The image of cats curled up in warm blankets or lying in front of the fireplace with their owners when the winter comes has become extremely familiar. But if you think that cats are just used to hanging around indoors and only going outside to warm up when the weather is nice, you’re mistaken. In addition to individuals raised to become indoor cats, many cats spend their days and nights outdoors working – outdoor cats. The representative of outdoor cats can be referred to as barn cats or feral cats, individuals who choose for themselves an independent lifestyle, less related to their owners.
Before I started my research, I also thought that cat fur could be likened to “a super warm coat,” which could help it more or less withstand the temperature drop. But the truth is not like that. Cats will usually have short fur, which can escape heat quickly and increase heat resistance, but cold tolerance is much less. And for the furry friends accustomed to the outdoors, it is extremely difficult to survive through the cold winter.
Keep your outdoor cats warm. It is simple, but implementing it effectively is not easy. So, whether you have a cat who likes to work outdoors or want to provide food and shelter for stray cats, this article is something you need to research to be able to keep your furry friends warm during the cold winter months.
Outdoor cats’ cold tolerance and unfortunate consequences
First of all to confirm, outdoor cats have a very good health foundation. It is the somewhat wild lifestyle that has turned them into a warrior in extreme weather conditions. Their cold tolerance is also therefore highly dependent on factors from the conditions of their surroundings to factors related to their bodies (age, length, body mass, or fur thickness).
The most intuitive comparison of the heat resistance between indoor cats and outdoor cats is the difference in the lowest temperature they can tolerate: 7.2 degrees Celsius for indoor cats and 0 degrees Celsius for outdoor cats.
When temperatures reach the point where water can freeze, you should think about bringing them right inside the house.
Going deeper into this issue, negative signs came to the health of outdoor cats since the temperature had not yet reached the level of common tolerance. Our furry friends will lose their sense of limbs, shivering muscle will continue and gradually lose their balance when the temperature hits the 3-degree mark. Besides, if they suffer from temperatures below freezing levels in the long run, serious illnesses like hypothermia and frostbite will come. And as a result, death will come and take away the person you have been attached to for a long time.
Simple and effective solutions to keep outdoor cats warm
How To Keep Outdoor Cats Warm?
1. Build a warm shelter for your cats
Being independent of the owner makes your cat desperately need a place to hide, you cannot leave him struggling, today he is on the roof, tomorrow he is in a tree. Especially when the weather is getting cold and the temperature is falling, a hidden place is the most effective solution and you need to think first when you want to show that you are a good owner.
It is not difficult to get a good stable. If you are a person with a limited amount of time, a pet store that is available at the pet store can be a perfect choice. I can suggest you some of the barn products being displayed on Amazon, maybe somewhere will be a suggestion for you:
But think about how happy a dragon made by your own hands will make the cat happy? Actually to make a cage is not too difficult.
Depending on your needs, the pen can accommodate one to five cats.
Two popular sizes have been highly appreciated by pet websites such as Alley Cat Allies and NYC Feral Cat Initiative for their science. A shelter of 12 ″ x 18 x 12 ″ will be large enough to house a cat, while a larger cage, about 24 ″ x 24 x 18 will become your “meeting place”. or four.
The barn door should also be open only from 5 to 7 inches. This helps minimize the possibility of heat escape as well as the invasion of “uninvited guests”.
You should not place the cage too close to the ground because it has good heat conduction capability. Placing a new barn on a piece of wood or anything that can be used to mill a few centimeters in thickness would be perfect. Besides, do not place the cage too close to the traffic, this is dangerous for your pet as well as the people around it.
The location of the cage should also be airtight. You do not want your inherently fragile cage to be swept away by the wind, right?
Once you have chosen a shelter, you need to fix the cage. A pull hook or duct tape will be your powerful assistant. This helps to give the cat the maximum sense of security when entering and enjoying the warmth inside. If your cat is not interested in this shelter, use catnip, silver grapes, which will bring your cat closer to his new home.
