The Maine Coon is one of the most giant domestic cat breeds and is often described as a gentle giant. These cats enjoy spending a lot of time with their owners and get along well with children and other pets.
Free-roaming cats need human help to survive these cold days in the winter. Keepers of outdoor cats and those who walk their pets often wonder if they are allowed outside in the late fall and winter. Indeed, contrary to popular belief, not every temperature is suitable for a cat. A cat's fur, though warm, is not enough in all circumstances. So when is it too cold outside for your cat? You might be surprised.
- Do manes coons like the cold?
- How do you keep your Maine Coon warm?
- At the bottom, you will find some factors which can be helpful for cats on colder days:
- A cat's chance of a successful hunt decreases dramatically.
- Food left in cat feeding areas freezes quickly.
- Cats during cold weather have nothing to drink.
- Cats in winter are more in need of reliable, always-available shelters
- When it's cold, cats have a vast, more significant energy expenditure than in summer
- Cat's sixth sense warns of disasters
- Cat behavior to weather deterioration
- Cat behavior for nice weather
- Risk factors
Do manes coons like the cold?
Maine Coons, in general, actually don't really like the cold but rather tolerate it. While they might not actively seek out the cold, they are much harder tolerant than most cat breeds. Maine Coons have thick, long fur that does an excellent job insulating them from the cold.
Although Maine Coons don't like or seek out colder temperatures, they are naturally cold weather tolerant. They have long, thick fur that resists water and snow and helps insulate them from the cold. Their paws are comprehensive to help them walk in the snow.
How do you keep your Maine Coon warm?
You can do several things to improve your Maine coon's tolerance to cold weather and keep him warm on a cold day.
- Allow your cat to acclimate if it is not used to cold weather. Don't let your pet go outside right away.
- Make sure your cat has eaten well the day you let him outside. If available, a warm meal and water are good options on a cold day.
- It is important to regularly feed your raccoon good quality food to promote health and better cold tolerance.
- Dry your cat's wet coat as soon as your cat comes home.
- Clean the paws of ice and snow as soon as the cat comes home.
- Consider a warm cat coat and boots if you often let your pet outside in cold weather, although most hardy, fluffy cats don't need clothes to go out.
- Most cats don't like wearing shoes, but they don't mind wax or lotion. A thin layer of paw wax protects their paws from mechanical injury and frostbite. Animals don't even notice they have the product on their feet, but you should clean it off to avoid dirty footprints when your cat gets home.
At the bottom, you will find some factors which can be helpful for cats on colder days:
A cat's chance of a successful hunt decreases dramatically.
It's not just cats that are reluctant to leave their hiding places in cold weather. Birds, which cannot see well in the dark, are active for far less time than during summer. The cat's potential prey are also less active: rodents are reluctant to come out of their burrows and limit their exploration.
Do not count on cats to "cope on their own." They need help and domesticated animals, and they are always more or less dependent on people. In winter, they need help even more. It is worth considering feeding more often than usual and increasing the portions.
Food left in cat feeding areas freezes quickly.
Therefore, cats that are not fed regularly, at consistent times, may not reach the food left behind before it freezes. A cat is unable to eat frozen meat, canned goods, etc. Finding food is much more complicated: its smell is less noticeable when cold.
Wise cat feeders try to feed their cats regularly, at fixed times. Cats are then able to predict when food will appear. They are not forced to check feeding locations many times and do not have to wait in the cold for a long time for a feeder to appear.
It is often advised that dry food should be given to outdoor cats in winter under no circumstances. Feeding dry food is not wrong (dry food contains a minimal amount of water, which makes it not freeze as quickly as wet food), provided that we responsibly take care that cats have access to water.
They are not at risk that the food will no longer be fit to eat when they reach the cat's canteen. We never leave food in basements to avoid feeding rodents.
Cats during cold weather have nothing to drink.
Cats in winter need more than just feeding. During frosts, a severe problem becomes the lack of water suitable for drinking. It is challenging for a cat to get water from compacted, frozen snow. In theory, you can see some small puddles of thawing snow everywhere. Mostly in parking lots and along roads. There would seem to be something to drink. It's water with salt - the silent killer of feline kidneys (and more).
Dry winter weather is also dangerous. In this case, even if there is no frost, cats have nothing to drink. During hot weather, people like animals remind each other: to put out a bowl of water for cats. They also remember to leave water for the wild animals around them. In winter, people often forget to put out water for cats, yet they need it no less than food.
