Winter can be an uncomfortably cold time for many of us and even though cats are born with their own warm fur coats, sometimes they need our help to get through the winter days. Felines are heat seekers and you will often find them stretched out under a strip of sunshine even on the hottest days. After all, they are desert animals originally. So, if you are worried about your kitty being toasty all winter long, be sure to follow these simple steps!
Keep Them Inside
Plenty of owners let their cats roam around their neighborhoods all year long but they might need to reconsider this during the winter. Even though outdoor cats can develop a thicker coat during winter months, this may not be enough to keep them warm. If the temperatures drop below 45°F (7°C) in your area or there are snowstorms or blizzards happening, please keep your pets inside! If you decide to keep them inside, avoid housing them or placing their litter boxes in drafty areas, basements or garages. Nobody likes doing their business in the damp and cold! Keep their trays in a convenient place for you and in a warm and quiet place for them.
Upgrade Their Bedding
In the same way you might change your bedding to warmer textures and fabrics for the winter, your fluffy friend would really appreciate if you did the same for them. Look for blankets and cat beds made with warm materials and thick padding. Try to take into consideration how your cats usually like to sleep: if they prefer to sleep under the covers all cozy and hidden, get them a bed that is covered, or teepee shaped. If your cat likes to curl up against you, a round bed with raised edges is the perfect choice; but if they like to sleep all stretched out, a flat bed might be more comfortable.
If you feel like warm bedding isn’t enough, you can always use heat sources to improve your buddy’s comfort. You can place heating pads, heating discs or thermal pads under blankets or beds to keep your cat toasty all day and night. Just make sure that all heating devices are safe for pets and that they can leave the heated area if it gets too warm. Heated cat beds are also super convenient, especially the ones that shut down when the cat steps out of them.
Create Warm Napping Nooks
Give your cat plenty of places they can cuddle up in around the house. Consider moving the bedding, cat trees or pillows to the areas of your home where the sun shines brighter during different times of day. Remember to keep your curtains open so that your cat can hunt for the warmest ray of sunshine all day long! As the floor gets very cold during the winter, consider placing the bedding elevated and on top of other furniture, unless you have an elder cat or a kitten that find it difficult to jump. Also, if they enjoy taking naps on the windowsill, place padded window perches or even heated ones.
Check Your Home's Temperature and Keep The Heat In
Chances are if we are chilly in our home, our kitties are too! They have a slightly higher body temperature than us, so they are even more susceptible to cold. Make sure the temperature indoors is appropriate for your pets (between 70 and 80°F/21 and 26°C) even when you are out of the house. To save energy and make you and your cat more comfortable, make sure your windows are properly isolated and use draft guards for doors or any other area where drafts can come in.
Be careful with fireplaces and space heaters! Put up fire screens and always make sure you don’t leave your cat unattended in a room with any of them. Remember that cats with respiratory problems like asthma shouldn’t be exposed to smoke from fireplaces or woodburning stoves because it might damage their airways.
If you take into account all these suggestions, we are sure you and your kitty will have the coziest winter season ever!