How Do I Know if My Cat is Cold?

You want your cat to feel cozy in the home, but you may not know when he feels cold. Especially during the colder months, you worry that he might get too cold. Luckily, cats can handle temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit for a short time and would do fine with a warm spot in the home in most cases.

How do I know if my cat is cold? To tell if your cat feels cold, feel the tips of his ears, tail and nose. If any of those body parts feel cold, your cat is cold. Your cat will also give you signs of being cold like shivering, seeking warmer spaces and crouching down to take up as little space as possible.

If you want to learn more about this topic and explore how to handle it, keep reading because we will give you further information.

Why the Tips of the Body are a Sign of Your Cat Being Cold?

Lower blood circulation causes these peripheral body parts to feel colder than the rest of the body prematurely. Their body may feel slightly colder in this region already, but if you see a huge difference, you know that your cat feels cold.

The tail, the ears and the nose all show you signs. I’d say that the easiest one to check would be the tail or the ears. The tail is easiest because my cat will twitch his ears when you feel them.

Warning: Don’t Use This to Check if Your Cat is Cold

I have seen misguided cat owners use the fur of their cat to see if their pet feels cold. I wouldn’t recommend this. The reason behind it being that the fur gives you a poor indicator of if your cat feels cold.

The fur differs from the cat’s skin, and your cat may go well into hypothermia before you realize that you need to raise the thermostat.

Check out this video to learn more about the signs your cat may display when he has hypothermia:

What Would Be the Ideal Temperature for Your Cat?

Cats don’t differ all that much from humans. What feels comfortable to us will feel comfortable to them. Now, cats do have a slightly higher body temperature than humans, but they feel comfortable mostly in what we feel comfortable in. If you feel cold, then your cat feels cold.

If you’d like to learn if cats prefer the heat or the cold, I wrote about that here.

The ideal temperature for a cat would be around 72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Expert Kitten Tip: Keep in mind, kittens may need warmer temperatures of between 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Kittens need warmer temperatures because of how their smaller body doesn’t hold the heat in as well as a larger cat.

Looking at the Symptoms That Your Cat Feels Cold

If your cat shows any of the following signs, he may need warmer temperatures:

  • Shivering
  • Looks for warm place
  • Keeps body crouched
  • Fur stands up
  • Lethargic
  • Breathing rate slows

You must pay attention to the signs because of how hypothermia can kill your cat fast once it sets in. Cats that do any of the things listed above show that they need warmer temperatures. Especially if you feel it as slightly cold yourself, your cat likely feels even colder.

Unfortunately, your cat can’t tell you that he feels cold. You need to pay attention to the signs, or he could freeze to death.

Dangerous Temperatures to Cats

Anything consistently under 45 degrees Fahrenheit can pose a danger to your cat because of how this desert creature isn’t used to the cold temperatures.

Now, I’m from Minnesota, and I’ve seen farm cats endure very cold temperatures before, but cats also know how to seek warm spaces. That doesn’t always mean that they will be safe, however. Too cold temperatures aren’t safe for your cat.

How Cold is Too Cold for Cats Inside?

Like humans, every cat will differ on what feels comfortable to them. Cats have a normal body temperature of between 100.4 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. I would say that anything between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit will feel comfortable to your cat.

Be aware of the cat breed as well because cats with a thinner fur may prove more susceptible to cold indoor temperatures. Long haired and fat cats can often handle colder temperatures than a thin furred cat like the Sphynx. In fact, if you like the home colder, I wouldn’t advise getting one of these cats because it would be cruel to them.

What if I Like It Cold Inside the Home?

I know many people who like to have the temperature lower in the home. In most cases, your cat won’t feel too bad about colder temperatures. Just pay attention every once in a while to see that he doesn’t feel cold.

The biggest thing that you can do for cases like this is to find spots where your cat can warm up. For example, my sister has a cat that likes to warm herself on the TV cable box.

You could keep an area of the home filled with blankets and warmer things for the cat. A soft and warm cat bed is another way to keep your cat comfortable. The BODISEINT Modern Soft Plush Round Pet Bed for Cats gives you one example of a bed that would feel comfortable to cats in the cold weather.

You could also try the Best Friends by Sheri OrthoComfort Deep Dish Cuddler. The advantage of this one is that it is a self warming bed, which goes well in the winter months for the colder states.

Heated Cat Beds: What to Know About Keeping Your Cat Warm

Before you buy a heated cat bed, beware of what you buy. Cats have thin skin, and they can burn easily. Several types of heated cat beds exist on the market like:

  • Enclosed
  • Semi-enclosed
  • Donut shaped
  • Old-fashioned heating pads

Cats, being an animal of prey as well as a predator, often feel most comfortable with their backs leaning up against a barrier. Pay attention to the personality of your cat. You don’t want to buy a self-warming bed only to have it sit in the corner vacant.

The safest heated beds for your cat are the non-electric beds. Instead of using electric, they will reflect the cat’s body heat to make the bed feel warmer.

You may want to elevate the bed since heat rises, and he will feel more comfortable at a higher elevation.

Try Feeding Your Cat Extra Calories

Especially during the colder months, your cat may benefit from extra food in his dish. Animal behaviorists believe that creatures in cold weather burn through more calories. The other advantage of feeding your cat more is that he puts on weight so that he feels more comfortable in colder weather. However, you still don’t want it too cold because your cat can get sick.

Should You Put Clothes on Your Cat to Keep Him Warm

You have an ongoing debate with people who believe there’s no harm in cats wearing clothes and some who believe that it is bad. I wouldn’t dress your cat up to keep him warm because most cats don’t like this. While it may keep them warm, they panic with clothes on them.

They don’t understand clothes in the same way that humans do, making it cruel. Many cat owners do put clothes on their pets, but I wouldn’t do it. The only exception would be if you have a Sphynx cat, and you like it cold. Even then, however, I still find it cruel, and I wouldn’t advise it. Better to simply get rid of the Sphynx cat.

The Cat is Cold When He Always Wants to Cuddle

Does your cat always seem cuddly? While it might seem like a part of his personality, it may also be that your cat feels cold. Chilly cats often huddle together as a way to keep warm. Cats who seem permanently fixed in your lap may mean that they feel cold, rather than have a cuddly nature.

Is Your Cat Older? He Might Get Cold Easier…

Cats over the age of 11 may have a special susceptibility to the cold temperatures. Their body fails to function as well as the younger cats, and the cold temperatures may give them stiff joints. Having a warm bed is especially important for older cats because it can relieve the joint stiffness and pain.

If You’re Cold, Your Cat is Cold

It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out if your cat is cold. Unless you’re the type who doesn’t get cold easily, you can use yourself as an indicator. Otherwise, pick out someone who gets cold easily, and use them as an indicator for your cat.

If they feel cold, you can bet that your cat feels cold. Now a little cold may not be a bad thing, but you don’t want them to feel perpetually shivering in your home. Your want your cat to feel comfortable.

Don’t Overthink It

Think of your friend who chills easily. Cats are basically that friend. They chill easier than others and need a slightly higher temperature to feel comfy. That said, even temperatures between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit won’t harm your cat.

Cats have learned how to adjust to cooler temperatures. You can tell if your cat feels cold based on some of the things that we listed above.

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