For this winter : lowest temperature in my flat and the health of my pets


So being unemployed since March and kind of poor, I try to use energy as less as possible. I finally got the habit of taking cold showers, which makes me use no gas heating.

And this winter, I’ll have to lower my former standards of room temperature. My question is, temperature-wise, how low can I go for the sake of my pets’ health ?

(I have two cats, one rabbit and one guinea pig.)

Thanks you.

Guinea pig temps are the only problematic ones, needing between 12 and 20 C.

Cats and rabbits–generally speaking, if you’re comfortable, so are they. Rabbits live outdoors in hutches in the winter, you know, and there are millions of feral cats that survive Northern Tier state winters.

How cold are you planning on keeping your domicile this winter? Setting the thermostat down to 68F won’t affect your critters. Give the guinea pig a big pile of hay or straw to snuggle down in.

Welcome Black Duck!

First of all, the standard disclaimer, i am not a vet or any real expert of any kind. I have however kept cats, rabbits and guinea pigs for a while. So take my opinion for what it’s worth.

Cats - yeah they seem to like cosy places but remember they do have fur and are generally quite content being outdoors even in pretty cool weather. Like most furred animals they have the ability to vary their fur due to seasonal changes and will likely adapt to your new standards.

Rabbits & Cavies - We used to keep ours in a shed outside all year round. Scotland isn’t quite as misebale as some folks reckon but i guess we probably got down to about a couple of degrees below zero (celcius) outdoors. I have no idea about the internal shed temperature but it wasn’t heated other than by the occupants themselves so i’d be surprised if it didn’t get down to about a few degrees above freezing on some nights. No problems although we always made sure they had extra generous bedding material during winters and we had several who could huddle together for warmth if needed.

Bottom line - i’d be surprised if your animal health suffers before yours does. How low are you talking exactly?

Around 13°C ; in fact, my first winter in this flat, the heating system was not correctly set and that was indeed the lowest temperature that was attained. Cats and others were fine, but I’m a natural born worrier.

Your answers sort of confirmed what I thought, that in fact I, with my absence of fur, was the only animal to worry about :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, how old are the cats? Older cats or kittens have different tolerances.

As long as cats have a place to shelter out of the wind and food + water, they can live outdoors year round in most climates. In his teens my parents’ cat lived outdoors through a couple of New York winters, with temps below freezing and occasionally below 0F.

Considering that “spot out of the wind/rain” is sufficient for outdoor living, any type of indoor living is suitable for cats. When I was real broke, and I only had electric baseboard heat, I kept my house at about 50F (pretty much, just warm enough that the pipes didn’t freeze). I put my couch in the warmest spot, weather-sealed the windows and hung curtains, and watched TV under a cover. The kitties grew thick fur but didn’t mind a bit.

You should wear a warm hat, and dry warm socks, and of course layers on the rest of you. I’m amazed at how cold I can camp (in a summer tent, with no sleeping bag, just blankets) if my head is covered and my feet are dry.

The critters’ll be fine, I’m sure. You might have a few more bedmates than you anticipated, however!