How do I know if my cat is cold at night?

You know that your cat likes warmth. The corollary is that he dislikes the cold. You know that your cat likes to lie in a sunny patch on the floor by the window. Or a warm patch on the kitchen floor because you have underfloor heating (see picture below). You know that your cat likes to sleep on your lap if they are a lap cat for the warmth and company. And you know that your cat wants to sleep against you or on your legs when you are in bed at night if you allow him to come into the bedroom at that time. There are many other examples indicating that domestic cats love warmth.

Is my cat cold at night? Yes, possibly if the ambient temperature is cold and there is nothing to keep him warm.

Is my cat cold at night? Yes, possibly if the ambient temperature is cold and there is nothing to keep him warm. Image: MikeB. It was partly created by an AI computer. I added the words. It is a unique image.

You might also know that your cat is essentially a domesticated North African wildcat. They’ve been domesticated for about 10,000 years but the likes and dislikes of the North African wildcat are still deeply embedded in your cute domestic cat.

Now you can imagine in North Africa it’s quite warm, even hot. So, your cat companion likes it hot but not too hot!

So, all the indicators are that your cat feels the cold. Therefore, if it is cold at night where you are your cat is cold at night. You have to work backwards like that because domestic cats hide their feelings. And they do go out on a cold winter’s day if they are allowed outside.

Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important

For example, my cat just went out through the cat flap and it is about 4°C outside. He even went out last night when it was -4°C. But he went out for a short time. A strong indicator that he feels the cold.

And when I bought the newspaper this morning at 6 AM he joined me. At that time, it was about 0°C. But he didn’t stay outside for long.

He can become a little bit ambivalent about whether to go out or stay in when it is very cold. And he likes to come underneath the duvet at night for about 20 minutes. After that he’s too hot and leaves. He wants to warm up.

Of course, domestic cats have a permanent coat on their backs. This protects them from the cold. And if they are longhaired cats they might have three different coats, the bottom of which is a downy undercoat which reinforces their protection against the cold.

Gabs on the kitchen floor enjoying the underfloor heating

Gabs on the kitchen floor enjoying the underfloor heating. Picture: MikeB.

The question will apply to some cats more than others. You may have noticed some photographs of Siberian cats in Siberia in really freezing conditions. They’re outside in a barn looking quite comfortable.

Sleek, single-coated Siamese cats will feel the cold more than a purebred Siberian or a Maine Coon cat living on the East Coast of America. They are built for colder conditions. The Siamese cat is built for the ambient temperatures of Asia.

But in general, whether a cat is longhaired or shorthaired, they like the warmth thanks to their ancestry. The length of their hair somewhat dictates how well they can tolerate the cold.

And there’s one last point. Domestic cats are very stoic. They have a great capacity to tolerate hardship which is one reason why they have nine lives. They are great survivors.

But if you lock your cat in the garage at night, in winter and you live in a place where the winters are cold, your cat companion will feel the cold and be unhappy.

In very general terms, domestic cats do feel the cold but it depends, as it always does on a multitude of different factors. Another is that it might not be cold at night where you live ?.

If it is cold at night, please allow your cat to join you on your bed. He’ll very much appreciate it and you’ll get used to it.


Below are some more articles on cat feelings.

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Can domestic cats try and deceive each other?

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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2 Responses

  1. Rena Lee says:

    Another way to ensure one’s cat stays warm is to bring home a buddy for him or her. On cold evenings, my two cats can be found snuggling together in a cat bed that’s scarcely big enough for both of them. Of course, finding two cats that get along so well can be challenging.

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