Cold, cold, cold.... what do you do for your outdoor cats? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Cold, cold, cold.... what do you do for your outdoor cats?

It's been very cold here at night. Down to the zero degree fahrenheit mark. Our Alice has a comfy, blanketed spot in our garage where she spends a lot of time in the winter but I worry that it's still not warm enough. This morning her water dish was frozen solid and it sits right beside where she sleeps.

Essentially, she sleeps in a chair covered in a heavy sheep skin with a blanket cocoon wrapped around her, but I'd like to add some sort of heat source that is safe. I've thought of an electric blanket but the Missus worries about it being a fire hazard.

What do you do? Thoughts?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 09:41 AM
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Plow and Hearth has a great cuddle bed
Round Microfiber Cat Bed - Plow & Hearth
or google "heated cat beds". Don't use an electric blanket - it could get too warm. Use a dedicated cat bed or warmer - or both. Unless you have a risk of flooding, or rodents chewing through a power cord I wouldn't worry about an electrical connection.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 09:50 AM
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My feral cats have a hut made out of straw bales in the barn. It is insulated on the bottom, piled up with straw and on top is a down sleeping bag for them to crawl under. The roof is also bales. I can tell by the nests in the straw that they use it. I have a few similar beds upstairs in the barn.
It's cold here too in upstate NY - about 7 degrees overnight yesterday. The cats know that when I show up with their food they'll also get a full dish of water. It will freeze over, but they'll all have time to drink. There is also a stream they drink from.
I stay away from cotton comforters, etc. The down bags, throws and old jackets I use are all nylon and don't hold moisture.
I think your cat will be fine. Plenty of food and water is key.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 10:19 AM
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A couple years ago, I bought some mats at Petco or Petsmart that reflect a cat's heat (nonelectric). I got them for my then-elderly cat, who was inside but liked to sit next to the somewhat drafty patio door.

It might have been this, though this doesn't say it reflects heat
Mysterious Purr Pad By Fleximat - Mats, Pads & Blankets - Beds - PetSmart

My cat ignored them. They did smell funny when I took them out of the package. I washed them and put them in a closet. I think I need to donate them to my humane soceity the next time I go over there.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 10:26 AM
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I made a house for Midnight, the wild cat, out of a box and rigid foam insulation for his use in the garage. It has a heating element on the floor. Also a heated water dish. He also has a litter box for when he is locked in at night. (rarely uses it) There is another insulated house under the porch in case he doesn't make it back by "closing time".

He still leaves for hours in below zero temps and snow.


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldtanker View Post
He also has a litter box for when he is locked in at night. There is another insulated house under the porch in case he doesn't make it back by "closing time".

Goldtanker:

Several people have mentioned in posts their intention of "locking" a cat in the garage overnight. As the warden of such a set-up, how does Midnight react to being locked up overnight? He does know he's been locked up, right? Have you ever locked him up longer than overnight? Curious.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 01:21 PM
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No problem for him. He has all the things he needs - and of course he is tired from his travels. When I come down in the morning (0500, old retired guy) sometimes he is still in his house. I feed him, open the door and he leaves - comes back in about three hours to eat some more and leaves again. In the winter, I hook the door so it is open just enough so he can fit in. (But not those big fat racoons). Summertime, he uses the outside house under the porch at night,



but still comes into the garage to use the cool cement as a "heat sink".




He doesn't mind being in the garage because that is his place.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 01:33 PM
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The last pic is a hoot! I won't even try to put a caption to it.

I would have thought that, at least initially, no cat would like being locked inside. Our garage cats come and go all night long and spend the day sleeping which is a good thing in the city burbs. The few times that I've locked the cat door on them overnight ( Halloween for one) they weren't happy.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 01:51 PM
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Actually, that last pic was a photo arranged by Midnight when he staged an accident scene and contacted 1-800-lawyers. He was attempting to force me to give in to his demand to install cable TV in his garage house!

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nan View Post
A couple years ago, I bought some mats at Petco or Petsmart that reflect a cat's heat (nonelectric). I got them for my then-elderly cat, who was inside but liked to sit next to the somewhat drafty patio door.

It might have been this, though this doesn't say it reflects heat
Mysterious Purr Pad By Fleximat - Mats, Pads & Blankets - Beds - PetSmart

My cat ignored them. They did smell funny when I took them out of the package. I washed them and put them in a closet. I think I need to donate them to my humane soceity the next time I go over there.
I bought the same thing and my cats also ignore them. I figured it was the fabric - kinda fuzzy.
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