The Cat In The (Knit) Hat

Is your cat extra cuddly these days?

You may notice your cat cozying up to you a bit more during the winter months.  As the temps continue to drop, your cat will seek out reliable heat sources—and you’re one of them! Believe it or not, most cats are actually built for cold weather. According to PetMD, a cat’s normal body temperature falls between 99.5° and 102.5° Fahrenheit. But when their body temperature dips below 99° degrees, they are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia becomes an issue when the tempature drops just below freezing, so 31°-30° degrees F.

Cat wearing knit hat and scarf in snowy winter

Is your cat ready for the cold winter months ahead?

The best way to protect your cat from cold weather is to keep them inside your house or provide an outdoor kitty cottage. Understanding the risks of letting your cat outside and helping minimize them by preparing a shelter, discussing preventative measures with your veterinarian, and getting the whole family involved with the care of the family feline are all helpful in decreasing the dangerous variables of the outside world. But if your cat has a busy social life, there are a few things you can do to keep your cat safe while outside in the cold.

Since cats tend to hide their discomfort, be extra observant to recognize one or more of these subtle signs that your cat is cold.

1. Cold extremities: Your cat’s ears, paws, and the tip of his tail will lose heat first. If these body parts feel cold, your cat (more than likely) feels chilly. Tip: A cold cat will tuck his paws and tail beneath his body to preserve heat.

2. Snoozing on top of direct heat sources: If you catch your cat routinely heading towards the radiator for a midday slumber, check the windows in that area for drafts. Don’t forget that cold air lingers closest to the floor.

3. Curling into a ball: While this could just be one of your cat’s go-to sleeping positions, pay closer attention to the cat’s environment during on chilly days to determine if he or she may be cold. Again (don’t forget) your cat is closer to the floor than you.

4. Always wants to cuddle: If your cat  becomes a permanent fixture in your lap, it’s fair to say she’s trying to get warm.  Cats learn this method of cuddling to stay warm as a kitten.