Does Your Cat Need a Sweater in Cold Weather?

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You're dealing with cold weather where you live, and it's starting to get to you. While you like to bundle up with a nice warm blanket and a thick sweater, you're wondering: Will a sweater keep my cat warm too?

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On the one hand, you don't want your cat to experience overheating. But on the other, you want to make sure that your kitten, adult cat, or older cat is warm enough in the winter months. You don't want them to experience frostbite either. By learning more about cats and whether or not they should wear sweaters, you can figure out how to protect them — when the weather is chilly.

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How do you know your cat is cold?

Many times, cats get colder than humans in the winter months. Ideally, the best temperature for indoor and outdoor cats is between 80 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, those are summer temperatures, and you don't want to keep your house that warm. There are other things you can do to ensure your cat has a healthy body temperature.

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Remember, that not all cats are the same. Indoor cats, older cats, and hairless cats are more sensitive to cold weather. However, outdoor cats, younger cats, and long-haired cats are likely not going to be as sensitive. Your cat's body and natural coat are big factors in regulating body temperature.

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You should also keep in mind that it's not going to be safe to let your outdoor cat outside in very cold temperatures. If they don't have access to shelter, cats can get frostbite or hypothermia in cold climates.

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Keeping your cat warm with a sweater

So, do cats need winter clothes for cold temperatures? If you're in a cold climate, hairless breeds and sphynx cats will likely have to wear a sweater for protection. If you have a cat with hair and think that they're prone to overheating, then you can put booties on them if they're walking on ice or snow. However, oftentimes cats will be just fine if you don't place booties on their feet.

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Note that your cat likely won't want to have booties on their feet. Another option could be to put them in a cat stroller when you're going outside. Just make sure you don't spend an extended period of time with your cat outside when it's very cold. You don't want your cat to get sick.

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Other ways to keep your cat warm

Aside from using a cat sweater, booties, and a cat stroller, there are ways you can keep your cat warm and emphasize their wellness. Keep the heat on in your home during the winter, or turn the heat on in a room where your cat likes to hang out. Make sure they have access to water just in case they start overheating.

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You could give your cat a soft, warm blanket and place it in their cat bed. If you have an older cat, it's a good idea to get them a bed specifically designed for soothing their aching joints, which tend to flare up more when it's cold outside. Another good move is to feed your cat a nutritious and healthy diet, which will encourage their coat to grow healthy and thick and naturally keep them warm.

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In the winter, when your cat may not be able to go outside, it's important that they still stay active. Invest in some fun cat toys like a cat tree, or a toy you can fill with catnip to ensure that your cat still gets their exercise.

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The bottom line

Cats don't necessarily need a sweater unless they are hairless or older, or they're going outside in the cold climate. By turning up the heat a little bit in your home and giving your cat a warm blanket and bed. That should be enough to ensure they stay warm, no matter what type of weather you're experiencing.

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