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Can Domestic cats live outdoors in below freezing weather?

We live in MT where it regularly gets below freezing and below 0 degrees in the winter. Can our domestic cats survive outdoors? They are cats from hell (trust me!) so they make life indoors miserable, but my husband loves them and won't let me get rid of them...


Asked by AimeeLW at 3:16 PM on Oct. 24, 2008 in Pets

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Answers (12)
  • Give them somewhere warm and sheltered to get in out of the weather. A doghouse with some straw inside may help. It shouldn't be too large, but large enough for them all to get in and move around some, being close together will help keep them warm. If you can, put a lightbulb in to warm it, but don't get the straw up against the bulb. Keep them well fed and put out fresh water for them several times a day. Check their ears and paw pads every day for frostbite or freezing damage.

    Answer by pagan_mama at 3:39 PM on Oct. 24, 2008

  • Stray cats do all the time. I wouldn't see any reason why domestic cats couldn't. The only issue is have the ever been outside. If not then they might not survive.

    Answer by TheDiva320 at 3:17 PM on Oct. 24, 2008

  • A domestic cat that has lived indoors for long periods of time MAY (and that's a BIG may) survive in below freezing but will most likely die in below zero temperatures. Poor kitties...simple frown


    Answer by AvasMommy810 at 3:21 PM on Oct. 24, 2008

  • They can survive. if they are really old they may have a harder time but if they are still young they will learn how to adapt. If you want to put them out side though I wouldn't throw them out in the dead of winter. Put them out now so they get used to it. Maybe indoor out door cats for a little while. And if you do have aplace they can go out side like a garage, barn, shed make them a warm corner or box or something. Feed them out there and they will realize that that is a safe place they can retreat to if need be.

    Answer by abigail.shafer at 4:00 PM on Oct. 24, 2008

  • One of our cats decided he wanted to be an outdoor cat. He just WOULD NOT come inside anymore. That was 4 years ago. We are in the Midwest, but the winters here get below freezing for long periods, too. If the cats have somewhere to get out of the weather, food and water, they can survive. He gets this amazing thick fur for winter - doesn't even look like the same cat. However, he is very happy to be outside all the time. I agree with the other ladies - provide some shelter, food & unfrozen water - they should be fine.

    Answer by greenergypsy at 4:12 PM on Oct. 24, 2008

  • How about a garage or shed?

    Answer by Nunyabiznes at 7:38 PM on Oct. 24, 2008

  • My cats moved outside over the summer. The dogs ran them out. I miss them. :( It rarely gets below freezing here, but it gets pretty cold. We leave the garage door open for them and put food and water in there. They seem to be fine. I do miss my kitties though!

    Answer by FertMert at 11:19 PM on Oct. 24, 2008

  • Ever heard of barn cats? They'll be fine. The small doghouse with bedding in it is a good idea, I would go with a door flap before a light bulb though. I might also try a nice fleecy bed (the wraparound kind) before straw, because a house cat isn't likely to enjoy the feel of the straw.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:28 PM on Oct. 25, 2008

  • strays and demostics are diffrent types of cats a demostic should b ok as long as u have shelter 4 him/her..

    Answer by Kittty_Katt at 1:03 PM on Oct. 25, 2008

  • KK:

    A stray is just a lost domestic cat. Hence the title "stray". There are different breeds of cats in the world, but any one of them can become a stray. Just like dogs.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:48 PM on Oct. 25, 2008