As with feeding, regularity is the basis of practical assistance: regularly bringing water to the cats. When the frost is low, only a few degrees at most, the water in the bowl freezes after about two hours. When the ice is more severe, it happens even faster. You need to change the water several times a day and feed it in as large a bowl as possible so that the water freezes more slowly.
If possible, you can leave a bowl of water in the basement where the cats sleep during the cold weather - this will be a significant help to them. About whether it makes sense to put out hot water for cats (to make it freeze more slowly),
Cats in winter are more in need of reliable, always-available shelters
Free-roaming cats protect themselves during cold weather and inaccessible buildings. Many of them use open basement windows. Paradoxically, in winter, many people start to mind that cellar windows are open. In summer, they see many advantages of this solution: there is better ventilation in the basement, they don't smell unpleasant odors, and there is no moisture.
In the winter, for fear of losing heat in the building, they begin to tighten everything. They often don't think that animals have found shelter in an open basement.
In the summer, closing a window for a short time can be dangerous, especially for cats inside the basement. But in the winter, it also becomes hazardous for animals left outside, unable to return to the basement to escape the cold. Being cut off from shelter can cost a cat its life.
If it can't find another hiding place, with no way to stay warm or hide from the weather, exposed to the cold, it could die. It is not uncommon for cats to hide under the warm engine of a parked car. This can end tragically.
It is essential to choose where the cat boxes can be safely placed (you always need permission from the landowner). When access to basements is uncertain, it often makes more sense to put cats in specially prepared, insulated cat boxes where they can hide. Some owners successfully put cat boxes on their own terraces or balconies (of course, this solution is possible only when we live on the first floor).
If we want to provide the cats with an entrance to the basement, let's make sure that it is small (then the heat will not escape from the building) and aesthetic. A small window can be opened (it is essential to open it normally, not tilted). In more oversized windows, a perfect solution is a "cat door," which can be placed in the window by cutting a piece of glass (the installation should be done by someone who has experience in this field).
Remember to look for solutions that will make free-living cats welcome guests, and their presence in buildings will not be a real nuisance for people. That is why we say no to breaking cellar windows, to dirty rags hanging in the windows. When taking care of cats, we should make sure to make friends with cats. It pays off for the cats.
When it's cold, cats have a vast, more significant energy expenditure than in summer
Any activity during severe frost means a massive expenditure of energy for cats. Cats limit it to the necessary minimum during this time. Sometimes they even give up foraging for food, waiting until the frost is less severe. In such a situation, it even happens that they "forgive" meals at the feeding place. Therefore, it is challenging for them, especially with limited food and water availability.
In winter, it's good to give cats more caloric food (we increase the amount of fat in the diet or provide food with higher caloric value). Of course, moderation is always advisable - excess fat can cause diarrhea. Just as diarrhea can be caused by feeding too warm food.
Cat's sixth sense warns of disasters
People living in precarious places have long since discovered that cats should be watched to guard against natural disasters. These animals can sense volcanoes, tsunamis, storms, and earthquakes in advance. During World War II, cats could also feel an incoming bombardment faster than radio apparatus. So predicting ordinary rain is probably a piece of cake for them.
Cat behavior to weather deterioration
A cat that senses worsening weather carefully cleans its ears and... its right leg. Besides, there is often an increased scratching of various surfaces - furniture, scratching posts, or carpets. Sneezing and snorting can also be a sign of an approaching rainstorm.
Avoiding walks is also a clear sign that the weather outside may get worse. On the other hand, if your cat purrs exceptionally loudly in autumn, winter is set to belong and harsh.
Cat behavior for nice weather
A purring cat carefully licking its fur is not only a proverbial sign of visitors but also a sign that the weather will be nice. It is also said that a cat lying on its back is a forecast of a cloudless sky. There is also a thesis that when a cat turns away from heat sources while washing itself during winter, the melt is coming.
Specific individual characteristics make an animal more susceptible to developing hypothermia:
- Lack of overall fitness, the cat is in poor shape, so to speak
- Poor health, especially cardiovascular problems
- Immobility is definitely a risk factor even for healthy cats
- Lack of acclimatization: getting used to the cold allows the animal to get used to it over time
- Geriatric cats are at high risk for hypothermia due to impaired physiological responses to cold
- Kittens are also less resilient