This is the part that needs to be calculated quite carefully and carefully because it will become a shield to protect your cat from the effects of cold weather.
You can attach a sponge pad to the wall of the cage. This helps to limit heat loss as well as prevent water from getting wet as well as cooling the air inside the cage.
The floor of the barn should be lined with straw along with a layer of Mylar blanket (an item that can easily be found at pet stores). This helps trap the body’s heat better.
Note: One of the most misleading thoughts of farmers during the construction of a barn is the use of hay or a regular blanket to insulate the shelter. Not good at all. It absorbs moisture quickly to cool the air inside, causes the moldy appearance and is generally uncomfortable for its owner – outdoor cats. Try to pay attention to this to turn your cat into a warm and healthy cat!
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2. Provide a sufficient source of water and food
For any animal, consuming large amounts of energy to maintain body heat in the winter is extremely important. And for outdoor cats, this seems to have become a vital factor.
In terms of food, it’s important to keep in mind that cats need to be provided with food every day and that the amount of food is best to be new. There are many reasons for this. First of all, as mentioned, outdoor cats have very high viability with a hunter’s instincts. This means they can find their daily food from rats and birds they catch. So, what do we need from our rescue? But when winter comes, it’s another story. The scarcity of food and weather conditions made each hunt only about 20 to 40% successful. Therefore, they need food daily so they can be healthy enough to hunt. Besides, cats also have quite similar personalities to humans. Although creatures whose lifestyle mainly depends on external factors, not all individuals are hard at work hunting at temperatures.
Limit foods that contain lots of water or canned foods because they are easy to freeze or spoil overnight. Also, check and clean the container so that your cat does not develop any disease.
Along with food, drinking water is also a very important factor in deciding the health of cats. In the winter, cats are very lazy to drink water because the surrounding water is usually very limited (frozen for example). All you need to do is change the water for your cat 2 times a day. This helps you check if your cat is using water and if the water is freezing.
But here comes a question that arises: How does this “source of necessities” promote its effectiveness?
First of all, you should note that outdoor cats have a rather messy living time. Would you be pleased to see your interest left overnight or from day to day? Try to feed your cat at a fixed time to give him a new routine. Besides, the level of nutrition is also an important factor that determines the attraction of the food dish with your pet,
You should also note that food and drink close to where the uncle has set up. This will help ensure the attention of the cat as well as minimize the invitation to other wild animals. Along with that you also need to check regularly because the weather is a quite dangerous element that will directly affect food as well as drinking water.
Finally, an equally important factor is the construction of the container. Metal bowls and plates would be a mistake. Do you know what happens when our tongues touch the Bible when the weather drops to zero degrees? The same thing happens with cats. Using ceramic or plastic plates instead would be a much nicer option.
3. Give your cat the experience of a 5-star hotel
This is quite difficult to do massively. You understand what I mean. Today with the strong development of technology, giving your cat the most modern experience is not too far away. A fully enclosed enclosure, pet-specific heaters and self-heating bowls of food. If you give financial strength and love, try to bring those things to your companion.
Along with that, you can wear more clothes designed for pets. This will help further stabilize the cat’s body temperature as well as limit the amount of heat released too quickly during the cat’s activity.
Things you should avoid doing to outdoor cats in the winter
From my point of view, the only thing that should be minimized during the time of a sharp drop in temperature like in the winter is the cat bath. Even if it’s warm water, after bathing you will not be able to completely remove the moisture remaining on the cat body. This inadvertently becomes a bridge to bring cats closer to the cold.
In case of necessity, try to “clean up” this place in a completely closed room. Clean your body with a cotton towel and use a dryer to remove excess moisture. You can end this with a cup of hot milk or a cup of ginger tea. These drinks help warm the cat’s body from the inside.
Taking care of cats is always a job that requires a lot of skills. When winter comes, keeping your cat healthy to withstand the weather is more than just “How To Keep Outdoor Cats Warm?“. Hopefully, this article will provide you with just the right knowledge. With the spirit of cat lovers, wish you success!