Cats without heat?
November 3, 2012 1:22 PM   Subscribe

Will my cats be okay in an unheated NYC apartment until we get electricity restored?

We live in an apartment building that was damaged in the hurricane. There will be no heat or electricty for at least a week. Will my two cats be ok? I could move them but we did that for Irene and one was really stressed for months afterwards. What should I do?
posted by milarepa to Pets & Animals (16 answers total)
If they have food and clean water, they'll be fine.
posted by Egg Shen at 1:26 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

I forgot to mention they will have plenty of food and water. They have also been there since we evacuated Sunday night. I'm worried mostly about the drop in temperatures we are seeing now.
posted by milarepa at 1:31 PM on November 3, 2012

Lowest I see on the 10 day forecast is 31. They'll be fine. I'd make sure they have plenty of bedding to curl up in. Maybe even a mostly enclosed box to sleep in (your cats will probably love these accommodations in any circumstance!)
posted by sbutler at 1:46 PM on November 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

I also think they'll be fine. Cats will happily hunt outdoors even when it's below freezing out; the inside of your apartment won't get that cold, nor windy, and I assume they have a blanket or something to curl up in.
posted by hattifattener at 1:49 PM on November 3, 2012

I think they'll be fine with a pile of blankets to curl up in.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:57 PM on November 3, 2012

We'll excuse you from the photo requirement since you're dealing with Sandy.

Yes, they'll be fine, and since you have more than one they'll cuddle up together.
posted by BlahLaLa at 1:58 PM on November 3, 2012 [8 favorites]

Yes, they will be fine. I had a house fire a couple of years ago and had to leave my cat (unharmed, safe) in the house for a week with no heat (or water or electric--I was elsewhere) until we moved to a hotel. The nighttime temps then were in the 30s as well. She slept in her bed as usual.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 1:58 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

blankets, some pillows, a box or two, they should be just fine.
posted by nadawi at 1:58 PM on November 3, 2012

also, their carriers, open, make nice little caves for kitties unless the sight of it stresses them out.
posted by nadawi at 1:59 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

We had no power or heat till this AM and our cat didn't even sleep in the bed with us, he was fine in his bed in the cold living room. I'm pretty sure yours will be OK too.
posted by nicwolff at 2:16 PM on November 3, 2012

Yes, my cats were in an unheated house for over a week in January when we lost power -- we made sure there was food, kept refilling the water when it froze, and the only problem was that they were lonely.
posted by jeather at 2:22 PM on November 3, 2012

They will be fine, they've got fur coats on. I think we forget about the nature of our pets at our peril. My wife is worried about how our chickens will fare in the cold, and I keep pointing out that they have their own down coats.
posted by OmieWise at 3:36 PM on November 3, 2012

+1 for they'll be fine. I once adopted a stray (ok, he adopted us), and he spent a good chunk of time right before we found him he found us outside in a New England blizzard. Once he lived with us, we couldn't bring him all the way inside for several reasons. He slept at night on our back porch in all seasons, in a box lined with old blankets, and was happy as a clam. (We did have an electric space heater for the *really* cold nights, but a low of 31 ain't no thing for a cat. This went on for 8 years.

If you get sun through the windows, open the blinds during the day, this will help warm up the apartment for those of you without fur :)
posted by AlisonM at 4:17 PM on November 3, 2012

I once had to leave my cat in an unheated apartment in Boston, in late January, during a huge snowstorm (the heater broke; the human residents moved to a hotel for a few nights). She was fine. I left a bunch of blankets for her to curl up in.
posted by jaguar at 6:39 PM on November 3, 2012

Yes, make it as nice and as safe for them as you can. Places to burrow, etc.

But yeah, my cat is outside right now having the time of his life and it's 35 degrees in NYC and I can barely tempt him to come in.

But are you or friends going in to check on them daily, etc.? Is the building safe, and so on?
posted by RJ Reynolds at 5:11 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

The two outdoor cats that adopted us and now live on our Long Beach apartment balcony lived through Sandy and have been living alone on our balcony since. We're moving back in today and they're doing fine. I'm sure your cats will do just fine indoors.

(Every time we leave for a Hurricane we try to take them with us. We've been feeding and watering them for two years [as have many others who feed a bunch of neighborhood abandoned cats], they jump up to our balcony when they see we're home, they follow us as we walk to the laundry room, but we can't pet them. They just won't let us get close. We've been coming back several times a week to grab more things and check up on our apartment and we've been bringing them food and water. On the positive side, their ears are tipped so they're fixed. Besides, these cats have lived here longer than us, who am I to mess with that?

TL;DR: our crazy balcony cats survived Sandy hitting Long Beach, yours will survive no heat inside just fine.)
posted by Brian Puccio at 8:42 AM on November 17, 2012

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