How Cold Is Too Cold For Cats In a House?

How Cold Is Too Cold For Cats In A House

Cats are sticklers for warm and cozy nooks. They love to hide in boxes, slither through narrow spaces, and hide in piles of toys or pillows. These playful felines spend their days with calm composure and rarely does anything bother them at all. However, they can be fussy, restless, and, irritable during extreme cold weather conditions especially if they’re of a breed that’s more cut out for tropical climates.

How Cold Is Too Cold For Cats In a House?

For a typical cat it is too cold in a house if the temperature is below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

How do you know if your cat is feeling cold?

Cats don’t normally flaunt their discomfort and you may not be able to spot easily that she’s cold. Here are the telltale signs that your cat is feeling cold:

  • shivering
  • hunching down and puffed
  • it stays near heat sources like the fireplace or on top of a radiator 
  • hiding under cushions 
  • colder extremities such as the ears and tail 
  • it has a dry nose 
  • curling in a tight ball
  • wrapping the tail 
  • seeking body contact and sleeping alongside other cats 
  • sleeping in a meatloaf position and with paws tucked in the belly 
  • bristling the fur so it increases its volume 
  • leaning towards the nearest wall or shelter-like object 

Accurate ways to check your cat’s temperature

You can accurately check your cat’s temperature to ascertain if she’s feeling cold by doing the following steps. However, this is an invasive process and your cat may not like it at all. There will be a lot of resistance but this can be successfully carried out with a little assistance from your family members. You may also try to keep your cat relaxed by using Feliway Calming Spray to calm her down. 

Through the use of a rectal thermometer

The use of a rectal thermometer is considered the most accurate way to ascertain a cat’s temperature. You may opt for either the digital or mercury type. The former is more expensive but gives fast results while the latter should be used cautiously because it’s made of glass. 

How to take your cat’s temperature rectally

Be sure that your cat is calm and relaxed and give her some treats. Check the thermometer first and make sure that it’s below 96 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’ll use the mercury type, be sure to shake it. Then, apply a lubricant at the tip of the thermometer and gently insert it around an inch inside your cat’s rectum. If the cat squirms or resists, try to restrain her by wrapping her in a soft towel, preferably with the help of an assistant. Wait for the beep, if you’re using a digital type but if you’re using the mercury one, leave it in position for at least two minutes. Finally, remove the thermometer from your cat’s rectum.  The result of the thermometer reading should be above 100 degrees Fahrenheit and if it’s way lower than that, it means your cat is getting too cold. 

By way of an ear thermometer 

Just like with the former process, this one may not sit well with your cat. While it may be less intrusive it’s also more expensive and just won’t work with some cats. Before you try to use this option, be sure to check how your cat responds if you touch or stroke her ears. If your cat reacts negatively by biting, scratching, or fleeing then this isn’t the right one for her. However, if she allows you to touch her ears then you may proceed with the process. 

How to take your cat’s temperature with an ear thermometer:

Make sure that your cat is calm and comfortable. Give her treats and pick her up and ensure that you’re holding her tightly against your body. See to it that she’s wrapped in a towel so it will be easier to restrain her should she start squirming. Hold the thermometer and insert it into the cat’s ear canal then wait for the beep. Just as it is with the rectal temperature, the reading should be above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. 

What is hypothermia in cats?

Hypothermia is a condition that happens when a cat’s body tends to lose more heat faster than its production, causing a very low body temperature. Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures could lead to hypothermia in cats even though they have a fur coat to protect themselves. Read on for detailed information on the causes, symptoms, and treatment of hypothermia in cats. 

Causes

Cats that become exposed to cold air or if they become immersed in cool water for a long time leads to hypothermia. Other causes why this condition occurs in cats include shock, anesthesia, malnutrition, toxic shock, consumption of toxins, allergies, lack of food intake, and hypothalamus diseases. 

Symptoms

For mild hypothermia, when body temperature is at 90 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit, symptoms include shivering, lack of concentration, and muscular weakness.

For moderate hypothermia, when a cat’s body temperature is at 82 to 89 degrees Fahrenheit, symptoms include reduced heart rate, shallow breathing, and stiff muscles. 

For severe hypothermia, when a cat’s body temperature is below 81 degrees Fahrenheit, the symptoms include weak heart, dilated eyes, panting, and loss of consciousness.

Treatment 

If you noticed that your pet kitty is showing signs of hypothermia, bring her to the vet right away.  For mild cases, the vet usually provides insulating blankets for your pet to restore her normal body temperature. If the cat’s fur is wet, it needs to be dried gently with the use of towels, blankets, or a blow dryer. For moderate cases, the vet usually uses heating pads with towels and cloths wrapped around it to prevent your cat from having burns. However, if your kitty experiences severe hypothermia, aggressive treatment is needed. Your pet needs to be warmed up internally to prevent damage to her internal organs. The vet may administer a stomach lavage, a process that involves cleaning out the contents of the stomach. He may also do a warm enema, or an injection of a warm fluid into the lower bowel through the rectum. Your vet may also use a ventilator to circulate warmed fluids and supply heated air to your pet’s lungs. Close monitoring of the heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature will also be done to ensure a swift recovery. 

How to keep your cat warm in a cold house?

To avoid putting your furry pet into danger like hypothermia, here are some things that you can do to keep her warm and maintain her body temperature at a normal level:

Get your pet cat a heated cat bed. 

