Most pets have been known to enjoy a nice warm spot in the winter. Whether it’s your lap, a sunny area on the couch, or even next to a heater vent, there’s no denying that a comfy spot in the middle of winter is simply delicious.
Helping your cats in winter to stay warm is a great gift you can give them. Even if you are concerned about other neighborhood cats that you may see out this winter, this article will give you some tips to keep everyone toasty warm during a cold spell.
Helping Your Indoor Cats in Winter
For the most part, if you are comfortable in your home this winter, your cat should be too. But cats can be a bit more sensitive to changes in temperature as they can’t just throw on another layer like people can.
Keep your Cats Warm
Some older cats also enjoy an extra boost over the winter as the cold can make joints sore or exacerbate medical conditions. If this describes any of your cats, considering getting a heated bed for them. There many different styles to choose from.
Consider the way your cat likes to sleep already. If they like to sleep curled up, then a doughnut shaped heated bed might work well as they can snuggle up right in the hole. If your cat likes to sprawl out, a more traditional cat bed might be a better choice.
The floor of a house is often one of the coldest parts, so consider elevating your cat’s bed so it gets some extra warmth. And if you do use a heated bed, be sure it is set to your cat’s body temperature. Cats have very thin skin which can lead to burns if you’re not careful.
Another great strategy to keep your cat warm is to position furniture in full sun when you can. Many pets enjoy a nap in the sun, and many will even follow the sun as it moves across the sky. This is a free and easy way to warm your cats in winter.
Watch Your Cat’s Activities
As cats get older, their nutritional likes and needs may change. This isn’t too much to worry about, and pretty much every food manufacturer has a food formula for older cats. If you notice that a change in appetite happens to coincide with the winter, you might consider having your cat brought to the vet.
You also want to make sure there are no changes to your cat’s activity levels. Be sure to schedule playtime with your cat so they can stay active. It also helps you solidify your relationship with your cat.
How to Help Your Neighborhood Cats in Winter
You might also be considering how to help neighborhood cats in winter. These cats might not want to come in your home to snuggle, but they do provide a service by keeping rodent populations down.
You may want to help these outdoor cats by building or buying a shelter for them. Any kind of shelter will do really, but you will want to provide something that will keep them dry and out of the wind. Something as simple as a cardboard box can provide shelter for the neighborhood cats, but make sure it’s not going to get blown away in a breeze.
You can even adapt a dog house if you already have one. The only real change you must make is to the door. Cats will only want about a 6-inch door, so you can cover up the rest to protect from other animals getting in. And if there is a flap on the door, even better. This will protect from drifting snow or cold rain.
It is likely also tempting to put blankets in a cat shelter, but textiles often will bring moisture in with them. Once wet, they often take a long time to dry naturally. Straw is a much better layer for cats, and it will provide plenty of insulation for them.
And remember to shovel the walkway for your shelter dwellers. This will help keep snow out of the shelter and will make for an encouraging path home.
Food and Drink
When temperatures drop below freezing, it’s difficult to keep food and water from freezing. But helping cats in winter is going to start with keeping their bellies warm. If you can provide these cats with a heated food and water bowl, it will go a long way to provide comfort.
Also, be sure to feed these cats wet food. It’s easier for a cat to digest then kibble. If you’re unable to provide a heated bowl for the cats, you should add some dry food as well, as wet food will eventually freeze while dry food will not.
You can also consider adding a pinch of sugar to the cat’s water dish. This will lower the water’s freezing point and will provide a few extra calories for the cats to keep themselves warm.
If you’ve a big heart and want to help your cats this winter, these tips should help you on your way. Providing for your neighborhood cats helps your local wildlife. Either way, it’s good to help animals in need!