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Too Cold?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello! First time poster, occasional lurker.

Last week, we bought a pet carrier for our cat, because we live in an apartment, and due to this being Christmas time, fires are more rampant than any other time of the year, especially where we live in a building where three-bedroom apartments have actual fireplaces. So, just incase there's a fire, we can grab our cat, lock the cage, and run down the staircase with him safely locked away.

Anyways, because my cat was once a stray (my mom found him in October 2003), he goes to our balcony door and front door and starts "chirping" (he's part Maine Coon, part Domestic Longhair). We felt kind of bad for him, and wished we could take him outside, but we were scared he would run away.

Well, now that we have the carrier, all fear is gone.

Now, I have a younger brother in grade five, and it seems all the kids in his class, including the teacher, are cat fanatics (the teacher owns twelve cats). Today, being the last day of school before the Christmas holidays -- well, that warrants a party, does it not?

My brother, his friends, and his teacher all want me to bring our cat over for entertainment. I took him out in his cage this morning (this was the first time he's left the building since he came last October), and he was fine. He saw people, and he wasn't scared. We set the carrier down on the ground, and he was sticking his paws out playing with the snow. Mind you, we live in Canada -- an Arctic Hell in the winter, and an African desert in the summer. After two minutes, mine and my brother's faces were freezing, and we were scared that our cat would get frost bite, so we took him back in.

My question is: My cat is about four or five-years-old, and he's part Maine Coon, and part Domestic Longhair. He survived for three or four years out by himself when he was a stray before we found him, but right now, I'm not sure if this kind of weather is okay for him to be out in. Right now, the weather is about -15 degrees C, and the winds are about 35 KM/h. After two minutes, I lost feeling in my face, but I'm not sure about my cat. Is it okay for him to be out in this kind of weather? I mean, his recent ancestors evolved in harsh blizzards and such, so is it okay for him...?

Sorry for the really long post, by the way, hehe. Er, if possible, would I be able to get a reply as soon as possible? His party is in three hours, so I'd REALLY appreciate it if I could get an answer before then, please?

post #2 of 6

As a fellow Canadian who also lived in Southern Ontario until recently, I can offer some advice.

While your cat used to be an outdoor cat, right now he is acclimitized to being indoors. He hasn't had exposure to the increasingly colder temperatures, and so even though he has a longer coat, he doesn't have a winter-thick coat that would grow in response to the cold temperatures. He can accommodate being out in colder weather for short periods of times, but the pads of his feet and his ears especially are very susceptible to frostbite. If you are carrying him somewhere and he is only going to be outside for the duration of the travel, make sure his carrier has something soft and warm on the bottom, and you can cover it with a blanket or towel to stop the wind going through. If you are walking, you may be able to 'hug' the carrier close to your own body as well so that will help a bit. His body heat should be sufficient for a short period of time to keep him warm enough. If you are driving, he should be okay in the car for the necessary time. He should not be outside for any length of time, though. He just isn't acclimitized to the cold. Make sure the carrier is fastened shut and will not accidentally open.

As well, make sure that he has some type of identification on him such as a collar with his name and address. When he is in the classroom, make sure that the door remains closed at all time - the last thing you want is for your cat to panic and run off and get outside into this weather.

Hope everything goes well:-). Let us know when yo get back, ok?
post #3 of 6
Just a further concern . . .

Your brother's teacher has 12 cats . . . she isn't bringing one of her cats over?

I guess I do have a bit of concern that your cat is the 'entertainment' at a party. I don't know how social your cat is, but that is a very stressful situation for many cats. Are you absolutely sure that he is up to all of these people in an absolutely strange environment? Are you able to leave with him right away if he gets frightened or stressed?

I am not convinced that this is a really good idea. What does your Mom say, by the way?

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Oh, he's a very social cat. I've brought a few friends over before, and he's purred and rubbed against their legs. Actually, when he was a stray, and I first saw him (I thought he belonged to someone at the time), the garbage truck rolled by beside him, blaring its horns, and he was just sitting on the sidewalk, asleep.

I blast my speakers sometimes, and there he is, sleeping like a rock. It's hard to startle him, and he's not scared of strangers at all.

He's not going to be there for entertainment exactly. I'm planning to arrive there with our cat about thirty minutes before school ends, so I can walk my brother home, so we won't be there very long.

The reason they want to see my cat so bad is because of all the tales my brother tells the class about him. Like the time he climbed up my body, or the time he took the phone off the receiver and pressed re-dial, and then started chirping when my friend (who he knows) said hello, etc. Plus, the fact that we named him after two Pokémon is intriguing to the kids, for some reason.

Edit: Oh yeah, my mom is actually the one who's forcing me to take him. I didn't really agree with it, but she says it's alright.

Edit 2: Oh, sorry, I missed your first post. Thanks for the advice. He has a lot of hair sticking out of his paws, so I'm sure that may help a bit. I did put a blanket to line the bottom of the carrier this morning, and I did hold it in such a way that he was close to my chest. I also told my brother to tell his teacher that if I do decide to come this afternoon with our cat (I said I may come, depending on the weather), to close the windows and door.

Thanks for the advice, though.
post #5 of 6

He sounds pretty bomb-proof then:-) - I have one of those as well - so social he thinks he is actually a dog and has to greet everyone.

Well, I think you have addressed the situation, and it sounds like you shouldn't have any problems then. I am glad that you are considering the weather - if it deteriorates and becomes squally at least you know you can always not go. Good luck, and stay warm.

post #6 of 6
I also live near the Mississauga area and our Siamese Bijou absolutely cries to go outside with my husband. He has been taking him out on a leash for short periods and letting him play in the snow. This silly cat loves it! I would think he'd be too cold but apparently not. He'll sit at the door and make that loud pitiful Siamese cry until my husband puts on his harness and takes him out on his leash.
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