I’m asking whether domestic cats like snow. There must be two factors which influence the answer, namely whether an individual domestic cat has seen snow before or often and secondly the character of that individual cat.
Domestic cats are inquisitive. If they’ve not seen snow before, when it falls it’s going to be at least potentially interesting to a domestic cat. If the cat is a full-time indoor cat, they will certainly be looking at the snow falling from the window. If they can go outside, they may well enjoy playing around with the snow as it falls. They might see the snowflakes as prey animals e.g., an insect and try and swat them. Cats instinctively react to movement like this from small objects.
But set against this natural interest in snow will be the obvious fact that it is cold. Domestic cats like warmth. This is their North African wildcat inheritance which may make it a little less pleasant to be out in the snow. However, cats have a high tolerance level for extremes of temperature in my opinion.
Cats tolerate the cold well. They might not like it but they accept it, if they have to. I would argue that domestic cats are more accepting of uncomfortable conditions than humans. This may be to do with intelligence. If humans feel uncomfortable in unpleasant environmental conditions, they will vocalise that discomfort and use their best efforts to get out of it if they can. It’s a rational mental process.
Cats, on the other hand, tend to put up with it. However, if they are indoor/outdoor cat they will understand that they can go inside to escape the unpleasantness. Cats will probably be distracted from the potential uncomfortableness of the cold by their interest in the snow.
We know that domestic cats have their own personalities within normal feline behaviour. Some cats will like being in the snow and others won’t. It’s about the straightforward and simple as that. I’ve seen many videos and photographs of domestic cats thoroughly enjoying being in snow, sometimes deep snow. In fact, my general impression is that if you took 100 domestic cat in a study and tested whether they liked snow or disliked it, you would find that substantially more than 50% liked it.
This is probably because it’s interesting and stimulating. It might be the novelty of it or the simple and natural inherited response by domestic cats to movement combined with their natural inquisitiveness.
I have a page on the wild cats that live in snow, or might on occasions be obliged to live in snowy landscapes. You might like to read about that by clicking on this link.
It may surprise some people to know that the Bengal tiger which we so often see keeping cool in rivers because they live in such hot climates, also live on the lower slopes of the Himalayas in Bhutan. And of course, the Siberian tiger lives in very cold temperatures. Cats in general can tolerate low temperatures.
RELATED: Can tigers live in the cold?
Below are some pages on cat personality: