Do Cats Get Cold? Interesting Tips To Keep Your Cat Warm In Winter

Do cats get cold? Unfortunately, just like humans, cats can get the flu. One of the most frequent ailments in kittens is a cold (or upper respiratory infection [URI]). Colds are more prevalent in places where numerous cats dwell together, such as pet shops, shelters, and breeding facilities. A lack of immunity and close contact with other cats at a pet shop or shelter contribute to an increased risk for upper respiratory infections (URIs) in kittens, much as children in daycare.

How Do Cats Catch Colds?

Cat in cold

Viruses cause most colds in cats. Still, they may also be caused by bacterial infections (or your cat might acquire a secondary bacterial infection on top of her viral sickness) (or your cat can get a secondary bacterial infection on top of her viral illness). Two of the most prevalent causes are calicivirus and feline herpes virus or rhinotracheitis.

Most cats get colds by being near to a cat that is already ill. This makes facilities with many cats in close quarters, such as a shelter, boarding kennel, or cattery, attractive venues for spreading colds. Cats living inside in family households are not prevented from contracting colds, though. Your cat may still be exposed to viruses and germs from cats that hang around outside your house, or even if you touch a sick cat outside and then return home and interact with your cat. These infections are generally airborne but may also be transferred via water.

Poor air quality and ventilation might raise the risk of developing a cold. For cats with asthma and allergies, forced air heat in the winter might cause an increase in symptoms and possibly predispose them to acquire a URI, particularly if the vents are not well-maintained. Cats with a weaker immune system due to various disorders are also at heightened risk. Systemic disorders such as renal disease, asthma, allergies, or even stress may all put your cat at heightened risk. Some viruses may also persist in your cat’s body long term, even after the actual sickness has passed. These viruses stay dormant until stress or another sickness stimulates them to reoccur later in the cat’s life. Feline herpes, in particular prone to accomplish this.

How do I know my cat is cold?

Do cats get cold

Detecting these subtle indicators that your cat is chilly will need additional care since cats try to disguise their suffering.

Cold extremities

Your cat’s ears, paws, and the tip of his tail are the first places to lose heat. If certain portions of your cat’s body are cold to the touch, they are probably freezing.

Snoozing on direct heat sources:

It’s a safe bet that if you see your cat napping on the radiator during the day, he’s attempting to raise his temperature.

Curling into a ball:

The fact that he prefers to curl up in this manner when sleeping may be a sign that he’s overheated. The paws and tail of a chilled cat will be tucked under his body to retain heat.

Always wants to cuddle

It’s safe to assume your cat is attempting to stay warm if he’s continuously attached to your lap. Kittens will cluster together to keep warm while it’s cold outside.

Hypothermia is a considerable concern for your cat if its core temperature falls below 90°F. Dogsandcatslove.com outlines the symptoms of moderate to severe hypothermia in cats.

Cats with moderate hypothermia (a core body temperature of 90-99°F) may exhibit the following signs:

  • Lack of mental awareness 
  • Weakness 
  • Shivering

Muscle rigidity, low blood pressure, stupor-like condition, and shallow, slow breathing are symptoms of mild hypothermia (82-90°F). There are many telltale signs of severe hypothermia (a core temperature of fewer than 82 degrees Fahrenheit): Any of these signs necessitates an emergency trip to the veterinarian.

What Temperature is Too Cold for Cats?

Unlike humans, cats can’t grab a sweater or blanket to keep warm when it’s chilly outside. It’s best to keep your thermostat around 70 degrees to keep your cat safe from hypothermia all winter long since cats need to keep their temperature above 90 degrees.

How cold is too cold for indoor cats?

Temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees are fine for cats. As a result, your cat may seek out additional heat sources, such as a heater, a blanket, or even you!

How cold is too cold for outdoor cats? 

Even if outdoor cats are more daring than indoor cats in Glen Ellyn winters, they still require a warm place to stay. To avoid frostbite on your cat’s ears, tail, and toes, bring your pet inside if the temperature drops below 45 degrees.

How you can keep your cat warm this winter and maintain their health.

Comfortable bedding

A cat igloo is an excellent way to keep your pet warm and cozy this season. You may discover that some outdoor cats choose to wiggle their way inside to avoid the winter cold if you provide a cozy spot for them to feel safe and comfortable. Begin with a favorite blanket or treat to get them to come in. You may keep their bed on your bed or sofa, on a high shelf, on top of their scratching post, or right next to the heater, but be careful not to approach too close because of the fire danger. Microwavable heat pads are ideal for kittens, senior cats, and other cats who are more sensitive to the cold. To avoid being burned, wrap the heat pad in a towel before using it. 

Exercise and a healthy diet 

As is their nature, cats often prefer to move at their speed and come up with their kind of exercise. However, as the weather becomes chilly, some indoor cats must be coaxed out of their slumber. Playing with ping pong balls and other cat toys that stimulate movement is a great way to keep your cat active and healthy. Keep in mind that cats that consume the same number of calories but exercise less will gain weight more quickly than those who do more. To keep your cat active and engaged at mealtimes, hide little quantities of food about the house so that they have to smell and seek for it. Use our Food Finder tool to ensure that your cat gets the right nutrition for its age, breed, and lifestyle.

Regular brushing

Brushing your cat regularly is particularly important if you have a breed that tends to build undercoats during the winter. Though your cat would be more protected from the cold if they had thicker coats, matting may lead to pain. Keeping your cat’s coat free of mats and knots in the winter calls for regular use of a high-quality brush. This will help strengthen your relationship with your feline companion. Explore our selection of cat grooming supplies to ensure your pet’s wellness during winter.

Treatment of cat colds

When treating upper respiratory infections, severity plays a major role. There are many mild, non-complicated cases of URIs that are self-limiting and disappear without any medication, much like the common cold. Depending on the severity of the illness, oral antibiotics and ocular medicines may be necessary. Subcutaneous fluids, appetite stimulants, and even hospitalization may be necessary for cats who eat or drink. Calling your veterinarian is the best approach to find out what kind of treatment your cat requires. It is up to the veterinarian to assess if your cat needs immediate medical attention and whether it needs medicine.

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