Winter warmers

How cats stay warm in wintertime

Pet cats are famous for being able to find warm places to sleep. Their owner’s lap, the computer laptop, the ray of sunshine or the place where underfloor heating pipes are least insulated. A whole category of internet memes is devoted to pictures of cats seeking comfort in warm places.

It is not really that surprising, as there is a limit to how well cats can warm themselves. The undercoats of many breeds get thicker in winter to help with insulation. Even if cats stay indoors all the time with a constant temperature, the undercoat still thickens as it is actually a response to shorter days rather than reducing warmth.  But apart from this undercoat, there is little a cat can do to get warm. They, therefore, concentrate on preserving existing warmth.

Curling up into a ball (that one where their heads end up upside down is our favourite!), finding warmth-retaining surfaces like fresh laundry, bed covers, or polar fleece and cuddling up with other pets in the household are just some of the ways cats try to make sure that they do not lose body warmth when their surroundings are colder. Their love for polar fleece is what inspired us to use it for our ever-popular bedrolls.  This cuddling and curling up for comfort may feel like they sleep more than usual. If they are still eating as normal, cleaning themselves and playing, as usual, there is no need to be concerned.  Some cats might want to eat more food in the wintertime to consume the calories they need to maintain their body temperature, but again, there is no need to worry if they are not gaining weight.

What is your cat’s favourite warm spot?

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