Cats are not known to be the biggest lovers of snow. Not all cats will enjoy the cold, but some will, and it mainly depends on the breed. Still, most house cats do not like the cold and wet feeling of snow.
That said, your house cat may choose to play in the snow over a warm spot in the house! An event like snowing can be an interesting experience for cats, especially if it is their first time being introduced to snow.
You may have seen all the adorable videos going around the internet with cute cats exploring snow, but you may be wondering if cats truly do like snow? This article has all the surprising answers you need!
Do All Cats Like Snow?
Cats originated in desert climates, so they prefer dry environments. Over the years, some breeds of cats have adapted to the cooler weather by growing thicker fur that acts as an insulator. These breeds include the Norwegian and Siberian Forest cats.
Some of these cat breeds find snow irresistible and will enjoy leaping and playing in the snow when given the opportunity. Traditionally, cats prefer cozy warm places over cold and wetness and you’ll notice your cat seeking out sunny and warm places when the temperature starts to drop.
With that being said, some cats have actually evolved to thrive in cold climates. This includes the following cat breeds:
Every cat is unique, and their preference may surprise you. Regardless of their breed, some cats will enjoy playing and experiencing what snow has to offer in the forms of enrichment and curiosity, whereas some will want nothing to do with the cold and wetness snow brings into their life.
There is no sure way to determine if your cat will like snow or not, so if you do have the opportunity to place your cat in a snowy environment, only then you will be able to watch how they respond.
How To Keep Your Cat Safe In Snow
Cats who take a liking to snow will spend more of their time outdoors exploring in the snow-white heaps and experiencing the cold. However, there are steps you need to take to insure your cat is kept safe in snowy environments so that they can enjoy the snow without being put in harm’s way.
Cats are prone to developing illnesses like hypothermia below freezing temperatures. Some illnesses can be life-threatening, especially if they start to lose blood flow to their limbs from being in the snow for too long. It is always best to put measures in place so your cat can enjoy exploring snow if it is something they like, rather than having to deal with serious consequences.
1. Protect their paws
If your cat has been adventuring in the snow, you may find that their paws, legs, and stomach become damp and cold. It is essential to not let them be wet for long periods and in freezing temperatures, your cat’s fur will take a long time to dry. You should always have a dry towel ready to wipe off snow from your cat once they come inside from playing in the snow. Some cat owners will also take a hairdryer on low heat to further dry their cat’s fur.
Snow grit can also get trapped between their paw pads, which can be irritating. You can use a cotton pad or earbud to gently wipe their paws clean. Your cat’s paw pads may also become dry and cracked from the cold air.
2. Keep them well-fed
Cats who spend time playing in the snow or being in constant cold environments will use more energy trying to keep themselves warm. It is essential to ensure your cat is being fed a healthy diet full of the nutrients they require to fuel their bodies and maintain lean muscle and fat to keep themselves insulated. This could also mean that you should divide their meals into small portions throughout the day.
3. Do not let them get too warm
If your cat continuously goes outside when it’s snowing or during freezing temperatures and then comes to directly sit near a heating device, they are at risk of overheating. This abnormal hot to cold body regulation is also not good for their immune systems.
Your cat may also spend less time drinking water when it is snowing, and their bodies are constantly keeping them warm by using a lot of energy, which can cause your cat to become dehydrated.
4. Keep their environment safe
In bad weather, heavy snow and ice can seal your cat flap closed which can prevent your cat from entering or exiting your home. This can be dangerous because your cat can get trapped outside. If it is snowing, your cat should have at least two entry and exit options available in the case that one fails. It can be dangerous for your cat to get trapped outside in the snow and cold.
Cats may also seek shelter in strange places when it is snowing, such as your car’s engine or in sheds and crevices. Always check that your cat is not hiding in the hood of your car before you start it, and regularly check sheds and other places in your garden that could get snowed shut and trap your cat inside.
5. Keep them comfortable
Humans have many ways to keep warm when it begins to snow and the temperature drops—but your cat does not. It is important to ensure that they have a warm and soft bed and blanket to come back to after they have finished playing in the snow. Do not place radiators or heating devices close to the area your cat sleeps or rests on because it may cause your cat to overheat or become uncomfortable.
The cold can cause your cat’s joints to become stiff and painful, especially if they are old or suffering from arthritis and other joint inflammatory problems. It’s a good idea to ensure your cat’s joints are taken care of by giving them supplements to combat and relieve any joint discomfort during these cold times.
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Too Cold
Although some cats will ignore the coldness and discomfort to play in the snow, it is important to look for signs that your cat is becoming too cold.
- Shivering or shaking
- Increased appetite
- Sleeping near heat sources
- Appearing uncomfortable or anxious and meowing excessively
- Curling into a tight ball with their tail wrapped around their body
- Hiding and refusing to go outside when the temperature drops
If your cat takes a liking to playing in the snow, and they do so under supervision with safety measures in place, then it can become a fun experience for them. Never force your cat to play in the snow, though—it should instead be a decision that they make themselves. You will easily be able to tell if your cat likes the snow by observing their behavior (enthusiasm to go outside when it snows), but it can become dangerous, so always ensure that you know where your cat is when the weather becomes too harsh for them.
Featured Image Credit: ivabalik, Pixabay