Brrrrr… Winter is coming, but are you and kitty ready? The temperature’s about to drop, the snow’s going to fall, and you’ll be grabbing some hot apple cider to stay warm. But do you have everything your cat needs, too? We at CatTime recommend keeping your cats indoors during those super cold months. But even if your cat stays indoors, there are still a few things that you’ll need to prepare for winter. Here are eight items that every cat owner needs to be ready, including a few things you’ll need if you care for feral cats that live outside.
Unless you keep the thermostat really high, the house is going to be colder and kitty will need something to keep toasty and warm. A heated bed designed especially for cats is the perfect choice. And if you have an older cat with arthritis, these are a great idea because painful joints can act up when the temperature drops. Just remember – these beds are designed to be plugged in and used inside. They aren’t warm enough to ward off the chill of a cold winter’s night outdoors. You have a lot of choices for a great indoor heated bed, but the K&H Manufacturing Thermo-Kitty Bed Deluxe Hooded Cat Bed has especially high ratings on Amazon. The hood zips on and off and the heating pad is activated when your cat lays on it.
Maybe buying a heated bed is just a little more than you want to do, or maybe you want to provide more than one sleeping option for your cat. If you want a super warm indoor bed for the winter that doesn’t have to be plugged in, there are a lot of great options, such as The Kitty Shack. It’s a 2-in-1 bed that also doubles as a cat mat. The plush material even attracts cat fur so you’ll have less shedding outside of the bed! Another cute option is the Petforu Hamburger Style Shell Nest. It’s windproof, waterproof, and looks absolutely like an absolutely adorable hamburger bun.
If you have feral cats that live outside and just can’t be brought indoors for the winter, then consider getting an outdoor heated cat bed. Look for beds that are insulated and waterproof. They tend to resemble little dog houses to keep kitty safe and toasty. These should be placed in an area that’s protected from the weather, like on the porch or in your garage. The K&H Manufacturing Outdoor Kitty Houses come in various sizes. This larger size can hold up to four cats at once. This thermos kitty shelter version has a rigid exterior for tougher use.
If your cat is used to having short excursions outside and you live in a very cold place, you’ll want to keep your cat inside exclusively during the winter. Unfortunately, your cat might also get very bored. Since your cat is used to climbing, buy a cat tower to give your cat a place to perch high and survey the world. You might as well go all out to keep kitty entertained. We like the Go Pet Club 72” Cat Tree Condo. It has five levels and is built to accommodate a medium to large-sized cat.
It doesn’t cost much, but a laser toy can keep your cat entertained for hours on end during those lazy winter days. When the temperatures get colder, your cat might not want to run around as much, even inside. This is a great way to keep them exercising. Hide the laser light around a corner so your cat feels like they’re “hunting.” Just don’t shine the laser in their eyes, and you’ll have tons of fun. There are a lot of laser pointers out there, but buy the kind specifically made for pets. Here’s one that we like: Love “N” Creatures Interactive LED Pointer Cat Toy.
If you have a feral cat that’s going to be outdoors at all in the winter but is tame enough to wear a collar, then you’ll want to invest in a reflective one. The winter days are short and the nights are long and dark. For cats, it’s especially important that their collar is a breakaway type so it doesn’t get caught on anything while kitty is exploring. This Pawtitas Reflective Cat Collar has great reviews on Amazon and includes a safety release.
If you have to take your cat outdoors, even if it’s just because you want them to feel the snow briefly under their paws, make sure you have a good harness on them, attached to a leash. You don’t want your cat escaping into the cold winter night. A harness like this Kitty Holster Cat Harness on Amazon can work well. Just be sure to buy the right size so your cat can’t slip right out of it. Test it in the house first to make sure your cat won’t fight with it and find a sneaky way to escape. And give them a reflective collar, like we talked about above, to wear with it.
Your cat has plenty of fur to keep warm. Most breeds of cats even have a thick undercoat, so we don’t typically recommend clothes for your cat. But if you own a hairless cat, like a Sphynx, then a little jacket can be a nice touch for keeping warm indoors during the colder winter months. There are a lot of cute jackets out there, and most that are designed to fit small dogs will also fit your cat. This Voyager Fleece Pet Jacket is one example. This one is even lined with fleece for extra warmth!
What items can your kitty absolutely not do without in the winter? Let us know in the comments below!
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