As a general rule, vets advise against allowing your cat to stay outdoors without a warm place to retreat when the average daily temperature is lower than 45°F. That’s average, not one-time. If it’s been 55°F all day but dips to 44°F during the night? That’s probably okay.
Cats are pretty well adapted for cold weather, but when the temperature dips below freezing they are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite. During periods of cold weather, cats will go looking for a warm place to hunker down. Building an outside shelter for a cat can be an inexpensive and fun project for the family.
Can Cats Survive Winter Outdoors? Yes. Community cats, also called outdoor, stray or feral cats, are well-suited to living outdoors —usually in close proximity to humans—and can survive winter on their own. They are resilient and able to live and thrive in all varieties of locations, weather conditions, and climates.
This is where things get ugly and gross, so hold tight. The normal body temperature for dogs and cats is 99.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat damage can start to occur when the body temperature gets to 104 degrees F. From there, serious damage to internal organs, blood, and brain can occur.
Common signs your pet is feeling the cold ‘Your pet may be shivering, trembling or cuddling into warm spaces,’ says Dr Tessa Jongejans, veterinary director at Greencross Vets Mortdale. ‘Dogs and cats may curl up on your bed, lounge or near the heater as they seek warmth.
Insulate the shelter with straw, not hay. Mylar blankets cut to size can also help cats retain warmth. Avoid using conventional fabric blankets or towels, which absorb moisture and can make the interior cold. Placing the shelter on a pallet or other surface to raise it off the ground can also help to insulate it.
Usually, this happens because of some stress or illness. The cat’s immune system is momentarily weakened or distracted, and the virus exploits the opportunity. Sometimes it’s easy to identify the stress. Maybe the family moved into a new home or had a baby, or the cat has been coping with some other unrelated disease.
If your cat is used to being outdoors at night and you want to start keeping him in, you may find he becomes restless, but your cat will soon get used to the new routine (as long as you meet the cat’s needs as detailed above). Please note: A cat should never be locked out all night.
If your cat is an indoor/ outdoor cat, make sure she has access to a shelter at all times in case she does not come inside some cold winter night. An adequate shelter can consist of a warm bed in your garage, porch, barn, or other places that is protected from moisture and cold winds.
Like dogs and small children, cats who are let outdoors without supervision are vulnerable to the dangers of cars, other animals, cruel people, and diseases. (In addition to a dramatically lowered life expectancy, there is an increased risk of disease.) Many people consider free-roaming cats to be pests.
An indoor cat may live 15-17 years, while the life expectancy for outdoor cats is only 2-5 years, according to researchers at University of California-Davis.
How to Keep Cats Warm in Winter Leave out a soft blanket, towel, or pet bed in a warm room so they can snuggle up on their own when they want to rest. If you have an older cat with arthritis, consider buying them a pet bed designed to soothe aching joints, which may bother them more in the colder months.
If you have an elderly short-haired cat, 78 degrees could be preferable. When you’re gone at work all day or on vacation, don’t set the temperature any higher than 80 to 82 degrees. To ensure your pet stays comfortable, provide fresh water and an area to cool off, such as the basement or a room with tiled flooring.
The easiest solution is to buy a heated, water-resistant shelter made especially for cats. Look for shelters with heated beds designed to warm up to the cat’s normal body temperature. This makes sure the cats stay toasty warm when it’s really cold outside.
Unfortunately, there is no magic number for an AC setting that will provide the ideal temperature for your cat or dog. If your air conditioning settings are too cold for your pet than yes, it can make them sick.