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Winterize Your Cat

  • December 3, 2010
  • 6:01 pm
  • 1 of 3
Winterize Your Cat

They may have fur, but our four-legged friends still get cold when the temperature dips. Add snow, sleet, wind and rain to the mix, and our kitties, even with their natural fur coats, are bound to be shivering just like the rest of us. Prolonged exposure to the cold can lead to hypothermia—a dangerous drop in core body temperature—in cats just as it will in humans. Know what signs to watch for and how to “winterize” your outdoor cat.

Signs of cat hypothermia include prolonged and violent shivering, which speeds up a cat’s metabolism and thus serves as a short-term way for the body to warm itself up. But shivering takes a lot of energy, and if your cat is cold for too long, that energy will run out, and her body temperature will start to drop. Signs of more advanced hypothermia—weakness, disorientation and lethargy—will then start to show. If left untreated, these conditions will eventually lead to unconsciousness and even death.

It’s true that some animals are built to withstand frosty winter temps. But shorthaired or small animals just aren’t as up to the task. Neither are injured or sick cats or other small animals like rabbits. Older cats have a tougher time with the cold, too, especially those with arthritis, kidney ailments or respiratory problems. Here’s what you can do to help them cope–and keep warm.

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4:46PM PDT on Oct 7, 2011

Good ideas which I will be deploying this winter.Sadly our last cat was killed, last year, so this cat will be spoiled,. Our last cat loved sitting on the radiator, and , if she got the chance of an open bedroom door, she would snuggle under bedclothes causing a few scarey shouts.

5:38AM PST on Dec 21, 2010

Good tips I keep blankets in my shed where my outdoor/indoor cat sleeps with food and water and litter. He goes out once in awhile but i bring him in and warm him up once a day. :)

5:48PM PST on Dec 14, 2010

I NEED HELP AND ADVICE. It's 17 degrees out. I have been feeding an outside cat for 5 months now, bought him an insulated cat house which he uses on the front porch. But it's 17 degrees out and I'm very concerned about him. I got him to come into our breezeway - have the electric heater on but the side door open 6 inches so he can come/go + not feel trapped. Thoughts???

4:23PM PST on Dec 14, 2010

My Bluebell and Chloe and snug by the fire inside, they never go out!

8:08PM PST on Dec 13, 2010

Wow! That kitty in the picture is the exact replica of one I had that LOVED the snow. She would beg to go out on our deck and roll in it! Except for that, she, and all my other cats, have always been indoor kitties, spayed and completely vetted.

1:39AM PST on Dec 10, 2010

My Cats just will not go out in the snow! They also do not like it when it is too hot, too cold, too wet and too windy....They like a perfect Spring day!!!

9:59PM PST on Dec 9, 2010

For those in very cold areas if you can make a space for the kitties to get close to the house there is heat that escapes most homes. windows are a great place to investigate. A cat house mounted against your windows and keep it so cats can get into it from the ground or furniture left out in bad weather. You can fix it so the window can be opened from inside and food and water placed in house daily. And you can clean it this way as well. Then in the spring you can remove it or fix so you can keep plants or something else in it. If it has a flat top you'll find the cats sleep on top of it when the weather is good. Ferrel cats are a problem as far as I am concerned. We need to fix those little boys when they are born. otherwise they are stinky little babies and to no fault of their own they are just doing their thing. But it certainly isn't our thing. If anyone has suggestions please notify me. 6 cats and climbing and five outside all but one is a rescue and all but one newbie is fixed(his nickname is stinky). We do have fights sometimes but generally they coexist quite well.

10:41AM PST on Dec 9, 2010

I live in an apartment. My cats stay warm all the time. My precious babies are loved and cared for always.

12:07AM PST on Dec 9, 2010

Make sure there is always fresh water outside for animals, they become dehydrated if all the water is frozen over, they need water especialy if there has been salting of the roads, it can be the only water around and it is dangerous as it is full of salt, will affect their kidneys badly. Just putting a bowl or two of fresh water out regularly throughout the day can save numerous lives.

8:03AM PST on Dec 8, 2010


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