Do Cats Sleep More in the Winter? Tips to Help Cats Deal with the Cold
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Although it doesn't always seem like it, animals change their habits to adapt to new temperatures. We've all heard of animals who hibernate, but you may also notice domestic pets being less active when it's cold. This leads to questions like: Why does my cat sleep so much? Do cats sleep more in the winter?
If you have a cat at home, you will know they love to sleep and can do it anywhere, especially on your favorite part of the sofa or bed. They often choose the coldest places in summer and the warmest ones in winter. Sometimes, however, these patterns are not so obvious and you may doubt whether it is normal behavior or if something is wrong with your cat.
This AnimalWised article will try to answer these small questions so that you can tell when something is a bad sign and relax when your cat behaves normally; we'll give you our best tips to help your cat deal with the cold so you'll learn to enjoy the cute little habits of each pet.
Not every cat is the same
Those lucky enough to share a life with a cat will know that cats spend most of the day sleeping, often so peacefully that you would switch places with them in a second. Kittens can sleep up to 20 hours a day and adults between 15 and 17 hours. According to several studies, this is considered normal.
Just like humans, cats are different from one another. Some cats are more sensitive to the cold and others do not agree with summer at all. While there are general sleep patterns for each species, the specifics change due to your pet's necessities and external factors that can change their behavior.
In the following paragraphs we will try to clarify the most common questions you may have about how your cat behaves at home.
Inside vs. Outside: How to help cats in cold weather
The first difference to consider is whether your cat is an inside cat - that is, it doesn't go out - or an outdoor cat - that is, it goes on daily outings. Cat owners don't usually think this factor when wondering how do temperatures affect cats.
Inside cats have the great privilege of exploring their environment to choose the warmer places in winter and cooler or vented ones in the summer. But exploring can sometimes cause problems, because they may choose stoves or fireplaces where they can get burnt, or suffer from colds once they move away to colder parts of the house; this can bring severe respiratory issues, especially in older cats, who require special care.
In order to prevent these weather-related risks you should offer warm shelters where your cat has their own bedding and blankets so they can get in and feel at ease. Remember that senior or hairless cats are the ones that will suffer from these abrupt changes the most. The best place to put the cat's warm shelter is wherever the sun hits the most, especially at midday, since it will be the warmest place in the house.
Caring for outdoor cats can be more complicated. You can build shelters where they can take refuge when it is cold or raining and thus conserve heat better. Avoid placing blankets inside the outdoors shelter, though, because hold moisture and can cause fungal infestations. Replace them for a bed of straw or polyester so that you can change them often.
If your cat has hypothermia you should to take it to emergency vet, wrapped in a blanket to try to warm it up. Once you see that its body temperature has increased, dry it to prevent further loss of body heat.
In both cases you must pay attention to the diet. During the winter, just like humans, cats need more calories. Ask your vet about wintertime meals to prevent your cat from gaining or losing too much weight. You can always warm their food for a more pleasant meal. Often, putting the dish in a place where the sun hits helps stimulate the cat's appetite and enhances the aromas of the food. Your cat will thank you.
Tips for baby kittens at home
Is there anything cuter than a kitten curled up into a ball on the sofa? Although we said earlier that kittens can sleep for up to 20 hours a day, here are some tips to help them pass the waking time during the winter as best as possible:
- Make sure the kitten has a warm place to rest at night.
- Pay special attention to food and water because kittens get sick very easily, and their recovery can be complicated.
- Keep the vaccine schedule up to date. Consult your veterinary about what shots your kitten needs at each stage.
- If you let your kittens go outside, they may need a little more food. This way you will ensure that they can regulate their temperature properly.
Given this information, and always in consultation with the veterinarian if you have any doubts, AnimalWised wants your cat to have a winter full of pampering, naps in front of the stove and warm nights for the whole family. You might even want to give your pet a unique Christmas gift!
How do you help your cat during the winter? Do they sleep more? Tell us all in the comments section!
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