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Keeping cats warm?

January 3rd, 2008, 11:10 PM
FYI, this isn't exactly the correct forum but I couldn't find a more suitable one. Mods, feel free to re-direct my post!!

Our two barn cats are semi-ferral. They have learned that the (horse)barn is their home. They get fed a generous helping of cat kibble twice daily and have water and a litter box (incase its too cold to doodle outside ;) )

This morning, with the thermometer sitting around -30 degrees celcius, I wondered whether the cats could get cold!? I mean, I know they CAN but the likelihood of it happening ... ?

Both cats are very healthy and get plenty of extra 'hot' meals, if you know what I mean ;) Coats are glossy, both in good weight and in excellent shape. They have free run of the tackroom and the loft (where all the hay/straw is -- its really warm up there!) and the barn, where they occasionally curl up close to a warm horse. They each have their own 'perches' in the tackroom where they normally snooze, each equipped with a soft blankie.

Last winter, they came to the farm after the really cold weather hit (they came in mid to late April) and so we didn't have to deal with this!! We've always had indoor cats, so this is a new experience for us!

Me being a worry-wort, I pulled out several fleece and wool blankets and put them on/beside the heated cabinet. Neither cat seemed cold (ears were warm, noses wet, gums pink, both cats purring happily) but I just want to be prepared, incase the temperature dips again!

(I should point out, these are OUTSIDE cats. They not allowed in the house!!)

What steps should I take to make sure they keep warm? What signs should I look for if they get cold? Obviously, if one of them got sick (pneumonia, etc) we would make special arrangements to keep them in the house -- but otherwise, they are 'stuck' in the barn!


January 3rd, 2008, 11:32 PM
I think that as long as they have good shelter inside the barn and blankets to snuggle into they should be fine. They will likely seek out the warmer spots when necessary. I would just watch for the signs you described (cold extremeties) and also for unusual lethargy or shivering and make sure they are not accidently locked out of the barn!

January 4th, 2008, 02:28 AM
I agree....they should be fine and hay is an excellent insulator.

Do you make sure that they are in the barn at night? Are they secure in there or can they get out if they chose to?

January 4th, 2008, 07:20 AM
TeriM; Unusual lethargy ... I wish!! These two are like little wind up toys!! ;)

rainbow; Our barn is at least 100-years-old, so there are enough holes that the cats have plenty of 'secret passages' to and from the loft/main barn/tack room. But, in the cold seasons they generally stay in the tackroom. In the summer, they head out to the meadow and snooze down there!

It warmed up considerably today (only -6 degrees celcius!) but I will keep an eye on the cats when the temperature dips again :)

-- zztopp

"Say what you mean, mean what you say, do what you said you were going to do!"
-- DJ, the best dog trainer ever :pawprint: