Enjoying Winter Adventures

Updated: Mar 10

Just because the temperature dips and the snow starts to fall, it doesn't mean you need to stay inside. Remember these handy tips and you and your kitty will have an enjoyable - and comfortable - time outside in the winter.

Check the Weather

We live in Ontario, Canada where we typically have cold, snowy winters and the temperature dips below 0 degrees celsius. If it is mild (above 0 degrees celsius) and sunny, we will plan for a winter adventure at a nearby park. However, if it is below 0 degrees with a windchill, we will opt for a quick outing on our exclosed terrace or even our backyard, on leash. When it's this cold, Fox and Frankie will only stay out for five minutes or so at a time before they come in. Though it's only a short duration, being outside helps to break up the pace of the day and offers great mental stimulation for the kittens.

Dress Appropriately

So far, we have found that Fox and Frankie's thick, long hair provides ample warmth. However, some cats with shorter hair may need winter jackets or sweaters. For more information about selecting a sweater or jacket for your cat, this article is helpful.

Always bring your Backpack or Carrier

Going to the park and the trail, especially after a snowfall can be a fun experience for both you and your cat. As usual, bring your backpack. A backpack or carrier is a must for winter adventures, particularly if you're venturing out in the snow. Unless your cat absolutely enjoys the cold snow, they will spend a lot of time in the backpack, or you will carry them! Speaking of backpacks, we usually line the backpack with a blanket that adds warmth and we bring a small towel to dry wet paws. When we are on the trail, Fox and Frankie enjoy being on leash for a limited time. They are still getting used to the snow, and every time we go out, they stay longer each time.

Know when it's time to go inside

Generally speaking, if you are cold, then chances are, your cats are cold too. Here's a great article that goes into more detail about signs to watch for when your cat gets cold. For Fox and Frankie, we find that when they sit down on the trail, in the snow, and refuse to move, we know it's time for them to go back into their backpacks and head home.

Other ways to enjoy the outdoors in the winter with your cats

While walks in the backpack are great for the trail and for avoiding salt on paws, stroller walks are great on the roads. Like the backpack, when we take Fox and Frankie out in the stroller in the cooler months, we usually line the bottom with warm blankets. Fox and Frankie's stroller is built like a running stroller with all-terrain wheels. This design is especially practical in the winter when there is a combination of snow, ice and puddles.

When you get home from a Winter Adventure

For cats that live in climes where there is no snow, then there will be no need to clean off salt or winter debris from paws or fur. But for adventure cats that live in climates that receive snow, it is important to wipe off paws when returning home. Wiping paws after an outdoor winter adventure not only helps to remove salt, but also keeps your house clean. As mentioned above, we always keep a towel handy in Fox and Frankie's backpacks as well as a couple of towels by the front door when we go outside for this very reason.

Like all adventures, each time you go out is a learning opportunity and if you're new or if your cats are experiencing cool temperatures for the first time, take it slow and watch their body language. Happy adventuring!

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