Kitty, It's Cold Outside
Here in Wisconsin, we’re used to the somewhat humorous and often bi-polar personality of Mother Nature. Winter is definitely upon us now with temperatures in the single digits and wind chills below zero. In this weather, it’s common sense for us to bundle up, wear layers and keep warm. Our feline friends rely on our parental care to help keep them cozy this time of year.
Cats have an incredible sense of balance, both in movement and internally. They have the ability to regulate their own body temperature by cooling off through their ears and releasing sweat through their paws. Kitties have the ability to contract their arteries and veins into their skin when it’s cold outside. While all of this natural ability is helpful, most cats are still not as good at adapting to cold temperatures as humans are.
Five Feline-friendly Heating Tips
Here are five suggestions to help keep kitty warm this winter.
1. Get a heated bed: In the winter months, some of us adjust the thermostat to a lower temperature to save money on heating bills. This can create a chillier environment for your cat. You may want to give her/him a heated bed to help provide a cozy spot to cuddle up. Put the bed in one of kitty’s favorite spots, and s/he will thank you.
2. Create warm areas: If you have a lap cat or one who enjoys lounging on furniture, consider putting a blanket on those areas. Kitty will happily curl up and appreciate the extra warmth. One of my cats loves to crawl underneath blankets and create a toasty fort for herself.
3. Make sunny spots accessible: With the limited sunshine we receive in the winter, it may be tough to capture the sunlight, but cats crave the natural heat from the sun. You can open windows and doors to allow more sunlight in, and you can make sunny spots attractive by placing blankets or cat beds in those areas.
4. Place cat beds near heating vents: This may sound dangerous, but it’s okay as long as you use common sense. I used to laugh when I watched my cats lean up against heating vents, lie down next to them, and even stick their faces directly in the vent. So, I placed flat cat beds in front of heating vents in the living room and dining room, thus providing the perfect cozy spots.
5. Snuggle: It’s simple and we all love snuggling with our feline companions. Let your cat curl up in bed with you, sit on your lap and cozy up with you to share body warmth. Snuggling provides healthy and much-needed bonding time as well.
Creative Winter Cat Supplies
I wanted to share a few of the more interesting cat supplies I found. There are a variety of options from a $4 blanket to the “Cadillac” of heated kitty condos.
• Thermo Kitty Cabin by Lionsco Pet
• Variety of Heated Indoor Cat Beds on Amazon
• Cat Beds and Pads from PetSmart
• Window Perches, Beds, Blankets and Throws from Petco
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to keep your cat warm this winter. Just be observant, thoughtful and get a little creative. Use the indoor time together for bonding. And, remember… as of today, there are only 48 days until spring. #SilverLining