The cat, thanks to its dense coat, is well armed to face the cold, even during harsh winters. Unlike humans, they don’t need clothes to cope with low temperatures.
However, sudden changes in climate can make your cat cold, so he needs to protect himself to maintain a constant body temperature of 38.5 °.
So, let’s see together what tips to use to protect your cat from the cold in all circumstances and let him roam as he pleases!
The impact of cold on your cat
Not all cats are sensitive to cold the same way. In general, stray cats and feral cats tolerate extreme temperatures well, as they are used to living outdoors and know exactly where to find refuge.
On the other hand, a domestic cat accustomed to the heat of a warm home will suffer more from the harshness of winter. This is especially true if your cat is in one of the following situations:
- He is an indoor cat exclusively, and he is not used to putting a single mustache outside,
- It is a cat of naked breed or almost, like the Sphynx, the Bambino, the Cornish Rex, the Donskoy, the Likoi, etc.,
- It is a purebred cat from hot countries, such as Savannah, Singapura, Somali, which has little or no undercoat,
- It is an obese cat or on the contrary too thin, its metabolism is not optimal,
- It is a kitten, its coat is not dense enough to be well protected from the cold,
- They are elderly cats, so they have a harder time retaining heat and regulating their body temperature.
Thus, a cat who goes outside in the middle of winter and finds himself soaked by rain or snow could suffer from the effects of the cold, especially if he ventures too long. He might come back with frostbite, irritation, hypothermia, dehydration, etc.
Solutions to prevent your cat from getting cold
To protect your cat from the cold, several solutions must be adopted to ensure its comfort. Here are, in order of priority, those that you can easily set up!
1 – Give him free access to your interior
This is the first instinct to have. A cat who is cold will naturally want to regain warmth when returning home. You can install a cat flap, so that he comes back as soon as he wants, or you can simply open it whenever he wants if you are not away.
In addition, you can provide it with shelter to avoid bad weather. To do this, there are many solutions available to you: install a well-insulated niche in your garden, leave one of your window shutters down or even open the door of your garage or garden shed.
2 – Take care of your pads
Does your cat go out and frolic in the snow? His pads may be burnt and come alive, which is painful for him. Do not hesitate to rinse his paws with lukewarm water and dry them well when he comes home.
If the pads are damaged, there are many veterinary solutions such as creams specifically designed to help it heal quickly. You can also apply petroleum jelly to its pads, as a prevention or treatment, to help it naturally restore its lipid barrier.
3 – take care of its diet and hydration
A cat who spends his days outdoors draws on his reserves to adapt to the cold. As a result, he needs a little more protein than usual to compensate. You can therefore slightly increase his daily ration, without changing his diet.
On the contrary, if your cat is satisfied with occasional outings of a few minutes or a few hours at most, there is no need to adapt his diet. Eating premium quality food in the amounts recommended by the manufacturer is enough to meet your basic needs.
Finally, be aware that a cat exposed to cold wind, snow or freezing rain becomes dehydrated quickly. Especially when returning home, it warms up but finds a dry interior with very little ambient humidity. It is therefore essential to leave it fresh water in sufficient quantity, outside and inside.
4 – Provide him with a cozy corner
The cat who goes out in winter loves to come home to relax and enjoy a cozy corner. Do not hesitate to arrange a comfortable place for it with cushions, throws, blankets. It can be a cat tree, a doghouse, a furniture top.
He will appreciate being away from drafts, and preferably near a heat source, such as a fireplace or a radiator. There are also cat baskets in pet stores and on specialized websites to hang on your radiator.
5 – Monitor your state of health
Apart from frostbite, which you can treat simply at home or by asking your veterinarian for advice, a cat who has been outside for a long time in the middle of winter can suffer from hypothermia, colds, infections, etc.
Monitor their health regularly. If he is listless, if he seems to be in pain, if he remains ill for several days, keep him warm without putting him outside, and consult your vet as soon as possible.