Cats are our lovable little guys that always seem to pride themselves on their self-reliance.
While the exact details are a little different depending on how clingy your cat is, our feisty feline friends generally prefer to live life at their own pace.
This often means that we can miss when our cats are uncomfortable or not well. But when your cat starts to act strange or seems like it’s uncomfortable, or even in pain, you have to act fast.
One of the things that often worries people is how hot or cold their cat should be when looking after them.
What temperature is ideal for them? What do they do when they are too hot? What temperature is too hot for them? What happens when they get too hot?
Well, that’s what we’re going to answer for you here!
In his guide, we’re going to show you how cats stay cool during the hotter times of day or year, as well as what temperature they should normally be most of the time.
HOW HOT IS TOO HOT FOR YOUR CAT
Now, we would love to be able to give a simple and clean answer that covers virtually every cat.
However, the temperature that a cat should be at can vary massively, depending on the breed, their age, their size, their general health, what environment they are normally used to, and even their temperament!
However, one consistent thing we can measure is the internal temperature that cats usually have.
If the outside or environment temperature is too close to or above the cat’s internal body temperature, then you could find that the cat is going to be much more uncomfortable or ill.
What Is Considered Hot For Cats?
Generally speaking, a cat that is older than 4 weeks old should have a body temperature of around 99.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (or 37.5 to 39.17 degrees Celsius)
Any temperature around or above 90 degrees is likely to make your cat feel uncomfortable, where their normal bodily functions will struggle to keep them cool.
Above 90 degrees, you may even start to see your cat pant like a dog to remain cool. However, no matter how morbidly cute this little act might be, it is also an indication that your cat is too hot to be healthy.
Other Factors That Affect How Hot Your Cat Is
Outside of simply air temperature, what else can cause cats to feel too hot?
Well, in the same way, that humans tend to suffer in high heat, high humidity can also hamper your cat’s ability to cool off.
Humidity is the measure of water that is in the air in an evaporated or microscopic form.
In higher humidity, the body cannot lose heat as effectively as it would in a less humid environment, even if the air temperature is technically lower.
This is because water is a very good and excellent conductor of heat energy, and retains and holds on to that temperature for a while.
(Interestingly, it is also why sweat is an effective way of cooling down for humans)
When the temperature and humidity in the air are high, it stops the body’s ability to lose heat by sweating, creating that clammy heat that hits you in certain parts of the world for people.
Cats face the same problem, they can only sweat through their paws!
DO CATS LIKE HOT TEMPERATURES?
It’s hard to say what an animal does and doesn’t ‘like’, exactly.
However, cats generally do prefer warmer temperatures than humans do.
They can certainly survive warmer temperatures than people, that’s for certain! Cats surviving at 90 degrees Fahrenheit with little to no discomfort certainly beats out many people’s comfortable range!
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR CAT IS TOO HOT
So, as we’ve established, the temperature is probably the most accurate way to tell how hot your cat is.
However, considering that taking your cat’s temperature is about as easy as herding… well, cats, that isn’t going to be an easy option for you.
Fortunately, there are a few changes in behavior that cats show when they start to approach their max temperature that you can pick up on with a keen enough eye.
As we’ve already established, and you’ve probably noticed, cats do not normally pant, especially not in the way that dogs normally would.
So, if you have noticed your cat panting in that way, you can be pretty confident that your cat is visibly uncomfortable, as they try to get cooler air into their lungs to cool down faster.
Change In Appetite
A slightly less noticeable, but still useful change in behavior, is if your cat’s feeding habits change.
Cats tend (though not always) to have pretty big appetites, at least for their body size.
If you notice that your cat is visibly eating less than they normally do, then you can bet that something is up with them.
Even if they aren’t too hot, it can often be a sign of some underlying illnesses that are ruining their appetite.
More Saliva Than Normal
On a slightly more unsightly note, your cat producing more saliva than normal, or dribbling more than normal, could also be a sign that they are too hot.
Similar to how panting reduces heat in cats and dogs, excess heat can be absorbed by saliva.
WHAT THIS MEANS
There are a few reasons, why your cat could be too hot, even when the air temperature isn’t that high.
In short, your cat being too hot is never a good sign for anyone.
If the air temperature or humidity is too high, spray some room temperature water around to help slowly and safely keep them cool.
If this doesn’t work, take them to your vet as soon as possible.
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.