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With Winter usually comes colder weather. The type of weather where you just want to sleep in while snuggled tightly in your blankets. I know that we like to get extra sleep with colder weather, but what about our feline friends? Does this mean that cats sleep longer in Winter?
The answer to this question is yes. Although it doesn’t really seem like it, animals change their habits to adapt to new temperatures. This also leads to other things like your cat possibly being less active during the colder months.
If you have a cat at home, then you know how much they love to sleep. They can practically sleep anywhere they see fit, whether it’s a cramped closet with a mountain of clothes, or right in the middle of a busy living room floor. Your cat will often gravitate towards cooler places in the Summer and warmer places during the Winter.
Do Cats Become Less Active in Winter?
There are many people claiming that their cats become less active during the Winter season. Some people may think this may be caused by hibernation. This is just not the case. Hibernation plays an important role for some animals like bears due to food being scarce and extreme cold temperatures in the harsh Winter.
Hibernation is also another survival tool they have to survive the extreme cold weather. Cats, on the other hand, do not need to hibernate. With food and shelter readily available, cats do not need to hibernate. This doesn’t mean that cats do not become less active during the Winter.
Sleeping or “cat naps” are very common among cats. They will actually tend to snooze a lot more during the colder weather which is normal. Just like humans, cold weather does entice less activity and more sleep.
Every Cat is Different
It’s not uncommon to find your cat sleeping a lot during the day. If you have a kitten, they can sleep up to 20 hours a day. An adult cat can sleep between 15 and 17 hours. According to several studies on the sleep routine of cats, this is considered normal. This doesn’t mean that every adult cat will sleep with that exact sleeping schedule.
Like us humans, every cat is different and has their own preferences and personalities. Some cats are more prone to the cold weather than others. Although there are general sleep patterns or guidelines for adult cats, this= can always differ based on their necessities and external factors which can modify their behavior.
Do Indoor Cats Get Cold in Winter?
Winters can either be very subtle, or extremely harsh. This all depends where in the world you live with your cat. An indoor cat in California wouldn’t be anywhere near as cold as a cat in Utah during a full fledged Winter season. So to answer the question, yes. It is very possible for an indoor cat to be too cold in Winter.
The most important thing is to be educated on knowing if your cat is too cold. There are different signs and symptoms that you can observe for if you think your cat may be in need of some dire warmth.
Signs Your Cat May Be Cold
- Constantly laying near a window with sunlight beaming on his body
- Hiding under blankets or couch cushions
- Your cat may be in a seated position with his paws tucked under his belly
- Constantly jumping into your lap for more affection than normal
- Your cat may shiver or tremble in extremely cold weather while you are holding them
I go more in depth in this article about how much cold cats can tolerate.
What Temperature Is Too Cold for a Cat?
A safe temperature can very depending on the health state and age of your cat. Senior cats and kittens won’t be as fit to handle as cold a weather that a healthy adult cat can handle. If your cat is a healthy adult, then any temperature above freezing (32°F), should be considered safe.
You should still try to keep your home as warm as possible for not just your cats, but for yourself as well. Many people associate colder weather to getting sick and this is somewhat true. According to MedicalNewsToday, the viruses that cause the common cold and flu are spread more easily in lower temperatures. Also, cold and dry air has the chance to negatively impact the body’s immune system.
Do Cats Like Blankets?
Cats actually love to be underneath blankets, and not just during cold weather. Snuggling up in a blanket not only helps keep them warm, but it is also a sign of safety and security. When a cat sleeps, this is when they are most vulnerable. It is their natural born instinct to stay out of a predator’s view, and a blanket can help put this natural tendency at ease. This is also why you can sometimes find your cat bundled up in a closet or basket of dirty laundry.
A great way to supplement your cat’s love for all things warm is to get them a cat bed. Cat beds are a great way to designate a sleeping spot for your cat. They are also an excellent piece of furniture for older cats as this will give them a place to lay while supporting their joints and tendons.
You can even place a blanket inside the cat bed to create the most secure and warm place for your cat. It may take awhile for your cat to get used to this new piece of furniture in the home, but with positive reinforcement, rest assured that your cat will be much happier.
Many cats will noticeably sleep longer during Winter season, while others it may be more hard to spot. Regardless, the cold weather encourages less activity and more sleep.
The most important aspect of a cold Winter is to be sure your home is kept at a warm temperature. This is crucial especially if you have senior cats or kittens since they are more prone to the cold than a healthy adult cat.