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How to Look After Your Cat During Winter

Despite their thick, furry coats, cats can still feel the cold just like us. Cats are warm-blooded creatures with a body temperature of around 38 to 39 degrees, which is only slightly higher than ours. They must keep their body temperature at this level to stay healthy. 

Cats are experts at finding the cosiest places during the winter months to keep themselves warm, with their fur providing fantastic natural insulation. This means they will usually feel warm enough even when it feels chilly to us. However, they can start suffering from hypothermia if temperatures drop too low! 

How cold is too cold for cats? 

You should ensure your cat has free access to the house when it is cold outside so it can find somewhere inside to keep cosy. They usually know when it's too cold for them and when it's time to seek warmth indoors.

Bring them indoors and keep them in if extreme weather like blizzards or storms occur until the bad weather has passed. 


How can I tell if my cat is cold? 

A cold cat will seek a cosy place to curl up into a ball to keep itself warm. If they are behaving normally, then there is no need to worry, and you could try some of our tips below for cost-effective ways to help keep them cosy.   

If your cat fails to find a warm place and becomes too cold, their core body temperature could become dangerously low, resulting in hypothermia, potentially leading to skin damage caused by frostbite. 

Signs of hypothermia in cats 

  • Shivering 

  • Cold ears, paws, and nose 

  • Pale gums 

  • Weak and laboured movements 

  • Slow heart rate 

  • Slow breathing 

  • Confusion and clumsiness 

  • Collapse or loss of consciousness 


Hypothermia first aid tips: 

  • Wet fur will make your cat feel even colder so dry them off with a towel 

  • Wrap them loosely in a blanket or towel 

  • Try giving them some lukewarm water 

  • Gradually increase the temperature in the house or car while you are contacting the vet or travelling to the appointment; don’t warm them up too quickly 

Cost-effective ways to keep your cat warm in the winter 

You don’t have to spend lots of money to keep your cat warm in the winter. There is no need to put the heating on just for your cat’s benefit unless the temperature indoors drops to seven degrees or lower, as even if you feel chilly, their fur will help to keep them warm.

Here are some tips for budget-friendly ways to keep your cat warm. 

Make them cosy beds 

You don’t have to buy expensive cat beds to keep your cat warm, simply line cardboard boxes with blankets or old jumpers, they will work perfectly. Place them in quiet, warm, and dry areas of the house, away from any drafts, and ensure your cat can access them whenever they want. 


Keep them indoors at night 

It’s advisable to keep your cat indoors at night, especially in winter when the temperature at night can drop particularly low. Ensure any exits are closed to prevent escape and that they have a litter tray to use indoors whenever needed. 


Dry them off 

Gently dry your cat off with a towel when they come back indoors if they have been outside in the rain or snow. They will feel colder if their fur is wet. Leave them alone if they seem stressed by being dried off; most cats will groom to dry themselves off anyway, provided they have somewhere warm to go. 


Maintain litter box hygiene 

You may need to increase your litter box cleaning routine if your cat is spending more time indoors. Keep it clean for them to help keep them stay healthy. Ensure your cat always has access to fresh water and check their food intake over the winter. 


Regular vet check-ups throughout the year will help to make sure they are not developing any underlying health conditions that could be more prevalent in the colder months. 


If you have any questions or queries, please feel free to ask one of our team


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