Sweet Pea

What is the lowest temperature indoor cats can handle while humans are not home

I just moved to Chicago and it gets COLD here. When I am not home, mostly from 9-5 M-F, I would like to turn my thermostat down to save on heating costs. I know that cats like it warm, but with their fur, would they be okay with a temperature around 60 degrees?

Asked by Sweet Pea on Jan 21st 2010 in Health & Wellness
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Izadore (Izzie)

Actually, cats are usually comfortable in the same temps as we humans are. When my DH turns the heat down to 59, all 5 animals and I are freezing. Unless you have a small apartment or house that retains heat well, 60 is kind of chilly. I'd go a few degrees higher. And, provide your kitty with a nice warm bed or kitty tent, put by a heater vent, where your baby can go if it does get cold. Catster Marketplace has a member who sells "Morgan's Beds", made out of fleece which are very warm and very reasonably priced.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 1/21/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Rule of thumb should be that if your apartment feels too cold for you when you first come home and take off your coat, then it's too cold for kitty. I would maybe notch it up a few degrees and leave some blankets and other cozy fleece lying around for the cats to get under. Maybe set the thermostat at 66? But even that's kind of low in our experience.

We find that keeping the thermostat at 70 is the ideal temperature for us. It's not so warm that the heater stays on all day, and not so cold that us cats turn into popsicles.

Boris answered on 1/21/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

♥ Tasha ♥

When we go to bed at night we turn the heat down to 60. During the day while I am at work, I keep it at 64- and turn it up to a whopping 66 when I come home- yes, it is chilly. I use an electric blanket at night, and the cats sleep with me and have beds of their own to snuggle in. Heating bills in the Northeast are extremely high- so we cannot keep it warmer. Both cats developed very thick winter coats in response to the low temps ;)

♥ Tasha ♥ answered on 1/21/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Freckles (1993-2011)

I've kept my thermostat set with 55 as the minimum during the day and my cats have done fine with that so 60 should be fine. As the others say, make sure that there are warms beds, blankets etc that they can snuggle up in if they feel chilly and make sure they have plenty to eat and don't lose weight. Most cats when it gets colder will quickly grow out a thick winter coat which gives a lot of extra protection from the cold.

The only exception to above is if any of your cats are very old/young or have a chronic disease and then I'd check with your vet 1st as they may need higher temperatures than normal.

You can also get heated beds that use very little energy or beds that reflect back body heat etc. That could be a good compromise and save on your overall heating bills.

Freckles (1993-2011) answered on 1/21/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


"Popsicles"?!? I'd take the other posters' advice, and, if at all possible, bite the bullet and keep your house warm. However, with Maine Coons (and probably Nowegian Forest Cats and other cats used to cold environments, and have long fur), it is said to keep the temperature down. Sweet Pea looks like a NFC mix to me. I would still choose the option of spending more money to keep the house warm.

Lola answered on 1/21/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Your cat will easily be able to tolerate 60 degrees unless they're extremely young (under 6 weeks), really old, or a hairless variety. I live in a three story home in Philadelphia with separate heating on the top floor (my bedroom) and bottom two floors. We keep the bottom floor at 64 during the day, 59 at night and do not heat the top floor. It can get to as low as 53 at night on the top floor- yet my short-hair tabby still prefers to sleep upstairs with me.

As humans, we've been spoiled by the wonders of central air and heating and have decided that we and other organisms can only withstand temperatures between 68-72 degrees. Simply not true.

Member 1078289 answered on 12/18/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


As a cat owner and landlord, let me add this:

Just lower the temp 5 degrees.

When you go away for a week-end, a week or more when it is winter and you lower the temp without programming an increase at night or whenever, know that in short order the cold will be more than just the air -- the walls, floor and furniture will become that cold temperature and everything radiates that cold temperature and your cat may not be able to find a warm place unless the sun shines! This is NOT the same as when you are home and you lower the temperature at night when you are sleeping or when you are away at work, and then turning it back up for the remainder of the day.

55 degrees is an ok for the house, the plaster walls and for motors in things like the refrigerator but you'll still have to run the heat nearly continuously for 24 hrs when you return to warm the house! 55 is TOO cold for a live being whom YOU have accustomed to warmer temp in the air, floor, furniture, etc.

Member 1080777 answered on 12/30/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer