No man is defeated without until he has first been defeated within. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Question #41428 posted on 12/12/2007 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

We have a cat in our house in Portland, Oregon. He is an indoor and outdoor cat and is pretty active. However, when nighttime comes around he is too active and we all want to sleep. So we put him outside, where his food and water is also.

This works great in the summer. However, in the winter it gets in the 20s but he still seems to do great and does't have any problems.

My question is how does he survive? I could have sworn I read somewhere pets can't handle being in the cold that long. Where do most outdoor cats go during the night; does he have a secret warm spot? Are cats comfortable in cold weather for extended periods of time?

I think that as soon as we let him out he runs to another house that has sympathy for him and lets him in. (Ha Ha) He is an awesome cat, so that would explain it.

- Mike Vick the Convict

A: Dear Convict-

Yikes. I don't even like cats, and this question worries me. Take care of your pets, man.

Temperature tolerance is obviously going to vary with breed. I mean, obviously, a hairless cat isn't going to last very long, right? I would guess your cat has a pretty thick coat to withstand those temperatures all night.

As well, cats can and will find "secret warm spots" to curl up in. This site warns that... oh, heck, I'll quote the whole section. It's short.

If your pet spends a lot of time outdoors, let him get acclimated gradually to dropping temperatures. Once a pet is acclimated to either warm or cold, a long dose of the other extreme is hard to take. Outdoor pets need a sheltered place that is well bedded with DRY straw, shavings, blanket strips or other insulating material that traps warm air. Also, remember that animals drag a lot of moisture into their bedding areas from snow, rain and mud. Check it often and change it whenever it is wet, or your pets can't keep themselves warm.

Most cats prefer to spend winter indoors, but be cautious if your cat likes being outside. Don't let him out in bitterly cold weather, and be sure he has a warm place to go if he spends a lot of time outdoors. Cats left outdoors have a particular hazard; they often crawl into a warm car engine to get warm. When that engine is next started up, the cat can be seriously injured or killed by the fan blade or belt. It's much safer to keep your cat indoors in winter. For more cold weather information for your pets, talk to your veterinarian.

So, there you have it. Unless you seriously hate your cat/ are in to animal abuse, I'd bring that kitty inside for the night time. If overactivity is a big concern, try closing a door or two to limit your pet to a certain area of the house. That way, he can't bug you while you sleep and you won't wake up to a feline popsicle, either.