How cold can a cat handle?

How cold can a cat handle?

Cats can handle cold and temperatures around 0° C without any major problems. The fur acts as a natural insulating layer that protects cats against the cold. The overall health, age, density of the fur and previous habit of being outside affect how much cats freeze.

Cats can handle the cold well

Even if they do well, there is a risk that cats who stay outdoors in cold weather or temperatures below 10° C, for a longer period, suffer from frostbite and severe hypothermia.

Long-haired breeds such as Siberian cats and Maine Coons have a thicker coat that offers better protection at lower temperatures; they have a greater ability to withstand cold than short-haired breeds.

Risk of frostbite

Although cats cope well with cold, there is a particular risk of frostbite in exposed body parts that have less protection, such as ears, paws and tail. In severe cases, it can lead to permanent tissue damage.

Common signs of frostbite are:

  • Pale or gray skin
  • Sensitive to touch
  • Swelling of frozen areas

When bringing in frozen pets, do not rush the rewarming, but let it go slowly. Use blankets or your own body heat to bring the temperature up.

When should you bring the cat in?

In general, cats should be kept indoors when the temperature drops below freezing, especially during extreme weather conditions such as blizzards and freezing winds. It is common for a cat outside at night to be colder; even outdoor cats may need to come inside in the winter. Observe how it behaves; if it seems reluctant to go out or quickly wants to come back in, that's a clear sign that it's too cold.

Create a warm haunt

Indoors, there should be access to a warm place, away from drafts and cold floors. If you have the opportunity, you can create a shelter that the cat can go to outside if it is freezing - it should preferably be well insulated and protected from the elements. Cats also tend to seek out warmer places when it gets dark.

Keep track of the cat with GPS

If you want to make sure that your outdoor cat has found a sheltered place during the coldest days of the year, you can use a cat GPS - it allows you to follow its movements in real time. If it's very cold outside, you can easily locate it and bring home your four-legged friend. Cat inside, peace of mind!

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