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Aged, sick, and hairless cats and those with thinner coats are more susceptible to cold than other cats. Cats that have undergone surgery are also at greater risk. This is because of the anesthesia administered during surgery, which slows down blood circulation, heart rate, thereby causing low body temperature in cats.
Low body temperatures can lead to hypothermia in cats, which can be serious and even fatal if normal body temperature is not restored in time. The normal body temperature in cats is between 1000 F and 1020 F. Anything below this temperature is considered low body temperature.
Timely treatment can be life-saving for cats that experience low body temperatures. It is therefore crucial to identify the signs of low body temperature and take immediate remedial action.
Here are some key signs of low body temperatures in cats:
Your Cat is Shivering
Cats do not usually shiver. So, spotting shivering should be easy. Shivering should be taken seriously because it is often the initial symptom of hypothermia. Shivering occurs because cats contract their muscles to keep themselves warm.
It is important to bring back your cat’s body temperature to a normal level as soon as possible. Otherwise, this condition can soon lead to reduced blood flow and heart rate, and in the worst case, death.
Your Cat is Seeking Hotter Places
The first thing a cold cat does is to seek hot places to keep itself warm. If your cat is lying on top of a radiator or resting next to a fireplace, then he is probably cold.
Your Cat is Running for Shelter
If you see your cat desperately seeking shelter under blankets, beds, curtains, and cushions, then it could be cold. Just like human beings, cats want to warm themselves up when they are cold, which is why they resort to hiding under objects that can give them warmth.
If your cat keeps snuggling in your lap or spends a majority of its time in heated places such as a vent, then your cat is most likely cold.
Some cats may want to snuggle up their masters all the time. If this behavior is normal with your cat, then he may not be cold. But if he is snuggling up to you and seeking hotter places frequently and this is an abnormal behavior for your cat, then warm him up immediately.
Abnormal Changes in the Body
Touch the tips of the nose, ears, and tail, of your cat. If they are cold to the touch, then your cat could be cold. Additionally, if your cat seems lethargic, it is highly likely that your cat is cold.
Left unidentified, these symptoms could lead to more serious symptoms, including shallow breathing and dilated pupils, in which case you’ll have to contact your vet immediately.
If you find your cat cold, take preliminary steps such as draping him in a duvet. Protect him from the coldness of the floor with soft, warm cushions. Using a thermal blanket is good. Some preventive measures to protect your cat from cold include giving him high-fat foods and removing mats regularly. A high-fat diet puts a thicker coat on your cat, which provides good protection from cold. A cleaner matt-free fur offers greater protection too.