can a cat survive in cold weather

Can Cats Survive the Cold? While it may be possible for cats to survive, it’s not advisable nor humane to leave them outside in cold temperatures. Even indoor/outdoor pets should be kept inside once temperatures are hovering below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Help feral cats in your community

Feral cats are resilient, adventurous, and accustomed to living outside. They have no desire to live in a house or be among people. They can withstand below-freezing temperatures because they are able to live in colonies in an area they are familiar with. While it can be challenging for some animal lovers to accept, feral cats are, in contrast to their domesticated counterparts, happier living outdoors

In addition to searching for deserted cars and abandoned buildings, feral cats will even dig holes in the ground to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Here are some methods you can use to assist if you have feral or community cats in your area:

  • Set out extra food during winter. Increased food portions help them conserve energy. The majority of pet stores sell heated pet food bowls, which are ideal for serving wet food because it requires less energy to digest. Providing non-frozen dry food also works in extremely cold temperatures.

can a cat survive in cold weather

  • Set out fresh water twice a day. Heated pet bowls are perfect for this as well.
  • Make an outdoor feral cat shelter. Bigger shelters aren’t always better because heat disperses quickly.
  • Stray and feral cats gravitate toward warm places in winter. Make sure a cat isn’t concealed beneath your car or inside the engine for warmth by tapping the hood before you start it. Also, check between your tires and wheel wells.

Caring for community cats can provide a mutually beneficial relationship. Research indicates that tending to animals enhances people’s emotional and physical well-being by fostering empathy and providing a feeling of direction for those who care for them.

Determine if the cat is feral, a stray, or someone’s pet

Of course, the first thing to check for is a tag or a collar. However, not all content, healthy family cats wear collars. If the cat you come across isn’t wearing a collar, pay attention to their body language.

  • Most owned roaming cats or pets are accustomed to being around people and are well-socialized.
  • Even though they may not want to interact with people, strays will appear if there is food available. (And certain stray cats can be just as amiable as owned ones.) ).
  • Food or treats won’t make a feral cat want to interact with people, so don’t try to coax them. Furthermore, trying to handle a feral cat increases the risk of injury to humans.

Give outdoor cats shelter from the cold

Yes, their thickened winter coats help feral and stray cats weather winters chill, but they still need warm, dry, well-insulated and appropriate-sized shelters. Its cheapest to build your own, and there are many plans and instructions that can help you get started.


What temperature is too cold for a cat?

Anything 45 degrees and below is too cold for outdoor cats, so be sure to bring in your feline friend to prevent frostbite on their ears, tails, and toes.

Can cats survive in the cold overnight?

Also, there’s a risk of serious injury to kittens who seek refuge in car engine compartments if the car is still started with them still in it. No cat should be left outside without shelter once the temperature drops below freezing. Cats can only survive for 3 to 4 days in weather around or below 20°F.

How do stray cats survive cold weather?

Feral cats seek out abandoned buildings, deserted cars, and even dig holes in the ground to keep warm in winter months (and cool during the summer heat). If you have feral or community cats in your neighborhood, here are a few ways you can lend a helping hand: Set out extra food during winter.

Are cats OK sleeping in the cold?

On particularly cold days, it may be best to keep your cat indoors where possible. Many cats are not used to extreme cold weather conditions and can develop hypothermia and frostbite.