If winter is coming and temperatures are dropping, you’re right to make sure your cat is as warm and comfortable at home as you are.
It’s easy when you’re there, and it’s nice when our cats curl up on our laps and share some warmth isn’t it? But you need to make sure they are nice and warm when you’re not there too.
If you want to know what to set the thermostat at while you’re out or ways you can help keep your cat warm at home, I’ve got some tips for you:
What is the ideal room temperature for cats in winter? Keep in mind that a cat’s body temperature needs to stay above 90°F (32°C). So, ideally, your room temperature should not fall below 70°F (21°C) for your cat to be nice and comfortable.
Average Cat Temperature in Celsius and Fahrenheit
I’m going to give you both the Celsius and Fahrenheit temperatures throughout his article, because I know I have readers all over the world.
According to PetMD, the average body temperature for a cat is in the range of 99.5°F-102.5°F. (37.5°C-39.1°C).
A body temperature of 103.5°F (39.7°C) and above is a sign that they have a fever. And, if their body temperature drops lower than 90°F (32°C) they are entering into what is classified as mild hypothermia.
How to Tell If Your Cat Is Too Cold
I’ve been talking about the temperatures that are comfortable for cats but don’t worry I don’t expect you to keep checking their temp.
Generally speaking, you’ll have a good idea if your home is too hot or too cold. There are some symptoms to look out for, however, if you think your cat is too cold.
Signs your cat is a little on the chilly side:
- Snuggling up with you to absorb some of your body warmth
- Hogging space on or around sources of warmth like radiators
- The tips of their ears are cold
- They’re shivering
If for any reason you are concerned your cat or any other cat is dangerously cold, here are some symptoms of hypothermia setting in:
- Feeling cold to the touch and shivering
- Not moving and looking stiff when they do move
- Labored breathing
- Dilated pupils
If they are at risk of hypothermia you need to seek medical assistance immediately. More often than not, however, a cat is just in need of a little help getting warm.
Related Content – Stray cats are particularly vulnerable to hypothermia being outside when it’s raining or subzero temperatures. Here’s where stray cats go when it snows and what you can do to help.
Ways to Warm up Your Cat
We can’t always leave the heating on round the clock. Plus, you need to keep in mind that temperatures drop overnight. Here are a few things you can do to provide extra warmth for your cat when temps are dropping:
Provide Plenty of Warm Bedding
Cats are notorious for not using their beds. We’ve all bought cool, comfy beds for our cats, only for our cats to sleep on our beds or the kitchen side, right?
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one or two snuggly bedding areas set up though. If a cat is feeling chilly, they will seek out a warm place to sleep. So, you either let them find a pile of your clean clothes to sleep on, or provide them some warm bedding and hope they do there.
Provide a Heating Pad or Water Bottle
Who doesn’t like a warm bum? Heating pads are probably the best way to help keep your kitty warm without having to warm your house or even the whole room.
This K&H Thermo-Kitty Heated Pad on Amazon is very similar to the one I have. It has its own thermostat, so it responds to temperature changes and regulates the ideal temp for your kitty.
If you want an even simpler option you can use a hot water bottle. All the same precautions apply when using a hot bottle. Wrap it up so no hot bits are exposed, and put it under some of their bedding. They’re usually good for a few hours.
Make Space for Them on Your Lap
If you’re in, the best way to warm up a cat (and your legs) is to have them curled up on your lap. Cats are typically a lot more snuggly and affectionate in the winter for this reason. I’m not trying to suggest that your cat only wants you for your warmth… but take advantage of it.
Is My Cat Too Cold at Night?
Obviously, the temperature drops overnight and we don’t have our heating on while we’re in bed. Very few cats snuggle up under blankets like we do to get warm, none of mine ever have over the years.
My cats do sleep on my bed when they’re cold though. Fortunately, I have a King size bed and there’s plenty of room. They usually sleep at the foot of the bed, although occasionally I’ll find one of my cats on my pillow!
As long as your cats have somewhere comfy to sleep, they’re probably ok. Cats are very good at keeping their warmth in while sleeping, that’s why they sleep curled up. It doesn’t hurt to put a heating pad or water bottle down if the cold weather is creeping in though.
In Summary: Ideal Room Temperature for Cats in Winter
As a general rule, the ideal room temperature for cats in winter is very similar to what you want it to be to feel comfortable. The main difference is that a cat’s temperature will drop quicker than yours.
Don’t forget that cats have a lot less body fat than us and are not able to retain body heat as we can. Plus, they can’t just add layers to warm up. Long-haired cats will be a little warmer as their fur is denser, but you still need to regulate the room temp around 70°F (21°C).