How to protect your cat from the cold?

How to protect your cat from the cold?

The cat, thanks to its dense coat, is well equipped to face the cold, even during harsh winters. Unlike humans, he does not need clothing to cope with low temperatures.

However, sudden weather changes 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 tomcat from the cold in all circumstances and let him roam as he pleases!

The impact of the cold on your cat

Not all cats are equally sensitive to the cold. In general, stray cats and feral cats tolerate extreme temperatures well, because they are accustomed to living outside and know perfectly well where to find refuge.

On the other hand, a domestic cat accustomed to the warmth of a soft home will suffer more from the harshness of winter. This is all the more true if your cat is in one of the following situations:

    • He is an indoor cat only, and he is not used to putting a single whisker outside,
    • It is a bare or almost naked breed cat, such as 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’s a kitten, its coat is not dense enough to be well protected from the cold,
    • He is an older cat, so he has more difficulty retaining heat and regulating his body temperature.
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Thus, a cat that goes outside in the middle of winter and finds itself soaked by the rain or snow could suffer from the effects of the cold, especially if it ventures too long. He could come back with frostbite, chafing, hypothermia, dehydration, etc.

Solutions to prevent your cat from getting cold

To protect your cat from the cold, several solutions must be adopted and ensure its comfort. Here are, in order of priority, those that you can set up simply!

1 – Give him free access to your interior

This is the first reflex to have. A cat that is cold will naturally want to find warmth when it returns home. You can install a cat flap, so that he can come back as soon as he wants, or simply open it to him whenever he wants if you are not away.

In addition, you can provide it with a 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 folded down or even open the door of your garage or your garden shed.

2 – Take care of your pads

Does your cat go out and frolic in the snow? His pads may be burned and raw, which is painful for him. Do not hesitate to rinse his paws with lukewarm water and to wipe them well when he returns.

If the pads are damaged, there are many veterinary solutions such as skincare 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.

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3 – Take care of his diet and hydration

A cat that spends its days outside draws on its reserves to adapt to the cold. As a result, he needs a little more protein than usual to compensate. You can therefore slightly increase its daily ration, without changing its diet.

On the contrary, if your cat is content with occasional outings of a few minutes or a few hours at most, there is no need to adapt his diet. Premium quality food following the quantities recommended by the manufacturer is sufficient to meet its vital needs.

Finally, be aware that a cat exposed to cold wind, snow or freezing rain will dehydrate quickly. Especially when you get home, it warms up but finds a dry interior with very little ambient humidity. It is therefore essential to leave him with enough fresh water, outside and inside.

4 – Provide him with a cozy corner

The cat that goes out in winter loves to come home to recharge its batteries and enjoy a cozy corner. Do not hesitate to arrange a comfortable place for him with cushions, plaids, blankets. It can be a cat tree, a niche, a furniture top.

He will appreciate being away from drafts, and preferably near a source of heat, such as a fireplace or a radiator. In pet stores and on specialized websites, there are baskets for cats to hang on your radiator.

5 – Monitor your health

Apart from frostbite, which you can treat simply at home or by asking your veterinarian for advice, a cat that has been out for a long time in the middle of winter can suffer from hypothermia, colds, infections, etc.

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Monitor his health regularly. If he is apathetic, if he seems to be in pain, if he stays sick for several days, keep him warm without putting him outside, and consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.

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