How Cold is Too Cold for Cats?

Cat laying down under blankets

When the temperature drops in Naperville, you won’t be the only one to notice the chill. Cats hold a similar body temperature to humans — close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit — so if you’re shivering, chances are your cat is uncomfortable, too. How cold is too cold for cats? The Rescue Vets are here with cat care tips on what temperature is too cold for cats, both indoors and outdoors.

What Temperature is Too Cold for Cats?

Cats are very adaptable creatures, but unlike us, they aren’t able to grab a sweater or blanket if they’re cold. Your cat needs to maintain a body temperature of above 90 degrees to ward off hypothermia, so keeping your thermostat around 70 degrees is a good way to ensure they’ll stay cozy all winter long.

  • How cold is too cold for indoor cats? Cats prefer warmth but will be okay in rooms hovering between 50-60 degrees. This is not ideal for them though, and you’ll likely notice your cat seeking out additional heat by snuggling up to a radiator, blanket, or you!
  • How cold is too cold for outdoor cats? While outdoor cats may be more adventurous than their indoor kitty counterparts, they still need protection from the harsh temperatures Glen Ellyn winters can bring. Anything 45 degrees and below is too cold for outdoor cats, so be sure to bring in your feline friend to prevent frostbite on their ears, tails, and toes.

What are the Signs That My Cat is Too Cold?

Hypothermia can come on quickly for cats, creating extremely detrimental or possibly fatal results for even the healthiest of felines. You may notice your cat snuggling more in the winter, or curling up in tighter sleeping positions to stay warm. While these are not immediate warning signs, there are many indications that your cat is too cold:

  • Feeling cold to the touch, especially around their footpads, ears, and tail
  • Shivering
  • Dilated pupils
  • Low heart rate
  • Weak, lethargic movements
  • Slow, shallow breathing

If you see any of the above in your cat, it’s time to bring them to the vet immediately.

Cat playing in the snow

Need to schedule an appointment with a Veterinarian?

Please contact Springbrook Animal Care Center.