Time to read: 8 mins
Top 10 Breeds Built for Colder Temperatures
As it begins to get colder, we take a look at the cats and dogs that were built for the winter months and lower temperatures. They’re often well adapted with their thick coats and other adaptations to keep them warm while the rest of us are shivering. Have a look at our 10 breeds built for the cold weather.
1. Maine coon
These cats are one of the largest domestic cat breeds there are. As their name suggests, they originate from the state of Maine in the USA. Since the weather gets so cold, they have a very long and thick coat. Not only does this protect them from the cold but their coats are waterproof too. Their fur tends to be thicker towards the bottom and towards the back of their bodies. This is to give them an extra layer of protection when walking or sitting in snowy or wet weather.
2. Siberian Husky
These Huskies are descendants from sled dogs, Alaskan Huskies. They do well in the cold mostly because their fur is thick to keep them warm. Their fur has two double layers, one is a dense undercoat and the second is a topcoat that is much longer. Their coat not only keeps them warm in winter, but it reflects the heat in the warmer temperatures. It’s not only their coats that are adapted for cold weather but their eyes too. They are narrow to allow them to keep snow out of their eyes when they squint whilst running through the snow.
Ragdoll cats get their name because they flop when picked up. Their fur is very soft, it has been compared to the same texture as rabbit fur. Unlike other cats, they do not have an undercoat, instead they are kept warm by their long fur. They are very affectionate with a calm and gentle nature which make them a great house pet. They have a very recognisable look with their semi-longhaired coats and piercing blue eyes. Although Ragdolls can grow up to have many colours in their coats, they are all born white.
4. Saint Bernard
Saint Bernard’s are known for the pop culture reference of them saving lost travellers in the Alps with their wood barrel collars. They are named after the Great St Bernard Hospice located in the Alps that lies between Italy and Switzerland. Saint Bernard’s were used to guard the property and also rescue travellers on the treacherous pass. Their large bodies and immense strength allowed them to rescue the largest of people. Since then they have left the Alps and have become great household pets.
5. Norwegian Forest
You guessed it; these cats come from Norway. They were bred to withstand the cold Scandinavian winters. Their fluffy coats are made up of two parts. Their topcoat is waterproof and glossy whereas their woolly undercoats are used for warmth. You will notice they shed a lot in the warmer months to help cool them down a bit. They take a longer time than other cats to mature which means they remain very playful and have kitten looking features for some years.
6. Alaskan Malamute
These dogs look a lot like Huskies as they are from the same family with the same double layered coats. You might notice their ears are very fluffy. This is to keep the snow out of their ears during snowstorms. These friendly dogs need many people around them and lots of space to run and release their energy.
Persian cats are supposedly imported from Italy and Iran. They are recognisable for their round faces and short snouts. Their fur is very long which can protect them from the colder weather. They are one of the fluffiest cat breeds there is.
8. Tibetan Terrier
As their name suggest, they are from Tibet where they became acquaintances to the Monks and nomadic herders in the mountains. It is believed that they are good luck. They were never sold and only given as gifts. They have an undercoat that is weather resistant. This keeps them warm in the cold weather. On top of this they have broad and flat feet which act as snowshoes do. Their paws allow them to walk through the snow and terrain.
9. Russian Blue
Although these cats might not look like they are built for the cold weather because their coat is short, it is very dense and has two layers which keeps them very warm. They originate from Russia and have adapted to living in the freezing climate. As the second part of their name dictates, they have a blueish, grey coloured coat which are accompanied by bright green eyes.
10. Chow Chow
There are Chow Chows with two different types of coats, there is the rough coat and then the smooth coat. Both of these have a soft and woolly undercoat which is what keeps them warm. Chow Chows have a very distinctive look with their fluffy coats and black tongues. They enjoy the cold weather and can overheat in warmer temperatures.
Whether it is a cat or a dog they need to be monitored in extreme temperatures. Although these breeds are built for colder temperatures they can still get affected by the cold as well as the heat. Some signs of your pet being affected by the cold are shivering, wincing, barking or meowing and looking for shelter. On the other hand, some sings of heat exhaustion are panting, drooling, pacing or agitation. It is important to look out for these behaviours in extreme temperatures.
No matter the time of the year both accidents and illnesses can occur. Have a look at our cover levels to see how we can cover your furry friends.