Last Updated on March 9, 2023 by Woody Pet
How Cold is Too Cold for Cats The cats we keep at our homes are demanding animals. We need to take good care of them and their health.
Regarding the temperature of the body, cats usually have it nearly the same as people do.
Nonetheless, there are different aspects when it comes to cats and temperature we need to learn about.
Despite the fact that the cats have nearly the same temperature as us humans, they can not stand much colder conditions than we do. Their body temperature must be kept at a certain degree, because otherwise, your beloved kitty may suffer from coldness. Worse, if it drops to a degree that they can not withstand anymore, health issues will arrive for your poor cat.
This is why temperature is so important when it comes to cats.
In this article, we will help cat owners to know how to deal with cats’ temperatures. Now let’s dive into this matter and give an answer to the question
How Cold Is Too Cold For Cats?
Body Temperature of Cats
Cats have a body temperature of 37.7 °C (Celsius), or 100 °F (Fahrenheit). This means they have slightly bigger temperatures than humans (something below 37 °C or 98.6 F).
The most important thing is that the cat’s temperature should not go below 37.7. °C (100 °F), in order that they would not be cold. However, if their temperature drops to around 26.6 °C (80 °F), some serious health issues may occur.
When the weather outside gets colder, or we have a change from warmer to colder seasons, cats tend to get closer to their owners, because they are craving for the warmth the people have, and cats want a share of it.
What is Too Cold for Cats?
There is a common misconception that 0°C will cause immediate hypothermia in your cat. This is not entirely true. In all fairness, your cat will not be the happiest with this temperature, but apart from a slight discomfort, it will definitely not suffer some permanent consequences. Of course, this does not mean that cats are meant to live outside in this weather – it just means that even if your cat goes for a stroll in your yard for 5 minutes in this weather, it won’t be the end of the world.
The extreme cold among cats depends in a large manner on their hair length. Typically, hypothermia occurs when the long-haired cat’s body temperature drops below 23.8°C. This is not the case with the short-haired breeds – any body temperature below 32.2°C can already be harmful to them. Keep this in mind before getting a new cat – if you live in colder regions, and you leave your thermostat off when you’re going to work, maybe a short-haired cat might not be the best solution for your home.
Be certain that your cat is not outside for too long during winter months, so their temperature can remain within limits. If cats are exposed to low temperatures for a very long time, they might get frostbite, which is serious, permanent damage.
When inside, the room temperature should not drop below 10°C or 50°F. In the short run, cats can be slightly uncomfortable with this temperature without any serious consequences, but you should definitely not leave your cat at home with such a temperature every day.
How cold is too cold for cats in the garage?
Many people decide that keeping their cat in the garage in order to keep it warmer is a good idea. This goes especially if you drive your car – cats love the warmth of the engine right after you park your car in your garage.
Mainly, a garage, even though it is not the perfect condition, will not cause harm to your cat in terms of temperature problems and hypothermia. There are two other things that you need to be varied:
- A garage is a place where you keep chemicals, such as car oils, and antifreeze. Some of them may leak or spill somewhere. Make sure no stains like these are anywhere on the garage floor and make sure the bottles with these chemicals are safe and out of reach for your cat;
- Make sure to check your car wheels/engine before taking off the next day. As we mentioned, cats love the warmth of the engine, and can often curl up around the wheels, or in the engine compartment.
How Do I Know if My Cat Is Cold?
If your cat is slightly discomforted by the temperature in the room, they will locate the places that radiate heat and stick to them. This explains why they love your laptop keyboard so much. They can also snuggle up a radiator, or move closer to the A/C.
The first sign that your cat is more seriously cold is its shivering. They will gradually become colder when you touch them, especially around the tail, the ears, and the limbs. This is because the body heat is situated to protect their vital organs, leaving the extremities unprotected.
Cats also tend to curl up in various positions when they’re feeling cold. They might also ask for body contact from someone in the room. They prefer fellow cats, but if they cannot find any, their fellow human would do.
The first signs of serious hypothermia for your cat are shivering, slow breathing, and being cold to the touch, and they slowly become weak and move more and more slowly. Their movements will eventually become stiffer and they will become lethargic.
If your cat has some of these symptoms, make sure the first thing you do is contact a veterinarian. Bringing the cat into a really warm space, such as your living room, where there is a huge temperature difference, might actually create bigger harm to your cat. Your vet will give you step-by-step advice on what to do.
Conclusion: How to Keep My Cat Warm?
Have a warm bed with a throw blanket for them, especially in the colder months, and especially if they are younger or older cats (as they are more sensitive to colder temperatures). Cats learn how to use blankets much faster than we think!
If your cat is still cold, you can try putting a thermophore, or a warming pad in their bed, or buy a cat bed that warms up in certain intervals of time (yes, they exist!)
Don’t forget to cuddle and play with your cat – this increases their blood circulation and essentially keeps them warm.
Cats are pretty resilient animals overall and can withstand lower temperatures. However, this certainly does not mean that you should leave your cat outside during winter. Prepare a nice bed for them, and make sure the temperature is pleasant for the cat even when you’re not home.
The biggest pro of this whole situation is that your cat would be much more eager to spend time with you and cuddle a lot.