Because cats usually like to go outside in all weathers and of course, have a thick fur coat, many people think that cats don’t really feel the cold very much, or do not need any special attention paid to keeping them warm enough. However, what cats consider to be an ambient temperature is slightly higher than is comfortable for people, which is why cats often sit right in front of the radiator or fire, even though we as people think that they must surely be too hot!
This means that the comfort and warmth of indoor-outdoor cats is often overlooked in the winter, and while the temperature indoors would have to be very low for quite a long period of time to potentially have a significant negative effect on your cat’s health, it is wise to ensure that they have a safe, warm space in the home and that they do not spend the winter feeling chilly, or begin to lose condition.
In this article, we will share some tips and advice on how to make sure that your cat is warm enough during the winter without breaking the bank! Read on to learn more.
First of all, cats burn more calories when the weather is cold than they do when it is warmer, as they burn off energy in the form of body fat in order to keep their body temperature high enough. This means that your cat will probably eat a little more in the winter than they will in the summer, and it is important to keep an eye on your cat’s weight particularly in the winter, to ensure that they are neither losing condition due to being too cold, or putting on weight due to being inactive!
Many households turn off the central heating at night when everyone will be snuggled up in bed and not feeling the cold, but unless your cat climbs under the duvet with you, your cat might be particularly chilly at night! It is important to ensure that the temperature does not drop significantly at night, but you do not need to heat your whole house in order to achieve this-there are various different ways of providing a single warm spot for your cat without having to spend money heating every room!
A nice warm bed for your cat is of course important, and an igloo bed is a particularly good choice in the winter as it is enclosed and will help your cat to maintain their warmth. Whatever bed you choose for your cat, make sure that it is well padded enough to keep the cold from the floor from leeching into it, and that it is placed in a warm corner where your cat will feel safe and happy.
A cold draft coming down a disused chimney, from a poorly insulated window or from a gap in the bottom of a door can create a cold breeze at your cat’s level, and if their bed happens to be located in the flow of the breeze, they are unlikely to want to use it or be very comfortable in it!
It is wise to look at things from your cat’s viewpoint and check to see that their bed is located somewhere well insulated and not in the direct line of any drafts-your cat will usually let you know where they find comfortable to sleep and it is a good idea to try to accommodate for this by placing their bed where they like it!
One good way to provide a nice warm snuggle space for your cat at night or when the house will generally be cold is to invest in a heat pad-a small, insulated pad rather like an electric blanket in miniature covered in waterproof backing, which can be plugged into a socket to produce a consistent, low level warmth that is just enough to keep a cat warm without sending your electric bills through the roof!
If you have an insulated water heater or boiler in an airing cupboard, this small space will likely retain heat long after the rest of the house has cooled down. Why not think about cutting a small cat-sized hole into the bottom of the door, or installing a cat flap, and your cat can have their own bedroom where they can always retreat to, to keep warm or just stay out of the way!
If you have two cats that get on well together, they will likely cuddle up together both for comfort and companionship, and also to share their body heat. While cats that largely ignore each other or just tolerate each other are not likely to see a cold spell as a good enough reason to make friends for a hug, if you have two or more cats that are related or that get on well, they will likely go some way towards helping to keep each other warm too!