10 Cat Breeds That Are Great In Cold Weather

Cats are famous for enjoying warm temperatures. That’s why they like to hang out near ovens, heaters, radiators, and ultimate heat source – us humans. You can safely say that cats prefer warm weather, but there are certain breeds that thrive in cold climates.

So, if you live in a colder climate and plan to get a cat, take this into consideration. Try to get a breed that will easily adapt to lower temperatures. Of course, you should keep your cat inside regardless of the climate, but you still need to take it outside for a walk or play session. That’s why you should always look for breeds that won’t suffer in your climate. 

10 Cat Breeds That Can Stand The Cold

In general, all cold-resistant cat breeds have one thing in common: thick fur. The fur keeps the cat warm and serves as insulation against rain and snow. However, don’t confuse long for thick fur.

Some cats that have long furs don’t necessarily have thick furs as well. Similarly, cats with thick fur don’t always have long furs. While long fur certainly offers some degree of protection against cold, sometimes it can be too sparse. 

So, when looking for a cat that will thrive in the cold climate, look for cats with thick furs. Some of the best choices, in no particular order, are the following breeds:

1. Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian Forest Cat in the snow
Pieter Lanser from The Netherlands, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Since Norwegian forest cats evolved to survive harsh Scandinavian weather, they are one of the best breeds for cold climates. After all, if these cats can survive Norwegian winters, they can certainly survive and thrive during winters in your country.

Norwegian forest cats have both thick and long furs. Their fur has water-resistant guard hairs that protect the cat from rain and snow. Of course, during the winter, Norwegian forest cats have thicker furs, while in the summer, they shed some of that fur.

Additionally, Norwegian forest cats have even longer furs covering certain body parts, such as the chest, stomach, and tail. These body parts are particularly susceptible to winter, and having even more fur, there is another advantage of the Norwegian forest cat breed.  

Finally, Norwegian forest cats are one of the largest domesticated cats out there. Their size is another great asset in fighting the cold. Because of this, Norwegian forest cats are better at staying warm even when they are outside in the middle of winter. 

2. Maine Coon

White Maine Coon kitten, 3 months
Yannick Vallée, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another gigantic cat breed suitable for cold weather – the Maine Coon. Similar to Norwegian forest cats, Maine Coons have long and thick furs that are also waterproof. Apart from that, Maine Coon’s fur is longer on the lower body, allowing these cats to walk through and sit in the snow without getting cold. 

Additionally, Maine Coon cats have wide and strong paws, which allows them to walk across the snow without sinking. And let’s not forget that Maine Coon’s large and sturdy bodies are perfect for harsh winters. All in all, Maine Coon is another breed that’s perfect for cold climates. 

3. Siberian

A Siberian tabby cat sitting in snow
Bop34, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When a cat breed originates from one of the coldest places on Earth, Syberia, you can safely assume that this breed can deal with cold. Siberian cats have three-coated furs, which means their furs come in three layers.

Their outer coat is water-resistant, the inner coat serves as perfect insulation, and the middle coat keeps the inner coat tightly pressed against the body so that heat can’t escape. Siberian cats have large, rounded, and tufted paws that allow them to walk across the snow without sinking or getting cold. 

4. American Bobtail

American bobtail cat
torbakhopper, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

American Bobtail cats are best known for their short tails, but they are also a great choice for all cat owners who live in colder climates. These cats can be long-haired and short-haired, but both variants have thick undercoats that protect them against cold. 

They also have big and round paws, which allow them to walk on the snow effectively and without sinking. American Bobtail cats are medium-sized, sturdy, and rounded, and this is another advantage for surviving low temperatures. 

5. Himalayan 

Himalayan Male Cat
Kikion77, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Himalayas are another extremely cold region, so it makes no wonder that Himalayan cats are fully adapted to cold weather. These cats have thick and long furs, which makes them capable of surviving even the lowest temperatures. 

Additionally, Himalayan cats have a specific type of skin that produces more oil during the winter months. This skin oil further protects the cat against cold. Just like most other cats on this list, Himalayan cats have large and round paws, perfect for walking on the snow. 

6. Persian

Persian Cat
Bambooo, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Apart from being one of the most popular cat breeds in the world, Persian cats are also highly adaptable to cold temperatures. This is hardly surprising, given how fluffy and hairy Persian cats are!

