Lover of The Outdoors

How Do Outdoor Cats Stay Warm




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Outdoor cats are a topic of much controversy. Some people believe all cats should be indoor-only, while others are very supportive of letting cats outside to explore. There are even organizations that help homeless cats find homes and safe places to live.

With the growing awareness of cat overpopulation, more and more cat lovers are allowing their pets to go outside so they can breed and stay healthy. A large part of this is because of the health benefits outdoor cats get from hunting.

How do they stay warm? Well, it takes a little bit of effort, but outdoor cats have some tricks up their sleeves to keep them cozy when the weather isn’t. Here are some ways that outdoor cats protect themselves during winter weathers!

For the most part, an average-sized healthy cat will not have much trouble being able to hunt and survive in winter. Of course, there are always exceptions, such as extremely harsh winters with lots of snow and freezing temperatures for extended periods of time. However, for the average cat, there are some basic tips that help them stay warm during the winter.

Wear warm clothing

how do outdoor cats stay warm

If you have an outdoor cat, it is important to make sure he or she has warm clothing during cold weather. You can find jackets and pants for pets at local pet stores and online.

These are very useful as your cat will be able to take them off and on as needed. A good tip is to get a thin waterproof cover for the cat too, just in case it rains.

Or, you can make your own pet jacket using fleece or wool material. Just make sure it is snug so that it keeps the cat warm!

Cozy blankets and towels also help protect cats from the cold. If you do not have enough space in your home for a fluffy blanket, then lay some out outside so your kitty can snuggle up on them when it is cold.

Snuggle with other cats

how do outdoor cats stay warm

If you have more than one cat, they can snuggle with each other to keep warm. If you have an outdoor cat, you can bring them into the house to snuggle with their friends.

If you find a stray cat and bring it into the house, it will be able to find friends to snuggle with. Cats are very independent creatures, so if it does not want to snuggle, then there is not much you can do about it.

Some cats like to sleep very close together so they can share warmth. If you have one of these cats, then it may be possible to help it stay warm in the winter by adding a blanket or another cozy place for it to sleep.

However, some experts say this may not work for all cats so try this at your own risk! Some cats like thin blankets so try getting one that is soft but still durable.

Find heat sources

how do outdoor cats stay warm

One way cats keep warm is by finding sources of heat. If you watch a cat sleeping, you’ll see that they usually position themselves to face a warm surface or to be surrounded by other warm creatures or objects.

When hiding out, they usually choose spots that are protected from the wind and snow by other objects. When sleeping, they tend to snuggle up with other pets or under heavy blankets or towels.

If an outdoor cat does not have access to these things, then you can provide them with heavy blankets and towels to sleep in. You can also put out pet heaters that plug into outlets to help them keep warm.

Another thing outdoor cats do to stay warm is exercise frequently. They will run around and exercise their muscles to generate body heat. They also try to find the most comfortable places to sleep so they can get the most restful sleep- which means staying warm.

Indoors vs. outdoors

how do outdoor cats stay warm

A major factor in how warm a cat will be is whether the cat is an indoor or outdoor cat. If the feline is an indoor only cat, it will take some extra steps to keep it warm.

Indoor cats rely on humans to provide them with enough warmth. This is achieved by placing a nice warm blanket in its safe place and keeping the house warm.

If it has a covered safe place, like a cat tree or box, it can also spend some time there to get extra warmth. By having layers of materials, it can also romp around to stay active and warm.

Indoors also brings with it the risk of escaped paws due to ice and snow, so constant monitoring for these dangers is needed. To further prevent loss of toes or feet, try putting on some boots!

An important note: do not put your indoor cat out in the snow to play! They may think it is play time, but they may become sick due to the cold.

Keeping the heat inside your body

how do outdoor cats stay warm

The next strategy for staying warm is to keep the heat inside your body. For cats, this means grooming.

Not only does grooming remove loose fur, which would otherwise stick out and trap air between layers, it also removes excess moisture.

Dry fur is much easier to tolerate than wet fur, which would cause loss of heat due to its higher thermal resistance.

Losing as little body heat as possible is important in winter, so cats louse each other thoroughly before going to sleep. By the way, they sleep more during the winter due to reduced daylight hours!

If you have a multi-cat household, you can help encourage grooming by having multiple litter boxes. This way, there’s more opportunity for cats to brush against each other while doing their business. Try putting down some cat nip too; it might help with the grooming process.

Keeping the fur clean

how do outdoor cats stay warm

Although some cats may seem to pride themselves on their dirty fur, that is not the case for all cats. Most cats love to be groomed and have their fur cleaned.

Just like our skin needs to be cleaned, so does a cat’s. Losing its fur would mean losing its protection from the elements and potential predators.

Because of this, most cats have a separate bathroom area where they groom themselves. They use their paws to clean themselves and pick off any loose hairs.

If your cat does not have a designated bathroom area, then you can help them do this by giving them a brush or having short hair sessions with them.

Avoiding the wind

how do outdoor cats stay warm

When the weather is cold, but not extremely cold, outdoor cats can stay warm by finding a sheltered area away from the wind.

If there are no sheltered areas, then the cat can sleep closer to another warm body—a house or building or even another cat. He can also wrap up in his coat and put his nose into a warm, protected spot.

If you find an outdoor cat in a situation where he’s exposed to the wind, try to help him find a safer place to shelter. If you cannot find such a place, then try to keep him dry and covered with as many layers as possible.

Bundle him up! A sleeping bag might even do the trick if he can get close enough to some heat.

Finding shelter from the rain

how do outdoor cats stay warm

If it is raining, your cat will need a place to stay dry. If he/she gets wet, they will need to be dried off and warmed up. A warm, dry box or a shelter is needed for this.

If you have an outdoor cat, a waterproofed shelter is the best option. These can be bought online or at pet stores and range in size and shape. Some are simple squares or circles while others are shaped like domes or rounded houses.

Some have insulated floors while others do not, so check before buying! If the shelter does not have a waterproofed floor, then an extra layer of plastic or a towel must be placed underneath to prevent wetness.

These shelters can vary in price depending on size and quality, but all of them are needed to keep your outdoor kitty safe during the winter months.

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