In The Cold

Cats should not stay out all night in the cold. Though cats might enjoy being out for a few minutes, they will eventually begin looking for shelter and warmth. If this is not available to them, they can become susceptible to frostbite, hypothermia, respiratory infections, or death. 

How Do I Know If My Cat Is Cold

Cats who are cold will be on the lookout for warm places. They will tightly compress their bodies (some call it the “loaf” position) and squeeze close to or under things like blankets or cushions. They may sit in front of the heating vents or move away from windows. They may also snuggle up with their owners! 

When cats get an actual upper respiratory infection from the cold, they can show signs similar to humans, such as sneezing, wheezing, and having drainage from their noses. They also can have drainage from their eyes. This means it’s time to check in with your vet about treatment options. 

What Temperature Do Cats Prefer

A cat prefers between 69 and 72 degrees for optimal comfort As with humans, a cat’s preferred temperature depends on several factors. These include size, weight, age, and breed. A cat’s coat length also dictates its preferred temperature.

Do Kittens Feel Cold

Kittens feel the cold and feel it much more than their adult counterparts. Part of this is that they are so small. They are also still growing their coat and developing their adult fat, which will help keep heat when they get older. Everything on a kitten is new and still developing, making them much more susceptible to the elements. 

How Cold Is Too Cold For Kittens

While adult cats can handle cold until it gets down to freezing, kittens should not be kept outside in temperatures any colder than 45 degrees Fahrenheit. This also goes for cats who are sick, very thin, or advanced in age. 

Do Older Cats Get Cold Easily

Yes, older cats are more sensitive to the cold. As cats age, they often begin to lose fur and body fat, two of the critical components of their bodily warming abilities. As your cat gets older, you will almost definitely have to adjust the temperatures you allow them to be in. 

Can Cats Keep Warm In Cold Weather 

Cats are very resourceful, so if they are cold, they will go on a mission to find a warm place. If they are outdoors, they will look for any shelter, including under the hood of a car, which is very dangerous. If indoors, they’ll find the warmest blanket, closest heating vent, or coziest fire. 

A cat’s natural warming elements will kick in to do their job as well. Their fur acts as an excellent insulator, and their body fat helps keep heat in. Still, cats are not equipped to handle extremely low temperatures. 

How To Keep Cats Warm In Winter

To keep an outdoor cat warm in winter, make sure they have a heated area, such as a pet house or garage, where they can get away from the elements. There are many heated pet shelters available to buy, or you can create one yourself with a plastic tote and some foam. It would help if you also used straw, not towels or blankets, for a bed inside these structures since the straw will not freeze. 

Outdoor cats should also have access to unfrozen water. This can be achieved by purchasing a unique bowl, adding a pinch of sugar to the water, or putting it in a place where sunlight will thaw it. 

Keeping an indoor cat warm is much easier but still important. Make sure they have warm blankets and beds to sleep on. If a cat is especially thin, old, or sick, you can put a heating pad on a low temperature under a few layers of blankets. You can also run a humidifier nearby to create warm, moist air or have a safe space heater in a place your cat can’t knock it over.

Things To Consider

 Cats may think they’re invincible, but they are susceptible to the effects of cold. If you live in a colder climate and want an outdoor cat, you may want to consider a breed with long hair or one that was bred to thrive in the snow. 

Before getting an outdoor cat, make sure you’re equipped with all of the items you’ll need to keep them warm when the temperatures drop. It’s an investment that will keep your feline comfortable and safe. 

If you have cats that live outdoors in winter, it’s important to check under the hood of all of your vehicles before you turn them on each time. Cats can burrow in there for warmth. 

Keep a watchful eye on any cat that travels with you in the car during the winter, and remember how much smaller cats are than their human owners. If it’s cold and your cat must travel, make sure your car is fully heated and that your cat has lots of cushioning inside their carrier before you take them outside. Never leave a cat in a cold car. 

Common sense and empathy can go a long way when keeping our feline friends comfy in the winter months. The best part is this: Winter is a perfect time for snuggles, which keeps everybody warm and happy!