Small Pets

can cats die from cold

Can Cats Die from Cold?

Cats are known to be relatively hardy animals and much of the time, they can withstand pretty low temperatures. While cats can generally withstand colder temperatures than humans can, there is an important point to consider: can cats die from cold?

Why Cats Cannot Tolerate Extreme Cold

Cats lack the ability to generate their own body heat and this impacts their ability to withstand extreme cold temperatures. Every living being needs to maintain a certain internal body temperature and cats are no exception. However unlike humans, most cats cannot generate body heat or regulate it externally. This is due to their smaller size relative to humans and other mammals.

Signs That a Cat Is Too Cold

There are a few tell‐tale signs that your cat may be too cold:

  • Shivering: The most obvious sign that a cat is too cold is for them to start shivering. Just like a human, when cats are cold, their muscles start to shake in order to help generate body heat.
  • Lethargic behavior: If a cat is exposed to cold temperatures for an extended period of time, their bodies will start to shut down in order to conserve energy and their behavior will become lethargic. They may become less active and cling to warm surfaces.
  • Hair Standing Up: When a cat is cold, they will start to fluff up their fur coat in an attempt to trap and hold in body heat.

Can Cats Die from Cold?

Sadly, the answer is “yes” if a cat is exposed to extremely cold temperatures for an extended period of time. If your cat is showing any signs of cold, it is important to act quickly and get them to a warm and safe place.

You should also consider getting your cat some warm clothing such as a coat, sweater, or blanket. This may help to keep them warm outside in cold weather, but it is important to be sure to supervise your cat if they are wearing clothing as they can become tangled in it.

It is also a good idea to provide your cat with a warm place to sleep such as a heated pet bed. This will ensure that your cat is kept safe and warm during cold weather.


While cats are usually fairly hardy and can handle colder temperatures than humans, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with extremely cold temperatures. If your cat is showing signs that they may be too cold, make sure to act quickly and get them to a warm place. Providing your cat with warm clothing and a heated pet bed to sleep on can also help to keep them warm and safe during cold weather.

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