The cold winter temperatures can also be a source of discomfort for the cat. Despite being equipped with a thick fur, in fact, in winter the cat can feel cold.
The relationship of cats with cold depends a lot on their lifestyle.
Do all cats feel cold?
The cat that lives mainly outside the home prepares for the cold season by naturally increasing the volume of his coat, looking for more caloric food and getting a warm and protected refuge. The house cat, on the other hand, has somewhat lost this ability.
But why is the cat cold despite his fur? What are the signs that make us understand if the cat is suffering? Let’s learn to read the behavior and the signals that come from the cat’s body to understand if we need to worry and take action to make the winter less hostile.
Why does the cat feel cold?
The body temperature of the cat is between 37.7 and 38.9 ° C for this reason they suffer more from low temperatures and climate changes in general. With the arrival of cold weather, they tend to spend time indoors in the warmth, especially if they are puppies or the elderly. Although our domestic feline has a thick coat, the cat is cold because it lacks a double layer of hair to protect it from the air.
Signs that the cat is cold
To really understand if the cat is cold, we must not only rely on the external temperature, but on the observation of his behavior. The sensation of cold, in fact, as for us humans, depends on individual tolerance.
Among the first signs that a cat is cold are tremors. If the cat trembles and shivers after a walk in the fresh air, it means that he is cold.
A dry nose indicates that the cat is unwell and has a fever, which can also be caused by the cold. In this case it is good to call a veterinarian and gradually warm up the environment.
Tousled fur, curled up body
When the cat is cold he ruffles his fur to warm his body. The phenomenon is called piloerection: the cat’s fur rises up to form an air chamber that helps retain heat. In addition, the cat instinctively seeks a source of heat to squat or curl up on, preferring tight, soft places to roll up and cover the muzzle and legs. This position allows him to expose a minimal surface of his body to the cold. It is not uncommon to find the cold cat on top of our bed or curled up under the blankets, near the fireplace or the radiator.
How to help the cold cat
Get him a kennel
Since, when the cat is cold, it tends to curl up in a cozy place, we can provide it with a comfortable and warm cushion or a soft bed. There are igloo-shaped bed where our little feline will surely feel well protected in the heat. Or some beds covered with soft and warm plush.For cats that only live outdoors, we can think of a plastic or wooden kennel, well insulated from the ground.
Taking care of the coat
It is also important to take care of his coat. The brushed coat renews faster, always remains soft and guarantees greater protection in the cold.
Fit a cat flap
For cats who live part of the day outside, it would be useful to install pet door that allows them to go home when the temperatures drop or bad weather arrives.
Take care of the cat feeding
Equally important is nutrition. Cold temperatures require a higher fat diet, especially if the cat is used to being outside for a long time. For this we can integrate the cat’s meals with more rich kibble which contribute, among other things, to the growth of a thicker coat.
If we pay attention to the cat’s behaviors, it is easy to understand when he feels cold. Usually he reacts on his own, but we can help him by putting into practice small precautions essential to safeguard his health.