What Temperature is Too Cold For Cats?

Temperatures that are too cold for cats vary based on factors like breed, coat type and health considerations. To help ensure a happy winter experience for both you and your feline friend, keep it warm to reduce hypothermia and frostbite risks.

Normal body temperatures for cats typically remain normal even in temperatures below freezing; however, this could become problematic if they’re unfamiliar with living in this climate.


Pet parents understand the risks of leaving cats outdoors during extreme temperatures; however, many don’t know the ideal temperature to keep an indoor cat comfortable. The ideal temperature depends on a number of factors including their coat type, age, health status and climate – however there are general guidelines they can follow to find an acceptable balance.

An average cat has an ideal body temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit and typically tolerates colder temperatures better than most people can. But even if they appear comfortable at certain temperatures, extreme cold can still pose serious threats for cats if left outdoors unsupervised for too long.

If an indoor cat is exposed to extreme cold for too long, they could develop hypothermia – a potentially life-threatening condition requiring urgent veterinary attention and in severe cases even death – so it’s wise to adjust their thermostat as soon as you suspect they might be too cold. If this seems like it might be happening with your indoor feline companion, try increasing its setting so they stay cozy.

An ideal indoor temperature for cats typically ranges between 70-73 degrees. This temperature provides sufficient warmth without being too cold; they should feel cozy while remaining comfortable through winter. If they still require additional heat sources such as placing a heating pad close to them or providing them with another blanket to huddle under, additional options could include providing heating pads as floor warming devices or offering them another blanket as a blanket that they can snuggle under for warmth.

Another way to tell if your cat is too cold is by monitoring its signs of discomfort, such as shivering, sitting in a hunched position or seeking warmer spaces. If these behaviors become apparent in your cat it’s time to increase the heat and let him/her cuddle close for longer!

Frostbite can occur if exposed to very cold temperatures for extended periods, and can cause the tips of ears, tails and toes to freeze over. Another important reason why your cat should remain indoors during wintertime is the potential risk of frost bite. Frostbite occurs when prolonged exposure leads to freezing of ears, tails and toes resulting in necrotic lesions or permanent disfigurement.


Cats may be adaptable animals, but that doesn’t mean they can handle extreme temperatures. Cats can become overheated easily in warm weather and become dehydrated or heat exhausted; similarly, prolonged exposure to cold conditions may lead to hypothermia symptoms including shivering, cold skin, lethargy, decreased heart and respiratory rates, confusion or even coma; therefore it is vital that prolonged outdoor time be monitored throughout winter season in case your cats spend any extended time outside.

General consensus holds that healthy cats generally maintain body temperatures between 100 degrees F and 110 degrees F, with exact temperatures depending on factors like fur thickness and body mass. Assuming normal conditions exist, cats that experience significant weight loss or have arthritis may feel the cold more acutely; their body temperatures may even fluctuate during sleep time leading to more susceptibility to cold-related illnesses.

Indoor cats tend to be better prepared for cold temperatures than their outdoor counterparts; however, even indoor cats are still vulnerable in Glen Ellyn’s harsh winter environment. Temperatures below 45 degrees are too cold for cats so be sure to keep them inside to prevent frostbite on their ears, tails and toes.

No matter if they live indoors or out in the elements, all cats require protection from the cold. Outdoor cats, stray and feral alike are better adapted to living in extreme winter climates as they’re used to being exposed but still need assistance from humans in surviving severe winter climates. Outdoor and feral cats usually find shelter in abandoned buildings or holes in the ground while still needing human assistance for survival; outdoor, feral and stray cats may seek refuge within abandoned buildings or holes for warmth; otherwise hypothermia and frostbite may ensue if left outside for too long; lookout for signs such as clumsiness, shivering, drooling as well as providing ample warm bedding and water supplies so your cat remains comfortable during his or her stay outdoors.


Answering this question of when is too cold for cats depends entirely on their individual health and condition. Elderly or sick pets may find cold temperatures uncomfortable and difficult to adjust to; young animals, those suffering weight loss due to diseases like arthritis and those without thick fur coats can find it harder to retain heat efficiently than others. Certain breeds of cat have proven more adept at withstanding extreme cold than others;

Indoor cats tend to remain comfortable when the outside temperature falls below 45 degrees; however, outdoor cats who have become acclimated to spending time outside and feral/stray cats can quickly become too cold for survival if left exposed for too long without having somewhere warm to retreat for protection from predators, wind gusts, snowfall and ice cover.

Cornell Feline Health Center advises us that it’s essential to remember that when temperatures become extremely cold, cats’ core body temperatures drop. Therefore, we must closely observe your cat and ensure their comfort by tracking this thermometer reading.

As a general guideline, when temperatures become too cold for your cat to tolerate, they risk hypothermia – a potentially life-threatening condition in which their heart beat slows, cutting blood flow to their organs and increasing risk of shock or seizures.

Vetwest Animal Hospitals suggests using a thermometer to check your cat’s temperature by placing it either in their mouth, chest or neck – advised by Vetwest Animal Hospitals – or placing it on them and placing in between 99 and 100 degrees, though any reading below this should be brought immediately to a veterinarian for examination. Hypothermia may not be the only danger your kitty faces when exposed to cold temperatures; frostbite could also occur on their ears, tails and toes in cold weather, leading to redness of skin reddening, swelling and loss of feeling in those extremities resulting in frostbite frostbite symptoms accompanied by numbness reddening and loss of feeling in those extremities.


Cats are generally very adaptable animals, yet they may still develop dangerous health issues if exposed to temperatures that are too cold. Understanding which temperatures are too cold for cats and how you can prevent exposure will ensure you keep your furry friend in peak health all winter long.

Your ideal body temperature for your cat should range between 100-102 degrees Fahrenheit. While this is slightly warmer than human average body temperatures, the difference shouldn’t pose too much danger for your pet. If you suspect they might be overheating, ask your veterinarian to check their temperature and look out for signs such as excessive sweating, panting, drooling, red gums or an elevated heart rate as that would indicate overheating is imminent. Signs include excessive sweating, panting, drooling red gums or an elevated heart rate as indicators that indicate overheating in an animal.

Your cat’s body temperature will fluctuate throughout the day, which may make sleeping slightly cooler than during other activities. Although not dangerous, it is still worth monitoring their temperature regularly to make sure they don’t become overheated.

Cats’ reactions to cold temperatures depend on several factors, including age, size and health issues. Young, old or sick cats typically have lower percentages of body fat insulating them against colder temperatures; similarly those suffering from health conditions like diabetes may find difficulty controlling their body temperatures effectively.

If your cat struggles to maintain their body temperature, create safe spots throughout your home where they can relax in warmth. Cats tend to like hiding out in cardboard boxes for warmth and security; heated beds or blankets will keep them cozy as well. Hot water available can also help your feline friend remain cozy during a power outage; just make sure it has been warmed to their body temperature so as to not shock their delicate system and lead to dehydration or hypothermia; this is particularly relevant when dealing with outdoor cats that spend extended amounts of time outside.

Lisa Thompson

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