The winter of 2017 and 2018 has been one of the harshest on record, particularly throughout the eastern and central United States. Chilling Arctic winds have been rushing across the continent nonstop, leading to the setting of many record lows. Residents from Wisconsin to New York have suffered through this freezing cold, not to mention the lower average temperatures observed throughout the entire country. If you own a cat, you are probably concerned about your feline’s well-being in these types of temperature extremes. They can be negatively affected by this type of weather, particularly if they are outdoor-dwelling cats. For example, even short-term exposure to extreme lows can result in frostbite.
Whether you have an indoor, outdoor, or indoor-outdoor cat, you should take care to ensure that your pet has a warm place to relax out of the elements. However, if you are considering adopting a new cat there wouldn’t be any harm in finding one of a breed meant to withstand cold conditions. To learn more about these hardy felines, read this list of Twenty Cat Breeds Perfect for Cold Weather.
Siberia has one of the harshest environments on the planet. The extreme cold of Siberian forests can only be navigated by the hardiest of animals. They also gave rise to the Siberian Forest Cat, a breed also known as the Moscow Semi-Longhair. These cats lived alongside humans for a while, and over time slowly assimilated into the human population. They are a landrace variety, which essentially means that their domestication was gradual rather than intentional. As time passed, they sought the warmth and accommodation of people. In turn, they kept rodent populations down. The Siberian Forest cat has a thick, luxurious triple coat that helps them to survive even the harshest of climates. The layer closest to their body is down, which provides excellent insulation. The next layer is awn hairs, which keep the down close to the body to enhance the insulating effects. Finally, the guard hairs break up wind and are water-resistant.