Cats have a lot of fur, period. In the summer months, many owners wonder how their furry feline stays cool through the heat. Sweating, in short, is an efficient and natural way for an animal to stay cool and regulate their body temperature. However, many owners wonder how their cat keeps cool with all that fur. Do cats sweat? And if they do, how come their fur isn’t sticky with sweat?
How Do Cats Regulate Their Body Temperature?
Cats have sweat glands located in their paws. So, when they sweat, they actually sweat through their paws. However, their paws are so small that cats require multiple methods of dealing with the heat in order to stay cool. In fact, some of these might surprise you.
While panting is common in dogs, cats are less likely to pant. However, given the right circumstances, you may one day see your cat pant. I myself have only seen my five year old cat pant once, and that was inside my second story, sun-facing apartment with no air conditioner on the single day that I forgot to draw the shades before I left for work. Needless to say, he wasn’t happy with me that day. In short, panting is generally a last resort and can signify extreme distress. Cats who are panting and continue to pant even as the weather cools, should be seen by an emergency veterinarian as they may be suffering from heat stroke or some other type of health-related issue.
Aside from panting and sweating through their paws, cats have several different methods for keeping cool. Obviously, during extremely hot days, many cats will seek out cool, shady places to lay. The hotter it is, the lazier the cat; as cats will not do any additional physical activity, such as hunting, in order to stay cool until the heat diminishes.
One of the most common ways a cat will keep his cool is through grooming. As an owner, I didn’t believe it when I first read it either; but it does make sense. As the cat licks himself, his saliva is deposited on his fur. As the saliva evaporates, it helps to cool his body. (However, if you’re like me, your cat probably grooms himself while laying in the sun, which of course to me, just seems a bit counter-productive.)
So in short, cats do sweat when they’re hot. But, as expected, he does it discretely so he can remain calm, collected and cool while you seemingly dissolve into a puddle of sweat. Nice, huh?
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Cool Cosmos: Warm and Cold Blooded
Pet Place: Do Cats Sweat?