There are several different ways that you can keep your indoor cat warm during the winter months. These include the temperature of your home, your cats’ beds and bedding and special heated areas, cosy areas and what food they have. This article explores each of those areas in more detail.
You will be able to tell if your cat is cold by his body language and other factors if this is the case then the suggestions mentioned below may help you to keep him happy and cosy. Also, cats are clever creatures, if there is somewhere in your house that is warmer you can bet he already knows exactly where it is.
How To Keep My Indoor Cat Warm During Winter
Below is a list of ways to keep your cat warm for winter:
The Temperature of Your Home
Cats have a body temperature of around 100.5 to 102.5F (just under 38 to 39C). They are quite adaptable to different climates but its best to keep them warm.
I keep my house around 18C (64.4F) during the day which is on the cooler end of the scale. Some people cannot keep their house really high due to budgets, in this case, you can use the suggestions below to keep your cat cosy and draught free in a specific area.
Boo: At 18 C (64.4F) Boo isn’t a tight ball but he isn’t tropical warm either. As he is getting older I might have to add more heat. 18 C and one lap is the perfect fit for him.
Its natural to sleep with the temperature cooler at night. Some people turn the heating off altogether. This is great if you are cosy under a Tog 13 duvet, but not so great if you are not.
There are several ways to keep your cat warm at night. These are similar to the day but if your house temperature is lower you need to make sure it is warm enough for your cat. This is especially important if you have a breed that is short on fur or does not maintain their body heat well.
Use Heated Pads
Heated pads are great to keep your cat cosy and warm. Boo has two different ones. They come in all shapes and sizes, some are electrical while others are heating in the microwave or self-heating.
The hard round one you can get looks uncomfortable to me but is a hit with the cats.
Or Heated Beds
There are all kinds of heated beds that you can buy for your cat, these come in simple soft pads, thick luxury high sided beds & window beds.
Radiator Beds Are Great for Some Cats
A great idea is the radiator bed perfect for cosy cats. Getting a good quality one isn’t so easy though.
Important Note: It’s important to only use heated pads and beds for cats that can move off of them for safety reasons.
Use Cosy Warm Cat Beds
For some cats, a cosy warm cat bed is more than enough. As long as they are out of the draughts.
Some cats will prefer the igloo or covered houses as they are more secure and private and hold the temperature more.
Or Find Cosy Warm Spots for Your Cat
Cats are very clever at seeking these out for themselves, but if you have anywhere they can go you could always make it into a cat-friendly area. Ideas include cupboards, drawers, airing cupboards, hidden cosy spots in bookshelves etc.
Scarab: My sister’s cat Scarab has found the perfect spot. My sister didn’t really want him to go in there as she uses it. But because he suffers from the cold so much she caved in.
There is a cupboard in my sister’s lounge that for some strange reason has its own mini radiator. Scarab loves it there, it’s up out of the way, enclosed and super cosy. Once a few blankets are popped in there it’s the perfect cat hideaway.
Add Snuggle Blankets to Sleeping Spaces
Extra warm blankets are ideal to keep your cat warm for the winter. It really does depend on your cat though as not all cats like soft things. Some cats do not like to be covered over either.
Play With Your Cat More
You know what it’s like if you sit still for any length of time, you get chilly. It’s the same for your cat so if you can get it to play. Not only is this good exercise it also warms them (and you) up.
Feed Your Cat More When it is Chilly
Cats need to eat more to keep their bodies warm during winter as they need more energy. This, of course, applies more to outdoor cats thank indoor ones who are more protected but they may still feel it as was the case mentioned in another article for my sister’s cat Scarab who needed food to maintain his body heat.
Keep Your Cat Out of Draughts
Draughts are not good for cats so if you can avoid them. Make sure their bed area is away from any Draughts from windows or doors or even vents.
Boos example: I put Boos daybed next to my computer where I work as he likes to be near me. It is on another table the same height as the computer. It is also in the corner. Both these things keep him out of the draught (I’m in it but he’s OK lol) from doors and windows. It is his carrier so it is basically a box which means the sides also protect him from draughts.
Also, he is near the radiator which he will sit on sometimes. He also has a heated pad under his blanket which I use if the temperature of the house is cold. In addition, he comes up for the occasional cuddle.
If all this still isn’t to his liking he will go upstairs which is naturally warmer.
Allow Extra Snuggle Time
Cats will probably seek out more snuggle time with their humans. They will want your lap more and will want to sleep more. You are after all their own personal giant heated pad! It’s a good idea to allow for extra time in the mornings to warm up your cat before they settle down for a hard days sleeping.
They may always want to be on your lap more in the evening.
Can Too Warm Be Detrimental to Your Cat? Should You Add Moisture?
I always have difficulty with this one, this is one that is advised for humans and can apply to cats. I can see why it can be relevant but feel that it is a piece of advice that does not apply to everyone.
I read somewhere ages ago that you should keep moisture in your house in the winter to prevent dried throats and noses and skin etc. This advice was meant to humans but also applies to pets. This is because central heating and radiators dry out the air.
Although this seems good advice on the surface I do not think that it applies to everyone. This is because not everyone has central heating and some people like myself live in damp environments where the last thing you need is added moisture which can cause damp and mould..
I’m including this here because drying out your house and removing moisture can make it feel warmer which is better for everyone. Yet it does have this downside.
Its best here to look at your individual circumstances before deciding which route to take. If you are in a damp environment you will need to put the heat up higher to dry it out. If the reverse is true you may want to allow some moisture and sacrifice some heat.
What If your Cat Has an Outdoor Space?
If your cat has an outdoor space and it isn’t too cold you can let it out. Fresh air will do it good. However, it’s best to let your cat decide so it needs to be able to get back inside again.
You can also make sure your cat can sit on a raised platform away from the cold ground.
Boo: Boo insists on going out when its cold unless it’s snowing. Sometimes he then insists on coming straight back in again!
I have found it best to leave the decision to him. I never leave him outside.
So that’s my list for the pampered puss for winter. I hope it helps to give you some ideas of ways to keep your cat warm and cosy this winter. If you want to tell if your cat is cold then please read this article on how to tell if your cat is cold.