Dogs love to play, bounce and wag their tails during the winter months, but could cats be able to share the same joy should they be allowed to? Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D. A Certified Animal Behaviorist, tells Scientific American that the dog’s love of snow may be a natural behavior. The predatory nature of dogs is why they unlike prey, embrace change. Fresh snow is the type of change canine craves and it transforms an ordinary backyard into one filled with fresh scents as well as sights and sensations.
Our feline companions have been historically both prey and predator. They generally don’t like dealing with changes, but they are fascinated by all things. So, we asked whether cats have an interest in snow, or do they dislike the wet, cold stuff that alters their landscape. This is what experts had to say about the question, “do cats like snow?”
Do some Cats Love Playing in the snow?
If you had the chance, is your cat’s indoor pet likely to dive into the snow first? of snow? It’s probably not, says Stephen Zawistowski Ph.D., CAAB Emeritus Adjunct professor of Animal Behavior and Conservation at Hunter College. “I do not recommend throwing your cat who is happy in the house in the snow to enjoy an alternative way to increase your enjoyment. The majority of cats don’t like getting wet so a trip to the snow might not be a pleasant experience for them.” Zawistowski explains. In contrast to some breeds of dogs, the happy cats of our house are derived from cats’ ancestral ancestors that were originally living in hot, dry environments. It’s not part of the genes of a cat to be able to survive in frigid, cold surroundings.
However, as per Erin Katribe, DVM, Medical Director of Best Friends Animal Society, It is important to keep in mind that each feline is an individual. Whatever breed a cat is and breed, they’ll have their own preferences with regards to toys, food, and also the love of snow. There are some truly cool cats who love winter however, for most cat breeds snow is a ” nope“.
Can I train my cat to Love the Snow?
If you’ve been able to successfully introduce your cat’s adventurous side to lead and harness to go outdoor adventures it’s possible that she’s ready to be acquainted with snow, too. Utilizing Positive reinforcement training, Katribe suggests starting with small, brief adventures and combining the snowy experience with something fun, such as her favorite food.
If the beautiful outdoors does not inspire your cat to purr, she’ll be able to enjoy the winter wonders in her own way. Installing a pet window where your cat can look out over her wintery home. Also, you can bring the outdoors in by filling her bathtub with snow for paws to play in.
Do You Want to Let Your Cat Leave the House When It’s Cold?
When it is having your cat explore nature (any time of the year) it is best to take a look at the advantages and disadvantages. “Cats are more accustomed to colder temperatures and snow, and more so than humans, thanks to features like fur coats,” Katrine says. But, she cautions, regardless of how floppy they may appear it is still possible to be exposed to the risk of cold weather.
“In the colder temperatures, humans and cats are at risk of the condition known as hypothermia,” Katrine says. “Frostbite is another possibility that occurs when parts of the body are frozen.” The most at risk of becoming quickly cold are your cat’s tiny ears and paws. Below Katribe lists some strategies to ensure your cat is cozy and warm.
How to Make Your Cat’s Paws Safe in the Winter
It’s difficult to know what is too frigid for your pet. Therefore, Katribe suggests, considering your own comfort in the same situation, particularly in vulnerable places like their paws, ears, and noses. “If you’re not comfortable with your hand in the snow, or leaving areas that are exposed to winds and air and cold, it could be not warm enough for your pet to take pleasure in these conditions, and it could be even dangerous,” Katrine says.
If in doubt, go for winter-friendly cat clothing if your cat can tolerate it. Sweaters fleeces, hoodies, as well as waterproof coats, are good alternatives. In terms of taking care of their paws following an outdoor adventure, Katribe says not to forget to clean each toe. “Snow particularly within urban environments could be contaminated with harmful substances, therefore it is important to clean off the fur and paws when cats come back inside after playing or walking on the snow.” Katrine elaborates.
Which Place Do Stray Cats Go When It Snows?
When they’re not hunting to eat outdoors cats tend to find themselves in most warm spots they can find, Zawistowski says. However, the warm spot can be found beneath the hood of cars. An easy way to prevent injury to these cats while taking the time to enjoy a nice catnap Katribe advises is to bang the car’s hood vehicle before you start it.
If there’s an escaped cat (or two) who calls your backyard home, and you also have a roaming house cat, you’re probably contemplating how to keep her warm during winter. Cat lovers all over the world are encouraged to take a leaf out of Boy Scout Tyrell Cooper’s guide by constructing DIY “feline homes. ” You can also purchase an expensive cat house which is guaranteed to keep your felines cozy and safe throughout winter.
For more information on how you can assist wild animals in your area throughout the winter months and throughout the year contact local groups and read these suggestions for finding wandering cats that are at risk or require medical care.