How can I protect my cat from the cold?

If a cat is better armed than a human in the face of the cold, it can still suffer its effects, especially during sudden changes in temperature. A kitten used for outdoor trips is usually better able to withstand the harshness of winter thanks to its denser undercoat, but it remains vulnerable to the consequences of cold, frost and snow. However, there is no point in locking him in your house for the duration of this wonderful season. You can certainly let him roam outside, as long as you adopt some procedures and habits that will help you better protect him from the effects of the cold. Find them in this file.


How do I protect my cat from the cold?

Cat and its resistance to cold

Cats resist cold better than humans thanks to their higher average body temperature - 38.5°C - and a body better designed to face the harshness of winter, with a thicker coat and appropriate reflexes. Of course, this resistance varies between an adventurous cat who gets out a lot and a living-room pasha who only lives indoors. The latter is already more sensitive to cold temperatures and the transition from a comfortable interior to an icy exterior is more difficult for an unaccustomed animal.

Therefore, the cat's lifestyle is of great importance in the context of its resistance to cold. As evidence, outdoorsmen note that snowfall is associated with a major transformation of the animal's coat, which is greatly thickened to prepare it for winter. Conversely, this molt is almost invisible or very slight in domestic cats.

But the main thing that can bother a cat is a sudden change in temperature, especially from hot to cold and from cold to hot all of a sudden. As a result, if your cat is able to go outside on a cold day, it's a good idea to make sure transitions are smooth.

So just because winter is coming doesn't mean you have to lock your kitten indoors. Let him roam outside with ease. And if he tends to be more of a domestic body type, cut out outings to avoid prolonged exposure.

Note, however, that it is necessary to be vigilant with kittens and large cats. This is because cats' coats are not dense enough to protect them from the cold, as their thermoregulatory mechanism is not yet mature. On the other hand, large cats often have a sparse, more brittle coat and a more vulnerable body, which does not allow them to be well armed in harsh winters. So it is best to exercise caution and limit outdoor excursions in extremely cold weather for these more sensitive cats.


How to protect your cat from the cold?

As we've seen, a cat can tolerate winter outdoors and exposure to the cold without much difficulty, especially if it's used to venturing outside regularly. However, in cold weather, it is important to smooth transitions when entering and exiting to minimize the sudden impact of temperature change.

Tips for protecting your cat from the cold

To protect your little friend from the winter cold, here are some tips to follow.

Clean the pads after going out

Cold, sleet, and snow as well as salt spilled on roads and sidewalks can severely affect cat pads that are in constant contact with the ground. And cats are sensitive, they can very quickly suffer from frostbite, chapping, burns and various irritations. Ideally, after every walk in the cold, be sure to wipe your cat's paws with a towel. This will remove any moisture that has settled there and you will be able to take better care of her claws. If it's dirty, a little lukewarm water can help clean it up. In the event of infection, care must be taken to prevent infection. Finally, if a foreign object gets stuck between your fingers, this quick check will allow you to take action immediately.

Be aware that there are sedatives designed specifically for cat pads. They can be applied several times a day to protect their sensitive feet from chapping and irritation before and after outings.

Make a suitable bed for him

Winter can be an opportunity to introduce a style change to your little companion. In fact, put her in a warm, comfortable bed near a heat source or lined with warm blankets, away from drafts and vents. This will allow him to warm up better if he gets cold day or night, but also after a walk in the fresh air.


Diet adaptation

This need only applies to cats that go outside in the winter. Domestic cats must maintain the same diet to avoid weight gain.

On the other hand, a cat that is outside regularly in the winter needs a richer diet to help it deal with the rigors of the cold. Make sure to give him more animal protein and slightly larger portions. Don't hesitate to offer them additional foods adapted to their specific needs, such as white fish or lean tuna.

This slight, temporary surplus of food will allow the animal to build up a small layer of fat in order to better protect itself from the cold.


Make sure it is well hydrated

Despite the cold, it is still important to ensure proper hydration of the cat. This is because the animal is exposed to frost and winds that dry it out, and also because other sources of heat indoors make the air warmer and drier. So it could see a rapid decline in its water reserves.

Therefore, be sure to leave a bowl of clean water available to your cat at all times. Outdoors, he also needs to be able to access a bowl of clean, non-freezing water whenever he feels the need.


Check their health regularly

When your cat returns from her winter wanderings, we recommend that you check the condition of the pads and dry them thoroughly. Likewise, be sure to dry his coat with a lukewarm towel if he's wet from walks and quickly put him in front of a heat source. This will allow him not to get cold. Do the same thing when you need to bathe him, immediately drying him with several towels and leaving him in a warm room until he finishes licking himself.

This basic vigilant care will allow you to know if your pet is injured or weakened by the winter temperatures and act accordingly. So, if you notice that your cat is suffering from frostbite or small injuries on the pads, act immediately and treat them. You can consult your vet to do this, because he can advise you what to do and what products to apply in case of injury or infection.

Also, if you notice your pet sneezing or coughing, they may have a cold. Be sure to warm it up and monitor its condition. If in any doubt, or if these symptoms worsen or persist for several days, consult a practitioner.


Let your cat come home as soon as he feels the need

If your cat goes outside a lot in the winter, make sure she can keep warm as soon as she needs it. If you are away regularly, feel free to outfit yourself with pet doors. Can be installed on a garage door, workshop, garden shed or outdoor shed. Any form of shelter allows cats to protect themselves from the cold whenever they need it.

This need is important for healthy adult cats, but it is even more important for a young cat armed in the face of the harshness of winter and for elderly cats, because the cold awakens some joint pain, especially osteoporosis. By giving him the possibility of shelter, you will spare him a great deal of suffering.


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