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Do Cats Like Snow? Feline Facts & FAQs

Ed Malaker

By Ed Malaker

Maine Coon cat sits on snowy frozen path

If you live in an area with a cold climate and are thinking about getting a cat for your home, you probably wonder if your cats like snow. Generally speaking, cats don’t usually like snow. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t live in an environment that gets snow, nor does it mean all cats hate snow. If you want to know more about cats’ relationship with snow, keep reading while we discuss how cats deal with snow and how you can help them enjoy it.

Do Cats Like Snow?

Indoor Cats

Most indoor cats prefer to stay out of the snow if given a choice. Despite their heavy coat, cats usually prefer to stay in warmer environments. While not true in every case, indoor cats that spend a lot of time on the porch during the summer months will start to stay in more as the temperature drops, long before the snow arrives. These cats often refuse to venture outside, even briefly, once the snow comes.

a scottish fold cat's unusual sitting position
Image Credit: zossia, Shutterstock

Outside and Feral Cats

If you allow your cat to go outside unrestricted, they likely have a territory to watch over and will continue to go out undeterred by the snow. Feral cats don’t have the luxury of a warm home, and they will likely find a warm spot to hide when things get too chilly. Snow for these cats is likely a nuisance like it is for humans, but their thick coats of fur can protect them from cold temperatures.

Snow Is Better Than Rain

Your cat probably prefers snow to rain because rain is more likely to penetrate the fur. Once the fur is wet, a cat can become cold. Wet fur is also heavier, and the cat must expend more energy to move around. With snow, only the cat’s paws and legs are likely to get wet since they can shake off the rest, so there is much less water in the fur, allowing the cat to stay warmer and remain lightweight.

nebelung cat in snow
Image Credit: Piqsels

Do Any Cats Like Snow?

Some larger cat breeds native to areas that receive a lot of snow may enjoy playing in the snow. Snow-loving cat breeds include the Maine Coon, Scottish Fold, Norwegian Forest Cat, Russian Blue, Himalayan, and Persian. If you have one of these breeds, you probably have a different experience than most cat owners regarding cold weather and snow.

How Cold Is Too Cold for My Cat?

Most experts suggest that when the temperature is continuously below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s time to bring the pet inside or provide them with a warm shelter that they can use if they get cold so that hypothermia doesn’t set in. Signs that your cat is getting too cold include shivering violently, difficulty breathing, cold skin, lethargy, and even loss of consciousness.

snowshoe kitten
Image Credit: EVasilieva, Shutterstock

How Can I Keep My Cat Safe in Snowy Weather?

Keep It Indoors

The best way to keep your cat safe during snowy weather is to keep them indoors until the storm passes. Even outdoor shelters can be dangerous because whiteout conditions can cause your cat to become disoriented and unable to find their way home. Cats kept indoors will not get lost or need to worry about sudden temperature drops.

abyssinian cat by the window
Image Credit: Pixabay

Outdoor Shelter

If your cat insists on spending time outside in the snow, we highly recommend building or purchasing a shelter. Several commercial brands are available, and you can place heating pads in the interior to add an extra layer of warmth and comfort for your pet.

As we mentioned earlier, while your cat might not be able to find shelter in a whiteout, it’s more likely that other animals looking for shelter will move in, causing a territorial dispute that might be dangerous to your cat.

Final Thoughts

Most cats prefer to avoid snow, but they are quite capable of surviving in it, and you shouldn’t let their distaste for it sway your opinion against getting a cat if you live in the North. However, several species, including the Main Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat, prefer cold weather. However, allowing your cat to go outdoors unrestricted is dangerous for many other reasons besides cold weather, and keeping them indoors is our recommendation.

We hope you have enjoyed this short guide and it has helped answer your questions. If we have helped you understand your pet better, please share our look into if cats like snow on Facebook and Twitter.

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Featured Image Credit: Konstantin Zaykov, Shutterstock

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