How Cold Can Cats Survive Outside?

The ultimate goal of everyone who wants to learn about weather patterns is to prevent their household from suffering during harsh weather.

The average American household gets most of its winter enjoyment from the outdoors. However, not all homeowners have the same climate.

Some live what it’s like to have colder winters than others, and these lucky people can expect their cats to stay active even during freezing temperatures. So, how cold can cats survive outside?

Of course, no cat owner wants their kitty to go outside in extremely cold temperatures. However, some felines are able to stay outside even when it’s below freezing outside.

These kitties require certain precautions and conditions in order to survive harsh winters. For instance, cold weather kitties should wear a coat to provide extra warmth.

In addition, these cats should have access to a warm shelter while they are outside. Cats that have access to a warm house will not have to worry much about cold weather!

Let’s explore more!

How Cold Can Cats Survive Outside?

Although most cats can tolerate cold temperatures effectively, there are some that are naturally more adept at handling extreme temperatures.

How cold can cats withstand outdoors is usually dictated by their genetics and environmental exposure.

In general, outdoor cats can manage lower temperatures better compared to indoor cats.

How Long Can Cats Survive In Cold Weather?

Younger cats may be able to tolerate extreme temperatures better than older cats.

It will also be determined on how frequently a cat has to go outside.

They’ll need more calories if a cat has to go outside frequently.

It also depends on whether the outdoor environment is dry or moist.

Outside cats are more likely to be exposed to colder temperatures that indoor felines because of lack of insulation and shelter from the elements.

Can Cats Die In The Cold?

Hypothermia causes cats to lose heat faster than they can produce it, which may result in high levels of fatigue that results in hypothermia.

According to an early experiment, cats may die at temperatures as low as -10 F (-23 C).

Shorthaired cats that are elderly or in poor health are more prone to hypothermia.

If it’s too cold for you to comfortably go outside, it’s too cold for your felines.

Anyone feeding an outdoor feral cat colony in the winter should make sure there are adequate sources of food and clean water available throughout the winter months.

If you’re throwing a party or having guests around, make your cat’s safety a priority by keeping them indoors.

It’s acceptable to give your pet a cat treat or kitty treat once in a while, but too much of these fatty foods can cause obesity or obesity-related disorders in your cat.

How to Keep Outdoor Cats Safe During the Winter

Take the Cats to a Shelter

Shelters may accept the animal, but may have specific rules that may limit the amount of time the pet can be there.

If the cat cannot find their way home from the shelter, the cat may be euthanized after a period of time if the cat remains unclaimed.

Create an Outdoor Shelter

There are several DIY cat shelter ideas that you can use to keep outdoor cats warm and comfortable during the winter while avoiding the pitfalls of careless shelter construction.

It doesn’t have to be spectacular, but putting some thought and effort into this could mean the difference between life and death for an outdoor cat.

Allow Them to Remain in the Garage or Outbuilding

Allow the stray animals to reside in a detached garage or outbuilding on your property.

To prevent accidents, provide a litterbox and food and water Bowls for the cats to eat and drink water.

Place Straw Under Your Porch

You may place straw below a porch for the cats to stay warm.

Straw is a miraculous insulator and will keep any stray animals warm at night, providing that it stays dry.

Staying in straw might help your stray cats survive in the winter months, but you should never build a shelter that allows stray cats to congregate inside.

Get a Cat House

Outdoor cat shelters come in a variety of sizes and styles, but you won’t need to worry about the shelter being damaged by the elements if you choose a metal or insulated cat house.

You may have one that is as elaborate as this one, but you do not need one this complex to provide your cats with an insulated shelter.

How Do Stray Cats Survive the Winter Cold?

To stay warm in the winter, stray/feral cats need to remain clean and well groomed. Stray cats are wild creatures living in the woods or other places around the city without human companionship or care.

These cats won’t be able to survive the winter without a warm place to sleep and warm food to eat.

However, feral cats are moggies that aren’t socialized enough to be pets and tend to live in colonies with other cats.

These cats won’t die if they find themselves out in the cold since they’re used to living rough and wild.

Stray and feral cats can stay warm in the winter if they remain clean and keep themselves clean.

A cat’s fur coat is its primary insulator against the cold, so are stray and feral cats.

How Long Does It Take For A Cat To Die From Freezing?

A cat can survive in very cold weather if it is properly prepared.

The most significant threat a domesticated cat faces in winter is the freezing of its primary water source.

Hypothermia is a potentially fatal factor where the body temperature drops to levels at which the normal metabolic processes cannot continue and normal function ceases.

Hypothermia is possible if a cat is exposed for too long a time in normal temperatures to a cold environment, or to cold caused by immersion in cold water.

A cat’s thick coat to protect itself against cold air will help protect it from most dangers in extremely cold weather.

Can Domestic Cats Survive Outside?

Domestic cats can live outdoors in temperate climates, given food, water and shelter.

It is apparent that indoor cats have less resistance to live outside than outdoor cats.

These indoor cats will have minimal resistance to live outside because their immune systems have not been tested in the great outdoors.

In contrast, outdoor cats have a much more robust immune system because they have lived their entire lives outside. For this reason, it’s evident that indoor cats are more prone to diseases than outdoor cats.

Also See: How Many Kittens Usually Survive in a Litter?


Winter is a terrible season for cats, as cold weather forces them to remain in sheltered areas most of the time, and to find warm places to sleep during the nights.

While certain dogs are designed to be outdoor breeds, cat owners should keep felines indoors during the cold seasons, unless these animals are properly taken care of.

Allow your cat to remain in the garage or on the porch for a few hours a day, and make sure that it’s not too cold outside.

Cats do not tolerate cold as well, so keeping them inside is a good idea.