Cats love to lounge and sprawl in their little beds but if it’s the middle of winter season then the best option is a heated cat bed. There are lots of designs that are commercially-available these days like the donut-shaped or semi-enclosed ones. However, it’s good to select a style that closely resembles the type of bedding she’s used to. If your pet cat prefers to sleep while partially hidden then a semi-enclosed “A” frame bed may suit her but if she loves to sprawl out while sleeping then a traditional flat heated bed may be the right one for her. Regardless of what style it is, a heated cat bed is beneficial to keeping your cat warm and comfortable. You can also position it in an elevated area for added warmth. 

Recommended heated cat beds: 

1. Downtown Pet Supply Thermal Cat Warming Bed 

This thermal bed mat gives soothing comfort for cats and doesn’t need electricity because of the mylar film. It reflects your kitty’s body heat back to her while she sleeps. It features a lightweight core and padded top for an extra comfy feel. 

2. K&H Pet Products Leopard Deluxe Heated Hooded Cat Bed

This all-season bed features a removable heater and a fluffy poly-filled pillow for a comfortable sleep. Its four-watt dual thermostat heater warms the surface at 10 to 15 degrees above the ambient air temperature. The bed also has a hood that zips off easily to form a kitty cup. 

3. ALEKO PHBED17S Electric Thermo-pad  Heated Pet Bed 

This heated pet bed features overstuffed outer edges for comfort and it’s also water-resistant. It has an electric heating element and a 6-foot long cord that’s coated with heavy-duty chew-resistant protection.  Its internal thermostat regulates the temperature automatically and very ideal to use during wintertime. 

4. Best Friends by Sheri Heated Cat Bed 

This self-heating and flexible bed has high walls for secure and improved sleep. It’s machine-washable and has a waterproof bottom. Its faux fur and oxford fabrics are non-toxic and it’s also therapeutic especially for cats with aching joints. 

5. Pet Magasin Thermal Self Heated Bed

This warm and comfortable heated cat bed features a reflective material used in space suits for astronauts. The bed absorbs, reflects your kitty’s body heat, and keeps her cozy even when used in hard stone floor surfaces. It has a rubberized underside and the whole bed is padded with thick hypoallergenic foam for extra comfort. 

Let your pet cat enjoy the sunshine.  

Let your pet kitty bask in warm sunshine during the day even if she’s indoors. Let her take advantage of the sun by positioning her cat perch or favorite cushion near the windows where the sun can shine through. You may also rearrange your furniture so your kitty can take advantage of the sunshine and be able to keep herself warm.   

Be sure to monitor your pet cat’s calorie intake. 

Since your pet cat’s body temperature plummets down when it’s cold indoors her body has to work more to maintain the core temperature.  This would mean she has to eat more and need calorie intake to produce fat and fuel for body warmth. However, make sure that it’s all within the limits of her nutritional program and if you’re anxious that you may be giving her too much then you should consult the vet promptly. 

Keep moisture in the air with a humidifier.

The winter season can be extremely uncomfortable for your pet kitty because the air indoors can get very dry.  To remedy this, make sure to always have a humidifier so your cat stays comfy while cutting down on static electricity. You’ll also notice a great difference in her coat and skin if you use a humidifier and it also helps relieve nasal passages in pets. 

Don’t place your pet’s litter box in the garage or basement area.

The garage and basement areas are usually places in your home that are poorly insulated.  So, be sure not to put your pet’s litter box in these areas. Since your cat will be regularly visiting her litter box for her personal business it’s the best thing to do to position it in a well-insulated nook that’s a good distance away from all the noise and the usual activities of the family. 

Be sure to maintain your cat’s activity level. 

Have a schedule of daily interactive playtime with your pet kitty. This will keep her active and will also keep her warm. Create fun regularly and customize play sessions to fit in with your cat’s ability and overall health. Playtime will allow your pet to be physically active and emotionally healthy as well especially during cold weather. 

Recommended interactive cat toys:

1. PetStages Tower of Tracks

This cat toy provides interactive fun and stimulates your cat’s senses while satisfying hunting instincts through an exciting puzzle. It includes a 3-tier tracks tower and 3 brightly colored moving balls.

2. Catit Spinning Bee Interactive Cat Toy

This double AA battery-operated cat toy provides hours of entertainment for your furry pet. It sends out laser beams, spins crazily, and drops cat treats which you can insert beforehand before turning on the switch. 

 3. SmartyKat Electronic Bird Sound Toy

Your cat will surely love this interactive toy because it has realistic bird sounds. It’s soft, with stuffing and catnip plus it’s also in a life-size form which your cat will surely fancy. It’s sure to provide hours of  pouncy-worthy fun for your furry friend.

 4. SnugglyCat Ripple Rug Cat Activity Play Mat 

This interactive toy will surely keep your pet cat entertained and help her create new shapes. This toy is also perfect especially if you have multiple cats in your household. It has a non-slip rubber bottom so your kitty won’t slip and slide as she pounces and play on the mat. It acts as a multi-function activity center where your cat can stretch, scratch, pounce, groom, and even sleep. 

5. PetSafe Slimcat Interactive Toy and Food Dispenser 

This interactive cat toy will surely entertain your pet cat and allows her natural instincts to come alive. It combines mealtime and exercise to keep your pet active and keep her to stay warm, too. It’s great for eager eaters and improves her digestion and also very versatile as it can be used for fun with treats or as a daily feeder.

As pet parents, we should always see to it that our pet cats are comfortable and cozy indoors. It’s important to always maintain room temperature above 90 degrees Fahrenheit so your kitty won’t feel cold. Also, there are numerous things that we can do to keep her warm such as a heated bed, keeping her active, and letting her bask in the sunshine during the daytime.