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How Cold is Too Cold for Cats? (Is There a Limit?)

If you are concerned about the temperature and how it could affect your cat keep reading…

What temperature do indoor cats need?

Cats require a moderate temperature of around 70°F. According to The Rescue Vets, cats prefer rooms around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but they can withstand temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees too. If you want to keep your cat comfortable, you should maintain their ideal room temperatures or you risk threatening their health.

What temperature is too cold for outdoor cats?

A cat outdoors on a snow covered ground.

A cat outdoors on a snow covered ground.

Outdoor temperatures below 45°F are considered too cold for most cats. Hypothermic temperatures can cause frostbite to the tips of their tails, ears, noses, and toes. Frostbite is painful and can be difficult to cure if you do not seek treatment immediately.

What body temperate does a cat need to maintain?

Cats must maintain a body temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit, or they may get hypothermia. Maintaining a warm thermostat keeps their body temperature from falling to hypothermic levels. Also, keeping a blanket around or a body heater nearby can help your cat fight hypothermia in cold environments.

Hypothermia can result in fatality if you do not increase the temperature of your cat’s environment.

To help outdoor cats maintain their internal body temperature during cold weather, set up covered shelters with plenty of bedding so your outdoor cats can escape the cold weather. Any outdoor enclosures must be weatherproof, so no moisture or cool air enters the covering. Provide insulation like blankets or other bedding for the cats to maintain their body temperature.

Alternatively, you can bring outdoor cats inside during cold weather.

How do you know if your cat is too cold?

The easiest way to tell if your cat is too cold is by feeling if they are cold to the touch. Signs your cat is too cold include when your cat is shivering has a lowered heart rate or is weak. Although cats cannot enter a state of hibernation, they may lower their heart rate in cold weather to burn fewer calories.

Lowering their heart rate and decreasing their activity level helps the feline survive cold weather. If your cat is moving less when it is cold out, that is a sign that it might be affected by the cold weather. It is normal to become less active.

However, becoming immobile means that your cat is too affected by the cold. Try increasing the temperature or giving them something to sleep inside.

What is hyperthermia in cats?

Hypothermia in cats is when a cat reaches a dangerously low body temperature, risking its health and life. According to Care Animal Hospital, when a cat stays somewhere with a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it can suffer from hypothermia. Hypothermia can cause frostbite, organ failure, and even lead to death in the worst-case scenario.

Hypothermia begins setting in at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you should never let your cat outdoors or in an environment where the temperature reaches below 45°F, or it can be detrimental for your cat’s health.

Do cats get cold easily?

Cats are adaptable animals that do not get cold easily. They usually find ways to accommodate their environments, such as relocating and finding a warmer place to sleep. However, their survival skills do not always work, so they should never be left in the cold for a long time, or they can become hypothermic.

It is critical that you never leave your cat outdoors overnight. The cat is usually great at adjusting its body temperature, but leaving your cat outdoors overnight in cold environments can result in the devastating loss of your feline family member.

Which cat breeds can cope with the cold temperatures?

A cat outdoors in the snow standing next to a wall.

A cat outdoors in the snow standing next to a wall.

Cat breeds with long hair like the Norwegian Forest Cat, Maine Coone, Scottish Fold, Himalayan, and Persian are great in cold temperatures. They cope well with the cold and even thrive in the snow.

According to Kitty Cat Tree, the length and consistencies of these cats’ coats are typically the main reason these cat breeds have learned to cope with cold temperatures. These coats correlate with the region these cats are from, such as Norway and the Norwegian Forest Cat, one of the most well-known cats for adventuring in the snow.

Since the region is cold, the cat must have long, warm fur.

Do all long-haired cats love the cold?

Not all long-haired cats love the cold, but they are more prepared for it than short-haired or hairless cats. Long-haired cats are more resistant to cold weather than short-haired cats. The same rules apply to long-haired cats.

Cats still require warm temperatures above 45°F, either indoors or outdoors, during winter months, or they can get hypothermia.

Do indoor cats get cold easily?

Indoor cats do not get cold easily unless you make their environment cold. Typically, indoor cats have more coverings and insulation to warm them than outdoor cats, making it significantly warmer indoors than outside. Furthermore, the cat is adaptive to its environment, meaning it can change to the environment around them.

As they get cold, they will become less active to conserve as much body heat and energy as possible.

Larger cats are typically warmer than smaller cats because of their excess body fat. Therefore, cats living in colder areas can have “extra meat on their bones” compared to cats living in warmer areas.

Can cats get frostbite?

Cats can get frostbite if exposed to abnormally cold environments for extended periods. Frostbite is a dangerous medical condition that can lead to physical problems, including amputation and even death if it gets serious enough. Amputation can be debilitating to your cat’s daily life, causing the need for a total lifestyle adjustment.

Hypothermia in cats occurs when the body drops to a dangerously low temperature. Symptoms of this condition include swelling, reddening, blistering, and discoloration. When your cat’s skin is frostbitten, their skin will blister and then eventually die, discoloring into a black tint as it does so.

Lindsey Browlingdon