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As the seasons change, cat owners always adjust their thermostats and open the windows to find the right temperature for their pet. But we can forget that our cats also have opinions! So when it comes to staying comfortable, what temperature do cats like?
Cats appreciate temperatures of 70 degrees and temperatures not lower than 60 degrees. Cats can withstand very hot or cold temperatures outdoors for a limited amount of time. They must be given the opportunity to warm up or cool down after being at an extreme temperature. Signs that a cat is too hot or too cold, if not in response to their environment, can be signs of a health problem and should be brought to the attention of a veterinarian immediately.
Since our cats can’t tell us their comfort level, it’s important to monitor their behavior to know when they need help regulating their temperature. This article contains information to help you determine if your cat is too hot, too cold, or just right!
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What is the ideal room temperature for a cat?
A cat’s body temperature is usually around 101.5 degrees. That means they can tolerate and even appreciate the heat a little more than humans (and why they like to lay in those patches of sunlight streaming through your windows!)
However, just like humans, cats can be vulnerable to overheating or freezing. These responses are either environmental or caused by a deeper metabolic problem. If your cat is overheated or underheated, it’s essential to assess recent activity to determine why.
If you’re worried about your cat’s temperature being too hot or too cold, the best way to find out is to take their temperature rectally. Anything below 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit and above 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit is cause for concern.
How do I know if my cat is too hot?
Cats do a lot of grooming throughout the day and their tongue baths are a way to cool off. Indoors, an overheated cat may also seek out tiled floors or basements to lie on or sit in front of fans or air vents.
Cats that go out in the heat can be prone to hyperthermia. They can sit very quietly so as not to accumulate additional body heat. They may also start sweating on their paws and nose, or even panting like a dog. Cats don’t tend to drink a lot of water, so monitoring their fluid intake is a great way to tell if the cat is overheated.
What should I do if my cat is too hot?
If your cat is too hot, you can try giving him a lukewarm bath and moving him to a cooler environment. This should help bring the cat’s temperature back to normal. However, it is essential to watch for signs of heat stroke, such as rapid heart rate, dark red gums and vomiting. If this happens, take the cat to the vet immediately.
How do I know if my cat is too cold?
Signs that a cat is too cold may include lethargy, loss of appetite, chills, or lack of alertness. The most extreme symptoms include pale gums, staring or a barely detectable heartbeat.
Hypothermia, just like in humans, is very serious. A cold cat may have been exposed to the elements for too long, such as outdoor cats that are in the yard during the winter months. However, a kitten that is too cold or an outdoor cat that does not warm up outside could have a serious health problem, such as heart disease, shock or diabetes.
What should I do if my cat is too cold?
If the cause of the cold appears to be environmental, move the cat to a warm place and wrap it in blankets to try to raise its temperature. Do not use heated or electric blankets or heating pads as this may burn your cat.
If the cat has not been exposed to cold conditions and is suddenly showing extreme signs of hypothermia, it could be a metabolic issue and your cat should see the vet immediately.
Can cats go outside in extreme temperatures?
You may have a cat that loves the great outdoors, but if it’s extremely hot or freezing, it’s probably best for your furry baby to stay indoors or strictly limit their time outside.
In extremely hot weather, be sure to provide a shaded place for the cat to rest and have a bowl of water available. Be careful not to trap cats in enclosed spaces with no ventilation, such as garages. In cold weather, monitor the temperature and make sure the cat can recover easily in a warm environment.
Behavior is the number one clue
Cats can’t turn up the thermostat or snuggle up under a blanket when experiencing temperature rises or drops. As a cat owner, it’s essential to assess your cat’s environment, watch for signs of trouble, and use common sense. Overall, a cat’s most comfortable temperature is very close to that of humans, and while they can handle extreme temperatures for a while, they also shouldn’t be exposed for too long.
What temperature is too hot for cats?
So, you might be wondering what temperature is too hot for cats. The answer depends on the size and age of your cat and the type of climate it is used to. Most cats can withstand temperatures between 45 and 98 degrees. Temperatures above 100 degrees are too hot for most cats.
You can tell a cat is overheated when it begins to meow loudly, whine, or make frequent visits to the water bowl. Outdoor cats are more vulnerable to sudden changes in heat and temperature extremes. Although their bodies may be more conditioned for it than indoor cats, it’s not a significant difference.
Can cats handle the hot weather?
Yes, cats can handle hot weather, especially outdoor cats. Most cats like the heat and head to sunny areas for sun or windows.
A cat that experiences extremely hot temperatures will naturally begin to adapt their body to it. Cats will start to shed more, especially during the hot summer months. Shedding helps reduce their body temperature and allows for better airflow through the fur.
Being a degree or two above a cat’s limit won’t hurt it. Cats find creative ways to stay cool. Some will retreat to the litter box or a dark corner on their own. Maybe you will find your fur baby under the bed; waiting for the heat. Just like animals do in the wild, cats often rest more to keep their heart rate down and their body cool.
As long as you keep your cat hydrated throughout the day and provide plenty of places to cool off, they can do just fine in hot weather.
Tips for keeping cats cool in the summer
The summer months are tough for all types of pets, especially cats. Although your cat will naturally do things to cool off, there are options you as a pet owner have to make your life easier. Below are some tips I’ve collected over the years to help keep my cat cool, and I think you’ll find them useful for you too!
Provide multiple sources of water
No water means a dehydrated cat. If you have a mischievous cat that knocks over its water bowl and you are unaware of it, things can get worse. So my number one tip is to suggest that you provide multiple sources of water. This could be a dripping faucet, extra water bowls, or even a cat fountain that you can set on a timer.
Groom your cat regularly
Grooming can help your cat in the warmer months, especially since they will shed a lot anyway. Long-haired cats may require daily grooming.
Create a cooling zone for your cat
My final, and perhaps most useful, tip is to create a cooling zone for your cat. So what exactly is a cooling zone? Here is a list of items you can include:
- cold towels
- Coverage/Shaded Areas
- dark corners
- Cardboard boxes
Naturally, your cat will gravitate towards this area when warm. Having all of these items in a safe place can help your cat regulate its body temperature quickly.