Will My Cat Get Too Cold in the Winter Outside?

cat in the winter

While it is true that cats tend to do well against the elements, they can still get cold in the winter months.

 It is important that you keep your feline friend nice and warm when it is outside. There are numerous things you can do to help regulate their temperature.

What Temperature is Too Cold for Cats?

Even long-haired cats with a very thick coat can become too cold if the temperature outside drops too low. When it is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit outside, most cats will try to find a place to stay warm. While this temperature isn’t immediately dangerous to these animals, it can make them quite uncomfortable.

Once the temperature dips below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, your cat is in danger of succumbing to the elements. While this might not happen for a little while, it is still causing for concern. The longer your kitty is out in very cold temperatures, the more their health is at risk.

Dangers of Cold Weather to Cats

There are certain dangers that cold weather poses to cats, including frostbite and hypothermia. These are two things that can threaten your cat’s life very quickly. It doesn’t take long for some cats to succumb to hypothermia when they are exposed to very cold and wet conditions outside.

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Even mild frostbite could result in your cat losing one or more of its legs. If your cat has frostbite, you will notice discoloration of the affected skin. It usually turns a pale gray or blue color.

Some of the signs of mild hypothermia in cats include muscle stiffness, shallow breathing, and lethargic behavior. If you even suspect that your cat is hypothermic, you should get them to an emergency veterinary clinic right away.

How to Keep Your Kitty Warm in the Winter

If you have a cat that you let outside sometimes, you will need to know how to keep them warm and toasty in the winter months. This information will help you preserve your cat’s health and wellbeing.

1. Dress Them in a Sweater

There are numerous places where you can buy sweaters and other clothing items for cats. If you are going to let your kitty outside to roam around in the cold weather, put a sweater on them first. Make sure that you take the time to find a sweater that is made of a non-abrasive material that your cat will actually be comfortable in.

cat catching snow

2. Choose a Good Place for Their Bed

It is also important that you find the right place for your cat’s bed inside the house. You might want to move it to an area that is near a vent. This will ensure that they stay plenty warm when they are inside.

3. Get Them a New Bed

You should also make a point of choosing a bed that is nicely padded with comfortable fabrics. This can go a long way towards keeping your cat nice and cozy all year round.

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There are special heated beds that are designed just for cats that you’ll also want to explore. The more of an effort you make to select the right bed, the better off your cat will be overall.

4. Think Twice About Letting Them Outside

If temperatures outside are below 45 degrees or expected to drop significantly, you should definitely think twice about letting your cat out. This will help to keep them warm and reduce the risk of hypothermia, frostbite and other major health issues.

5. Build Your Cat a Winter Shelter

It is also a good idea to build your cat an outside shelter if you are going to let them out in the winter months. This will give them somewhere to take refuge when the temperature starts dropping quickly.

Take the time to plan out your cat’s shelter before you start building it. You’ll probably want to put in a heater as well.

Your cat’s shelter doesn’t have to be huge, just enough to fit them inside plus a little extra space. They should be able to get in and out of it without any issues. If your cat doesn’t seem to want to go into the shelter, you can always try putting some catnip inside.

When it comes to insulating the shelter, you should consider using spray foam. While it is a bit pricey, it will do an excellent job of keeping the elements out. You most likely won’t have to use a heater when you have this type of insulation in the walls.

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red cat outside e1584761162301

Should I Let My Cat Sleep in the Garage?

If you are thinking about allowing your cat to use the garage as a shelter to stay warm in the winter, you’ll need to clear out any toxic chemicals. This includes any antifreeze or chemical products that are designed to melt ice.

You don’t want your cat to lick up even a tiny bit of a chemical that is toxic to them. Make sure that you take the time to go through your garage and remove any of these chemicals before giving your cat access to it.


  • It is not a good idea to let your cat roam around outside if the temperature is going to drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If you do let your cat outside in the winter months, you should have a shelter that is well-insulated for them to take refuge in.
  • You can allow your cat to use the garage as its winter shelter, but make sure that you clear out any toxic chemicals like antifreeze first.
  • You should also think about putting a sweater on your cat before you let it go outside in the colder months.
  • There are lots of different sweaters and other clothes for cats. Make sure that you get ones that fit snugly and are comfortable for your kitty.
  • When it comes to keeping your cat warm inside the house, you might want to get them a heated bed.
  • Hyperthermia and frostbite are just two of the major health concerns when it comes to letting your cat go outside in the cold.