General Question

Jude's avatar

How are kitties able to handle the heat?

Asked by Jude (31993 points ) July 8th, 2010

When I was with my last girlfriend, we had an air conditioner on the main floor and it would only cool off the main floor. The basement was nice and cool, but, the upstairs was an inferno. All of our cats chose to sleep upstairs. Their bodies all stretched out straight whilst sleeping and they seemed to love it. I could never understand that. Both of our pooches, though, slept right in front of the air conditioner.

It’s almost 11 in the morning here, and it’s already 90 degrees outside. Again, my (indoor/outdoor) cat, Frank, is outside, lying on his side all stretched out. He’s lying in direct sunlight and purring away.

Why do they prefer the (hot, hot) heat?

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39 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

Don’t forget, they are desert creatures.

Jude's avatar

@dpworkin That’s what I thought..:)

dpworkin's avatar

Think of Egypt!

ubersiren's avatar

They’re generally weather-resistant (?), I think. Our cats could always tolerate heat and the cold, too. They must get that from their Siberian relatives!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

My Persians are lying on their backs under the ceiling fan, and the indoor temperature is only 75F. They may just be doing that to entertain Jacqueline; they love having a new audience for their clown tricks.

jaytkay's avatar

My Persians are lying on their backs under the ceiling fan

My cat enjoyed the air conditioner like this.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@jaytkay Picture one black and one gray Persian in that exact pose. :^D

Fyrius's avatar

We still have the main question, though: what do cats do to cool down?
Humans sweat, dogs pant… what do cats do?

I’m curious too now. :)

Ltryptophan's avatar

cats pant…

wgallios's avatar

Cats do have an internal body temperature of around 103 degrees Fahrenheit which is obviously a bit higher than humans. I’m sure because of this they can probably withstand a bit higher temperature.

But yes they do pant, and they also sweat through their paws.

jazmina88's avatar

cats chill…...
it’s what they do best.

Scooby's avatar

My cats are heat seekers, they follow the sun all round the house & in the garden sprawling out wherever it’s hottest…it’s funny to watch how they carry on .
As kittens they get warmth from their mother, it’s their first instinct to find warmth…. I guess it never leaves them :-/
In the winter I always find them in the boiler cupboard, snuggled up amongst the clean bed linen, it’s got to the point where I’ve built them their own shelf in there, complete with a fake fur rug!! :-/

dpworkin's avatar

Sometimes they allow themselves to be fanned by the wings of their little friends, the birdies.

anartist's avatar

Cats waste no energy. They have less need of cooling down.

Buttonstc's avatar

Grooming themselves also provides a measure of air conditioning for them due to the evaporation of their saliva upon their fur.

Coloma's avatar

My guys do seek out the cooler spots on super hot days, but also seem rather oblivious at times too.

With the heat out ths way lately they do come alive at dusk and tend to be in prime romping mode between about 7 p.m. & 11 p.m. before I force them to come in for the night. lol

Keysha's avatar

Cats are solar powered.

No, seriously, A cat’s fur will help them regulate the heat, by trapping air in it, much as a bird’s feathers will trap heat.

Jabe73's avatar

I think cats can be just as varied as people when it comes to the heat. The kitten I have now hates the heat and will always go to the air-conditioned/coolest area of the house. My mom has 4 cats, 3 of them love the heat and prefer to go outside when its hot but when its cold out they stay in. The other cat she has hates the heat and stays by the air-conditioner every chance it gets. I think certain breeds like Siberian prefer colder temperatures as well.

anartist's avatar

@Keysha I wondered about the role of the fur—thanx
@Ltryptophan only DOGS pant. It is too unseemly for a cat.

anartist's avatar

[removed by Milo]

jaytkay's avatar

My cat panted when it hit 100F. It was very disconcerting. So I bought my first air conditioner (yes, spoiled cat).

anartist's avatar

@jaytkay s/he thanks you and so do you. Were you panting too?

jaytkay's avatar

@anartist Yeah, I don’t like hot weather, so I was happy to get the air conditioner, too.

ETpro's avatar

In the extreme heat, Spoony THE cat likes to stretch out on the hardwood floor, often turning on her back with her paws curled up on her chest, looking rather like an otter floating along with a shellfish in her grasp. It’s hard to grab a picture though, because she rolls back upright when anyone approaches with or without a camera. Here, she’s just rolled over ready to jump out of the way lest she get stepped on. Trust, but verify.

anartist's avatar

Spoony is a beauty. My Jillita out in the 100-degree heat getting stoned in her catmip patch here

ETpro's avatar

@anartist I think I’m in love with Jillita, too.

Coloma's avatar

@ETpro

That pussy needs a shave. lol

My guy is hairless right now, except for his head. Had him stripped last week, he’s feelin’ gooood! And, I don’t have any stickers, foxtails or leaves on my bed, floor, carpets, floating in on his monster tail. ;-)

The other pussy is a natural shorthair.

