8 Ways to Keep Your Stray Cat Warm This Winter


You can’t keep your cat inside all the time when it’s cold outside, but you can help to make sure that they stay warm and comfortable by following these 8 tips. Your local animal shelter will be able to help you if you’re having trouble caring for your cat, especially during the winter months when it can get especially cold and harsh outside.

Be sure to talk to them if you need any extra supplies or if you have any questions about caring for your cat properly.


1) Find an enclosed and protected space

In colder months, stray cats are at a higher risk of suffering from frostbite and hypothermia. Even if your cat is an indoor/outdoor kitty, there may be times when he’s forced to roam. If your cat becomes injured or you suspect that he’s lost, ensure that you provide shelter in an enclosed and protected space.

The best option is often a cardboard box with holes cut out for air circulation. You can also place straw bedding inside for warmth. Be sure to check on your cat regularly and remove him from his makeshift den once temperatures rise again.

If your cat has found a warm spot outside (like under a car), monitor him periodically throughout the day. Take care not to leave pets alone in cars during cold weather—they could die of heat stroke!

There are many options for winterizing shelters as well: Blankets and towels work well, as do insulating mats like those used for camping. Make sure that these items aren’t near any drafty areas—and be careful not to cover them up with snow!


2) Supplement your pet’s diet with canned food

There’s a reason cats love canned food; it has much more concentrated calories and nutrients than dry food, making for a longer-lasting meal that fills the kitty up more effectively.

Since you won’t need to fill your cat’s bowl as often (perhaps once per day, rather than multiple times), make sure your cat stays warm and cozy during cold winter nights by keeping a can of wet food or warm water available. Just make sure they’re drinking plenty of fresh water too!

You may also want to supplement with some extra vitamins and minerals in your diet.


3) Get a pet heating pad or blanket

A heating pad is a common solution for keeping your cat warm in winter. Make sure you get one with a low-temperature setting and that it has an automatic shut-off. Pets can burn their skin when resting on a heating pad that’s too hot, so it’s important to keep them comfortable without letting them risk any danger.

You may also want to consider getting a pet blanket designed specifically for cats; these are typically made of soft fabric and are safer than most other options. If your kitty isn’t fond of blankets or pads, there are many other ways to keep her warm!


4) Provide indoor shelter from the elements

It’s not always easy for stray cats to find shelter from winter’s cold and snow. Making your stray a cozy place to spend her days and nights can go a long way toward keeping her warm.

Invest in a heated cat bed or heating pad; if your stray is feral, make sure you don’t put it too close to any objects that could catch fire or cause injury. (For example, never leave an electric blanket on while you sleep.) If you have a garage or basement where your stray will be spending time, consider adding insulation so she doesn’t get too cold.

Also, keep in mind that some cats do better with access to an outdoor enclosure rather than being kept inside all day—especially during inclement weather.


5) Give your cat access to the warmest room in your home

Cats have a naturally low body temperature. Give your feline access to a warm room in your home, like a sunroom or conservatory where it can snuggle up with blankets and sleep close to heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, or electric heaters.

The ideal temperature for cats is between 68°F and 72°F (20°C–22°C). If you’re concerned about your cat getting too hot, place a space heater on its lowest setting next to its bedding. It should be comfortable enough that you could sit next to it comfortably without feeling too hot yourself.

If you don’t have a suitable room for your cat, consider purchasing an infra-red pet heating pad. These pads are designed to mimic animal fur and keep pets warm by absorbing their natural body heat.

They should be placed on an indoor surface away from draughts and kept clear of any other items so they don’t overheat.


6) Make sure your stray kitty has fresh water all day long

Dehydration is one of winter’s biggest dangers for pets. Even on warmer days, stray cats must have access to fresh water. Make sure your outdoor cats’ water bowl stays full at all times, and for indoor cats, place a few ice cubes in their dish so they can drink from it as needed throughout the day.

You may also want to purchase a pet fountain or automatic waterer; these allow your cat to always have fresh water without having to worry about refilling her bowl. If you choose an electric option, make sure you buy one that has a reservoir large enough to hold several days’ worth of water.

If you need additional help keeping your cat hydrated during cold weather, consider purchasing a heated pet bed. These are especially helpful if you leave town for an extended period of time during colder months—your kitty will still be able to curl up in warmth even when she isn’t home!

Check out this article for signs that your cat has kidney disease.


7) Check on your cat regularly during winter weather

If you have outdoor cats, make sure you check on them at least once a day and bring in water dishes when it gets cold outside. If your cat is old or sick, make sure they’re inside when temperatures drop. Never leave cats out in sub-freezing weather for any amount of time.

It’s also important to keep an eye on things like antifreeze and salt; both can be deadly if ingested by pets. Be careful about where you store these products, too—and try not to spill them! Also, consider bringing outdoor plants indoors during the winter months.

Many houseplants are toxic to cats and dogs, so take precautions with what’s hanging around your home.


8) Watch out for illnesses (like FIV, feline immunodeficiency virus; hyperthyroidism, etc.) that may occur as a result of exposure to cold weather

Be sure that your stray cat is in a warm environment. If you live in an area with cold winters, put your cat inside during very cold weather and keep her indoors year-round if possible.

Watch out for illnesses (like FIV, feline immunodeficiency virus; hyperthyroidism, etc.) that may occur as a result of exposure to cold weather. You can even place an indoor/outdoor thermometer on their windowsill so you know exactly how cold it’s getting outside. Another option would be to bring them into your home during these times.

It’s better than risking sickness or death!

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