To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold. –Aristotle
As I write this piece, my thermometer reads 29 degrees, and outside my house in Brooklyn, 10 inches of snow has just fallen.
If you're feeling the effects of a winter storm, too, I hope you are cuddled under a blanket with your favorite hot beverage and a kitty to keep you company.At our place, all the pets soak up the heat on days like today.
The winter wonderland outside got me thinking about outdoor cats and snow, though. Do cats like snow, or would they prefer to bask at a sensible distancefrom a heat source?
Snow + the average cat = boo!
Cats aren't usually snow lovers. These animals originated in the desert, and they generally prefer dry climates. Sticky, cold, wet stuff squishing up betweentheir paw pads isn't most cats' idea of fun and frolic.
But cats are highly individual creatures. Knowing one cat's preferences just means you know that single animal's opinion. The other 200 million-plus cats inthe world have at least 300 million different opinions among them.
What if your cat isn't average?
Over time, some breeds have adapted to chilly weather by growing thicker fur. Norwegian or Siberian Forest Cats, for instance, may not feel much of frigidwinter conditions under their luxurious coats.
Some of these cats seem to find snow irresistible and will go leaping through drifts until they're exhausted. Others try to catch the soft flakes falling on theirnoses. All these cats seem to belong to people who take amazing photographs, too, which lets the rest of us enjoy their shenanigans.
If you have a cat that wants to compete in her own personal winter Olympics, remember to stay nearby while she's playing. Cats are delicate animals withmany natural predators.
Do you have a cat that relishes a frolic in the snow? Post a picture on Instagram and tag us @Modkat so we can see the fun.
4 cautions for cats and cold weather.
Cats can suffer injury, illness, or even death when temperatures fall below freezing. Kittens, senior cats, and kitties with chronic diseases are especiallyvulnerable to hypothermia. Here are some tips to keep your kitty safe during a cold spell:
Never leave a cat alone in a car on a cold day. Hypothermia is as deadly as a heat stroke.
Feral cats or pets who live outside will often crawl under car hoods to get warm during a cold snap. To avoid a terrible accident, bang on the hood before starting your car.
Keep a close eye on your indoor cat if he's a heat hound. The open flames in a fireplace or the coils on a heater can prove irresistibly attractive to some curious pets. A screen and a comfy bed set a safe distance away should do the trick.
If you take your pet — cat or dog — out for a quick trip in the snow, be sure to wipe off their coat and paws when they come back in the house. Grit, ice crystals, and water droplets can cling to their fur.
Excuse me, I have to move my cat off my lap so I can take the dog out for a walk.