Porky and Buddy Pet Health – How Cold Is ‘Too Cold’?

Porky and Buddy

Dear Porky and Buddy,
Our cat, Stella, likes to go outside at night.

We try to call her back before we go to bed.

But as you can imagine, “STELLA, STELLLAAAA,” gets old fast.

Sometimes she comes, sometimes she doesn’t.

My question is – how cold is too cold for me to give up and go to bed?


Dear Lisa,
We’re not going to lecture you in this column about whether to let your cat go outside at all.

Been there, done that.

She goes outside.

We assume she is spayed so not likely to fall prey to a wandering Tom and that she is up to date on her shots.

So how cold is too cold for you to not give up and stay up until you get her back inside?

Cats are pretty well adapted for cold weather.

But, like most domesticated animals, when the temperature dips below freezing, like it did recently, they are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite.

During periods of intense cold weather, Stella might go looking for a warm place to stay until she decides to come home.

Building an outside shelter for her to use in a pinch is one way to avoid problems (and get some sleep).

The shelter should be large enough that she can turn around in it and can be constructed of wood or with plastic bins with holes cut in the side for an entrance.

Elevating the shelter off the ground and providing warm bedding inside will help Stella to retreat to safety from the bitter cold.

For an added luxury, there are safe outdoor heating pads.

We assume she is already spoiled so just look on Amazon.

Without a safe haven of warmth, and after you have gone to bed, Stella might go looking for other warm, covered places, such as under the hood of your car.

The engine can put off heat for hours after it has been turned off, but if the car is started while she is hidden away, well, you can imagine.

We don’t want you to have to live with that guilt.

So, you need to either stay up and get her in on really cold nights or you have to come up with a sheltering plan.

We invite you to come to our Photo with Santa event on December 1.

Bring your family and pets for a photo for only $5.

We will send you a digital copy for your convenience!

Please bring your animal on a leash or in a carrier and provide rabies information.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

Located at 29 W. Seneca St., Oswego, NY.

Phone: 315-207-1070.

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.oswegohumane.org

Follow us on Instagram @oswego_humane!

Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other.

New York State Registered Shelter/Rescue-Registration No. RR239