ETpro's avatar

@Coloma I often wonder how she stands that full coat in the summer. But it doesn’t bother her at all. She seems to thrive on the heat. And personally, I prefer hair to razor stubble on pussies.

anartist's avatar

@Coloma we lurve you! ∑ :3) and @anartist :-)

Coloma's avatar

@anartist

LOL..the LOOK in her eye! Stoned as they come! haha

@ETpro

Actually my cat Gizzi who is a huge fluffy bluepoint ragdoll/siamese mix has an undercoat like bunny fur. When shaved closely there is hardly a grain to the fur…just sleek and soft and no dustmop effect with the great weedy outdoors. lol

anartist's avatar

easy to grow. make Grizzi happy—Jillita
@Coloma I have two coats too. My fur is thick and I am very beautiful.

Coloma's avatar

@anartist

The start of a beautiful love affair in the catnip patch.

Okay..stupid cat stories # 468

This morning my guys were all intrigued by the ‘Snap, Crackle, Pop of my bowl full of rice krispies….easily amused they are even when not stoned. lol

dpworkin's avatar

My favorite cat story of the day, cribbed from Another Website and re-purposed without permission:

From: Shannon Walkley
Date: Monday 21 June 2010 9.15am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Poster

Hi
I opened the screen door yesterday and my cat got out and has been missing since then so I was wondering if you are not to busy you could make a poster for me. It has to be A4 and I will photocopy it and put it around my suburb this afternoon.
This is the only photo of her I have she answers to the name Missy and is black and white and about 8 months old. missing on Harper street and my phone number.

Thanks Shan.

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 21 June 2010 9.26am
To: Shannon Walkley
Subject: Re: Poster

Dear Shannon,
That is shocking news. Luckily I was sitting down when I read your email and not half way up a ladder or tree. How are you holding up? I am surprised you managed to attend work at all what with thinking about Missy out there cold, frightened and alone… possibly lying on the side of the road, her back legs squashed by a vehicle, calling out “Shannon, where are you?” Although I have two clients expecting completed work this afternoon, I will, of course, drop everything and do whatever it takes to facilitate the speedy return of Missy.
Regards, David.

From: Shannon Walkley
Date: Monday 21 June 2010 9.37am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Poster

yeah ok thanks. I know you dont like cats but I am really worried about mine. I have to leave at 1pm today.

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 21 June 2010 10.17am
To: Shannon Walkley
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Poster

Dear Shannon,
I never said I don’t like cats. Once, having been invited to a party, I went clothes shopping beforehand and bought a pair of expensive G-Star boots. They were two sizes too small but I wanted them so badly I figured I could just wear them without socks and cut my toenails very short. As the party was only a few blocks from my place, I decided to walk. After the first block, I lost all feeling in my feet. Arriving at the party, I stumbled into a guy named Steven, spilling Malibu & coke onto his white Wham ‘Choose Life’ t-shirt, and he punched me. An hour or so after the incident, Steven sat down in a chair already occupied by a cat. The surprised cat clawed and snarled causing Steven to leap out of the chair, slip on a rug and strike his forehead onto the corner of a speaker; resulting in a two inch open gash. In its shock, the cat also defecated, leaving Steven with a wet brown stain down the back of his beige cargo pants. I liked that cat.
Attached poster as requested.
Regards, David.

Andreas's avatar

@jjmah Cats are experts at seeking comfort, have no fear of that. My cats have always found concrete or tiles in bathrooms and the like to get their coolness, when required. But as others have said: They often seek the heat. My Jaffa does, regularly, in the hot Australian summer. It’s cold here now, and she always finds beds and lounge chairs to warm herself.

NaturallyMe's avatar

@dpworkin – since when are they desert creatures? It’s the first time i hear something like that. Certainly, cats with long fluffy thick hair are not desert dwellers. :)

Anyway, my cats have never exposed themselves to such hot environments before…and if they do, it’s for a short time just to heat up on a cool day or chilly morning, then they’ll come back in the house and flop down on the cool tiles, all stretched out trying to cool down.

anartist's avatar

@dpworkin There are eight million stories in the Naked City; this has been one of them
Thank you :-D

Coloma's avatar

@NaturallyMe

Yes, cats may have originated in Egypt like dogs originated in Africa but…as the different breeds developed in their different geographic locales heat/ cold tolerance factored in.

Greyhounds and Huskys are very different as are many of the cat breeeds, horses too…Arabians were desert horses, Clydesdales from the cold European climates.

One wouldn’t use a Greyhound to pull a sled or a Clydesdale for endurance riding. lol

NaturallyMe's avatar

@Coloma – if you say so! :) As much as i love my cats and all cats around the world, i’ve never queried where they actually originated from, so i have no idea! The desert theory just sounded odd as it’s the last place i would have imagined cats originating from, hehe.

Coloma's avatar

@NaturallyMe

Oh..just commenting on @dpworkin ‘s post…that cats may have originated in hot desert climates but factoring in the vast geographic nuances that have contributed to breed heritage over the millenia the desert factor doesn’t apply across the board.

Yeah..cats are awesome…! ;-)

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