General Question

tacres's avatar

How are some animals apparently able to sense outdoor temperatures from within a heated house?

Asked by tacres (549 points ) November 12th, 2012

I have many cats & dogs. All go in & out. However, come fall & winter I have several who have no interest in poking their nose beyond the door in cold weather. The dogs go out regardless but on cold days none of them seem to be in as big a hurry to pee. Now snow, rain, wind are visible & audible I get that but how are they able to gauge the air temp when they are snuggled up indoors next to the wood stove?

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8 Answers

Coloma's avatar

I think it’s just an association based on the current temps. They just know, as we do, that it’s cold out there. We have had our first 2 nights of freezing temps. and my 2 cats don’t want to stay out long. Just long enough to get a burst of frisky and run back in the house and start bouncing off the walls. lol
My female Siamese is terrible, she has so much energy and is a terror every night for several hours when she is cooped up due to the cold and rain.

Nullo's avatar

Some creatures can grok barometric changes, but I don’t think that your typical domestic animals are among them.

thorninmud's avatar

There has been some speculation that dogs can use their noses as infrared sensors to form a kind of thermal image of their environment. If that’s the case, then they could tell when the door to the outside is cold. They’re smart enough to figure out the rest.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I figured they can feel air leakage near the bottom of the door.

marinelife's avatar

Sense of smell.

gailcalled's avatar

Here’s one who couldn’t. After his initial shock, he was back inside at almost the speed of light.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

I think its smell. Funny I got this question.

Last night my dog woke up in the middle of the night to go out. So I let him out after he finished he sniffed the air I brought him in.

I was tired so I went to bed and ended up getting woken up by my dog who wanted out again, so I let him out.

Now let me just say he LOVES the snow. At the time it was cool, no snow, but he insisted and laid down to prove he wanted to stay out to the point where I had to drag him in (it was 4:30am).

When I got back to bed I heard what I thought was rain so I looked out my window and it was snowing/freezing rain. I have to assume he could smell it in the air from the big sniff he did and the fact that he’s the type of dog who will not come in out of the blizzard and rolls around in the snow.
Its actually quite the comedic act to his already crazy 8.5yr personality.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I don’t know how it is at your houses, but at mine, you can feel the temperature through the windows, and can see the actual weather as it occurs.

My animals hang out in droves by our living room picture window so they can soak up the little bit of sunshine we get as autumn & winter days shorten.

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