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Should you leave the heater on for your cat?

Wow! Those temperatures just dropped like a rock. At this time of the year, you may find yourself cranking up the thermostat or bringing out the space heater just to stay warm. If you’re trying to save energy, you may be wondering just how low the temperatures should go for your cat.

How cold do you usually keep your home?

As the days grow shorter, cats will grow a thicker undercoat to help insulate them from the cold. This is part of how feral cats are able to survive outdoors in the harsh winter months. Many pet parents claim to drop the thermostat as low as 60 degrees F during the day without a problem, but the official jury of veterinarians is still out.

Besides, one of the perks of being an indoor cat is that your kitty gets to enjoy many of the same modern conveniences that you do. As a rule of thumb, if you feel uncomfortable in your home, your cat probably does too. Not to mention, a sudden drop in temperature can make for a difficult adjustment.

What are some special considerations?

When setting the thermostat for your cat, be sure to consider certain factors that may make your kitty warmer or colder. Perhaps you have a kitty with long, poofy fur? Then he or she might be more comfortable at cooler temperatures. What about a hairless cat? Maybe boost the thermostat a bit for that kitty.

Do you have an older cat without much body fat? Then your cat would likely appreciate a few extra degrees. Small kittens and their mother also benefit from warmer temperatures.

What are some alternatives?

If you’re really trying to save energy, consider using passive heating concepts such as draft guards, weather stripping, and thermal curtains. They will literally keep both the heat and your money from flying out the window! Likewise, try to provide kitty with some self-warming options. Plenty of fluffy blankets, cat beds, and cozy cat caves are all good options .

Are you worried about the chill nipping your cat’s paws while you’re away? Nothing beats having someone come check on your kitty in person. Drop us a line to be paired with an attentive pet sitter.


Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

Photo by Dimhou on pixabay.

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