Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Fumipets
Do Cats Like Snow?
The sight of a snow-covered landscape can evoke a sense of wonder and excitement, but how do our feline companions feel about this frozen phenomenon?
The question of whether cats like snow is an intriguing one, and understanding their reactions can provide insights into their unique personalities and preferences.
If given the opportunity, would cats exhibit the same love for the snow as dogs do when they play, jump, and wag their tails? According to Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D., a Certified Applied Animal Behaviourist, a dog’s innocent interest in snow may be an ingrained behaviour. Dogs are predators that like change, unlike prey. A dog wants change, and a fresh layer of snow brings new sounds, sights, and sensations to a mundane backyard.
Historically, our feline buddies have been both hunters and prey. They often struggle with change, but they definitely are observant. So, we pondered if cats like the cold, wet material that alters their regular surroundings or whether they loathe it. When we inquired as to whether cats like snow, the experts responded as follows.
Do Some Cats Like Playing in the Snow?
Would your indoor cat plunge paws first in a snowbank if given the chance? Stephen Zawistowski, Ph.D., CAAB Emeritus Adjunct Professor of Animal Behaviour and Conservation at Hunter College, thinks the answer is most likely no. “As a kind of enrichment, I would not advise throwing your content house cat outside into the snow.
Snow may not be a pleasant experience for cats since they generally don’t appear to like being wet, according to Zawistowski. Unlike certain dog breeds, our content house cats are descended from feline predecessors that lived in hot, arid environments in the past. Simply said, living in a chilly, snowy climate is not in a cat’s genetic make-up.
However, each cat is an individual, according to Erin Katribe, DVM, Medical Director of Best Friends Animal Society. No matter what breed a cat is, it will have distinct tastes in food, toys, and whether or not it likes snow. Snow is a “nope” for most home cats, however some very cool cats enjoy it (see Gary the Adventure Cat).
Can I Train My Cat to Like the Snow?
Your cat may be willing to get used to the snow if you’ve successfully introduced her to a leash and harness for exploring the outdoors. Katribe proposes beginning with tiny, brief outings and associating the snowy experience with something constructive like her preferred food.
If your cat doesn’t like being outside, she may still enjoy the pleasures of winter in her own feline manner. Installing a cat window perch will allow your cat to survey her snowy territory. Alternately, give her a bathtub full of snow to play in to bring the outdoors inside.
Should You Let Your Cat Go Outside When It’s Cold?
It’s wise to examine the advantages and downsides before letting your cat wander free outside (at any time of year). Given traits like their fuzzy coats, cats are considerably better suited to lower temperatures and snow than humans, claims Katribe. She cautions that there are always hazards associated with cold weather, regardless of how fluffy they may be.
“In cold temperatures, cats and humans are at risk for hypothermia,” says Katribe. Another danger is frostbite, which happens when parts of the body freeze. Your cat’s tiny ears and paws are more in danger of rapidly becoming chilly. Below, Katribe offers some suggestions for keeping your cat warm and secure.
How to Keep Your Cat’s Paws Safe in the Snow
It might be difficult to determine whether your cat is too chilly. In light of this, Katribe advises taking your comfort into account in a circumstance like this, particularly for delicate parts like their paws, noses, and ears. According to Katribe, if you find it difficult to keep your bare hand in the snow or to have parts of your face exposed to the wind and air, it’s probably too cold for your cat to enjoy such circumstances and may even be hazardous.
If your cat will tolerate it, choose winter-friendly cat clothing whenever possible. Great choices include sweaters, fleeces, and waterproof coats. And Katribe advises not skipping cleaning off each little toe bean when it comes to care for their paws after a day in the snow. “Snow, especially in urban areas, can contain harmful contaminants, so it’s important to wipe off paws and fur when cats return inside from walking or playing in the snow,” says Katribe.
Where Do Stray Cats Go When It Snows?
Outdoor cats typically hang out in the warmest areas they can find when not searching for food, according to Zawistowski. Sadly, the hood of a car is frequently that cosy spot. Katribe advises whacking the bonnet of your vehicle before starting it to prevent hurting these cats while they take a cosy catnap.
If you have a housecat that roams freely or if there are stray cats who like to make your yard their home, you might be wondering how to keep her warm this winter. Cat lovers all throughout the world may borrow a page from Boy Scout Tyrell Cooper by making their own “feline abodes.” Alternatively, invest in a high-end cat house that will keep any stray cats warm and safe all winter.
Reach out to neighbourhood organisations and go over these suggestions for capturing stray cats who are in danger or need medical treatment to find out more about how you can aid feral animals in your neighbourhood during winter and all year long.
Q&A: Do Cats Like Snow?
Are cats generally curious about snow?
Cats are naturally curious creatures, so they might show interest in snow due to its unfamiliar texture and appearance. However, their reactions can vary based on their individual personalities.
Do all cats have the same reaction to snow?
No, cats have diverse personalities, and their reactions to snow can differ. Some may be curious and eager to explore, while others might be more hesitant or even indifferent.
Can cats tolerate cold weather because of their fur?
While cats have fur that provides some insulation, not all cats are well-suited for cold weather. Breeds with shorter coats or less body fat may struggle in snowy conditions and seek warmth indoors.
Do cats enjoy playing in the snow?
Some cats enjoy playing in the snow, especially if they have playful personalities. They might pounce on snowflakes or explore the snow-covered ground. Providing safe and supervised outdoor playtime is essential.
Can I take my indoor cat outside in the snow?
Taking your indoor cat outside in the snow can be an exciting experience, but it’s crucial to ensure their safety. Use a secure harness and leash to prevent them from wandering off and supervise their outdoor time closely.
What if my cat seems hesitant about the snow?
Respect your cat’s comfort level. If they’re unsure about the snow, don’t force them to stay outside. Allow them to explore at their own pace, and if they prefer to stay indoors, provide them with a cozy spot.
Can cats catch colds from being in the snow?
Cats can catch colds from viruses, but being in the snow itself doesn’t directly cause colds. However, sudden temperature changes and exposure to the elements might weaken their immune system.