These cats have long and thick furs that help them stay warm even when the temperatures are freezing cold. Persian cats have longer hairs on their bellies, which allows them to walk and even sit or lay on the snow without getting cold.  

7. Russian Blue

Russian Blue Cat
Doug Miller, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This breed is not like the others from this list. Russian Blue cats are always short-haired, but they still found their place on our list. Even though they aren’t long-haired, Russian Blue cats have double-coated and extremely thick fur. This protects them against winter and makes them perfect for cold climates.

The inner fur layer serves as insulation, while the outer fur layer is coarser and prevents water, snow, and dirt from reaching the cat’s skin. After all, if these cats can survive and thrive in Russia, they will be just as content in any other place with a cold climate. 

8. Ragdoll

Ragdoll from Gatil Ragbelas cattery in Brazil.
Simone Johnsson, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ragdoll cats have become extremely popular over the past few years, mostly because of how gentle and cute they are. However, these cats are also great pets for owners who live in colder areas. Ragdolls have thick and long furs that can keep them warm even when the temperatures are not so high

Still, it is worth noting that Ragdolls only have one coat of fur, which provides less protection than furs with two or three coats. With that in mind, you should keep your Ragdoll cat strictly indoors, especially when the temperatures become freezing. 

9. Scottish Fold

Scottish Fold Cat
Mihai Matei, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Scottish Fold is a relatively new and rare breed, unique because of its folded ears. This breed is also great for colder climates because it has a thick and usually long fur. The Scottish Fold fur is even longer and thicker around the ears, tail, thighs, and toes, which further helps the cat stay warm.  

10. Turkish Angora

Turkish Angora Cat
Franzioseph, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you are looking for a cat breed that can stand the cold while still looking extremely elegant and gracious, Turkish Angora cats are perfect for you. These cats have beautiful white semi-long and long furs that protect them against cold. 

How To Keep Your Cat Warm In Winter

Apart from getting yourself a breed that can withstand cold temperatures, there are some other things you can do to keep your cat warm and happy. First of all, the best way to keep your cat warm is to keep it indoors. 

Keeping your cat indoors will protect it against cold and the elements, but you should do it even when it isn’t cold outside. Indoor cats tend to live significantly longer than outdoor cats, so make sure that your cat doesn’t spend too much time outside, even when the weather is nice.

To make your house even warmer for your cat, you can buy a thermal cat bed or a heating pad. Your cat will love it! Alternatively, you can move your cat’s regular bed closer to the fireplace or heater. 

In winter, cats’ bodies burn more calories to stay warm. That’s why you should give your cat more food when the temperatures start dropping. Additionally, you can slightly heat your cat’s food because it will further help with staying warm. Of course, make sure that the food isn’t too hot.

Finally, pay more attention to your cat. You can do it by playing more often and longer. By jumping and running around, your cat will quickly get warm. Cuddle with your cat even more often than usual. Your body warmth will keep your cat warm as well. 

If you are comfortable with it, you can even allow your cat to sleep in your bed. Both of you will be warmer this way, and it is a great opportunity for bonding! 

Which Breeds Should You Avoid If You Live in A Cold Climate

Just like there are cat breeds that thrive in cold climates, there are also cat breeds that are more vulnerable to the cold. If you live in a cold climate, you shouldn’t get any of these breeds unless you can put even more effort into keeping them warm. 

Breeds that can’t adapt very well to cold climates are the breeds with thin and short furs and, of course, cats with no fur at all. Most of these cat breeds have evolved in hot and humid areas, where having too much fur could lead to overheating. That’s why they usually don’t have undercoats.

So, if your country or area gets really cold in the winter, avoid getting these cat breeds:

In general, all cats love warmth, even those that are better “equipped” for cold temperatures. Still, some cats are simply too vulnerable, unprotected, and exposed to be able to thrive in cold climates. Such cats are much more suited to live in hot climates.

Last Thoughts on Cold Climate Cat Breeds

Cats are naturally more inclined to live in warmer climates. However, several breeds have adapted to colder temperatures. If you live in a place with harsh and long winters, you probably wonder whether you should get a cat and which breed.

The answer is yes, you can get a cat even if you live in a really cold place, but make sure to choose a breed that can handle the cold. Look for breeds with thick and long furs. Apart from choosing the right breed, there are also several other things you can do to keep your cat warm. With a little bit of effort and research, your cat will be warm and cozy!