Do Cats Need Clothes in the Winter?

When the cold winter weather arrives, humans find a variety of ways to stay warm. We will wear big coats and don hats, scarves, and gloves when we are outside. When inside, we will either turn the thermostat up high or snuggle under a cozy blanket. But what about our pets? Do we need to do anything to ensure they are warm at this time of year too? For example, do cats need to wear clothes in the winter?

Should Cats Ever Wear Clothes?

People choose to put clothing on their pets for assorted reasons. Some do it because they think it looks cute, whereas others are doing it out of a genuine desire to ensure the comfort of their fur baby. But is it really necessary?

Cats actually have a natural ability to keep themselves warm when the temperature drops. Known as piloerection, cats can extend the hairs on their coat, which then ensures that it is thicker and more insulated. This in turn, keeps them warm. But cats are also known to seek out sources of shelter and heat, and whether they are inside or out in the cold weather, they are likely to find ways to stay warm and dry.

It is not surprising to find indoor cats huddled under blankets on a sofa or under the covers on their owner’s bed. Some might even find a cozy spot under a warm radiator. When outside, cats often shelter under cars that have just been parked because the engines are still warm. They are also known to find enclosed areas to keep warm. 

Some cats, however, don’t have thick coats (or any fur at all in some cases) and as such will be susceptible to feeling the cold when the winter weather arrives. These cats might benefit from wearing a sweater during the winter, but a blanket will usually suffice.

Walking Cats in the Winter

There are some people who like to take their cats for walks and may want to continue doing this during the winter. In this instance, a cat coat might be ideal as temperatures below 45 degrees are generally considered too cold for a cat to be outside.

If you do want to continue walking your cat when the weather is cold, it is a good idea to look for a coat that can be worn over a cat harness. The experts at Voyager Harness say that coats for cats should allow for a leash to be attached to the harness to ensure your cat is safe on its walk.

If you do take your cat for a walk in the winter, it is a good idea to keep walks to a minimum, especially if it is frosty or there is snow as the cold ground can cause frostbite.

What to Consider Before Putting Your Cat in Clothes

Whether it is a sweater or a coat to keep your cat warm in the winter, it is important that your pet does not feel stressed. Most cats do not like to be placed in clothes, and even if you think it is for its own good, it is best not to distress them by making them do something that they don’t want to.

Some cats have no problem wearing clothing and if so, then great. But if your cat does not enjoy it, it would be much better to provide a warm and cozy blanket or a covered bed it can snuggle into when the temperatures drop. Ensuring your cat is cozy but also happy is good practice when it comes to clothing.

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