A cat’s fur does a surprisingly good job regulating its temperature. But as the cooler seasons herald their arrival, you begin to wonder if your pet’s coat is enough to keep him warm and comfy. Will he need a blanket during autumn and winter?
Do cats like blankets?
Although there are a few outliers, most cats love blankets. But ultimately, it will be your pet who decides if he likes to have one, especially during the chilly months. For most cats, a blanket provides not just extra warmth. A blanket can also give him added comfort, especially during the cooler seasons.
Cats actively seek warmth and comfort. And a lot of that has to do with their ancestry. The modern domestic cat descended from African wild cats. As such, they prefer lounging and sunbathing in the warmer areas in your home.
With winter’s cold temperature and a dearth of warm and sunny places in your home, he will need to find new areas where he can seek respite from the cold. A blanket can answer those needs.
Do cats like getting covered in blankets?
It is one thing to curl up on top of a warm and soft blanket and it is an entirely different thing to be covered with one. Will your cat appreciate it if you cover him with a blanket?
Again, each cat has a preference. Some do not mind sleeping under a blanket. They even burrow beneath their humans’ blankets. However, there are some that dislike being covered by blankets.
To ascertain your cat’s preference, your only option is to experiment to find what he likes. Your pet might dislike getting beneath a blanket if you have covered him with one before bringing him to the vet. Cats have surprisingly long memories and your pet might have associated getting wrapped in a blanket with an unpleasant experience.
If your cat does like getting covered by a blanket, make sure that he can get out whenever he wants to. Cats are good at regulating their body temperatures. And when they feel too hot under blankets, they will attempt to remove these from their bodies.
Generally, it is safe for felines to sleep beneath blankets as long as these are light enough that they can pull away from them. The risk of suffocation is minimal. However, you might want to check beneath the covers to prevent inadvertently lying on top of your cat and hurting him.
What types of blankets do cats like?
At the end of the day, it all boils down to your cat’s preferences. Some cats like fleece blankets while others prefer their humans’ comforter. Try giving your cat different options until he finds something that he likes.
But you do not have to limit your pet’s options to blankets or even new ones. Perhaps you have an old blanket that you no longer use. You can even try giving him your baby’s old blankets, towels, or even your old clothes.
Whatever type of blanket or fabric you give your cat to keep him warm, make sure that it is still in good condition. It does not matter if the color is faded. What is more important is that it does not have holes and is not frayed, especially in the edges.
Your cat might try to eat and swallow loose threads. Once ingested, these threads can get lodged in his tummy. Plus, your cat’s claws can cause more damage to the blanket. You should also avoid giving him a blanket with tassels and other decorations that your pet can inadvertently swallow.
If your cat likes getting covered by a blanket, make sure that he can get the blanket off easily. This will allow him to remove the blanket when it gets too hot for him.
What can I give my cat if he dislikes blankets?
It may take some time before your cat warms up to the idea of using a blanket. Sometimes, it will take a few days to get used to the scent of the blanket. You may also try moving the blanket to different locations until your cat begins using one.
But if your pet seems to be ignoring the blanket, you might want to try other options.
If your cat is ignoring the blanket you have given him, you might want to try giving him your old clothes. Your cat might find it more comforting to use your old clothes because some of your scents still linger in the fabric.
Another option you might want to explore is a self-heating pad. A self-heating pad may be particularly beneficial if your cat is old and has mobility issues. Self-heating pads come in a diverse array of options. However, be aware that there are some risks involved in using one.
Finally, if you want to keep your beloved feline warm and toasty during the fall and winter, you might want to consider buying him a cave or covered cat bed. Because it has a hood, the bed will protect him from drafts.
Why is my cat kneading his blanket?
You enter the room and see your cat kneading his blanket. What does this behavior mean? Kneading a blanket or making biscuits, as some cat owners fondly call this behavior, can mean any of a few things.
Some experts suggest that this behavior is a throwback to the time your pet was still a kitten. Kittens knead their mothers’ tummies while they drink milk. This action facilitates the flow of milk.
Although many cats outgrow this behavior when they grow up, others retain it because it gives them a sense of comfort and security. It is not unusual for some cats to knead blankets while biting or sucking these.
It is also possible that your pet is kneading his blanket because he is preparing it for his nap. This behavior can be seen in dogs and other animals.
If you have a queen, she might be kneading her blanket because she is in heat. Here, making biscuits serves as an invitation for her potential mates.
Finally, your cat might be kneading his blanket because he is marking his territory. Your pet’s paws contain scent glands that release pheromones. Pressing his paws against the blanket releases these pheromones. Typically, this behavior is seen in homes with two or more cats.
How to keep your cat warm and safe during winter
Apart from giving your pet a blanket, there are a few other ways to keep him warm and safe, especially during winter.
1. Make sure there are enough pet supplies
If it tends to snow heavily in your area, it is a good idea to buy more cat food, litter, and treats than you usually do. This ensures that your cat will not run out of essential supplies in case you get snowed in.
2. Secure your home
As much as possible, you should avoid letting your cat go out, especially if it is particularly cold. Although a cat’s coat can provide some protection from the elements, they can succumb to hypothermia.
Make sure that all possible exit points are sealed to keep your cat indoors and wild animals out. Wild animals seeking shelter from the cold can get in and fight with your cat, leaving him injured and vulnerable to diseases.
3. Feed your cat well
Feeding your pet with nutritious meals will help grow a thick coat. Furthermore, quality cat food is essential for keeping your pet’s immune system in tiptop shape. In turn, that makes it easier for him to ward off some diseases associated with winter.
Make sure that your cat drinks enough water. Although most people associate dehydration with summer, your cat can also become dehydrated even during winter.
4. Keep your cat safe from burns
As previously mentioned, cats like warmth. This can make fireplaces and space heaters appealing to them, especially in the middle of winter.
If you have a fireplace, make sure that you put a barrier to prevent your curious cat from coming too near it. Remove fire hazards like candles and holiday decorations from the fireplace.
If you use space heaters in your home, make sure that you put these in a secure area to prevent these from tipping over. It is also a good idea to invest in a space heater with an auto-shutoff feature.
Provide your cat warmth and comfort
Even if your cat has thick fur, he might still feel cold, especially during the winter. Keep him happy by giving him an additional source of warmth in the form of a blanket.
Image: istockphoto.com / LewisTsePuiLung