No, cats are not cold-blooded animals, because they are mammals and all mammals are warm-blooded.
The belief that they are cold-blooded might be held by some people due to how much cats love to cozy up and sleep in warm spots, such as next to a wood stove or radiator, or even just on a windowsill catching some rays of sunshine.
They also like to sleep next to people because of the warmth we radiate.
Warm-blooded animals, by definition, can maintain their body temperature despite environmental temperature changes, while cold-blooded animals, such as reptiles and fish, depending on the temperature of their surroundings to help regulate their body temperature.
In this article, we will discuss more why cats are not cold-blooded and what their normal body temperature should be. So, if you want to learn more, just keep reading.
Are cats cold-blooded?
No, cats are not cold-blooded. They are mammals, and all mammals are warm-blooded, meaning they are able to maintain a constant body temperature despite temperature changes in their surroundings.
Cold-blooded animals, on the other hand, cannot self-regulate their body temperatures and have to depend on the temperatures of their surroundings to do so.
The terms “cold-blooded” and “warm-blooded” are used to describe how an animal maintains its body temperature; they do not describe the actual temperature of the animal’s blood.
Cats maintain a body temperature within a range of 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit and are considered homeotherms, or warm-blooded.
A cat’s body maintains its temperature by burning the energy it gets from food. It breaks down the simple sugars from the food to create energy, and this energy helps keep its internal organs at a constant, warm temperature. In mammals, if the organs are not kept warm, they are unable to function properly, while if the organs are warm, this warmth spreads to the rest of the body.
What makes a cat warm?
Your pet cat feels warm because its normal body temperature is higher than that of a human’s. A cat’s body temperature is around 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, while a human’s is only 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
While a human can already feel pain and discomfort with a body temperature higher than 110 degrees Fahrenheit, cats are less sensitive to heat and will only feel pain and discomfort at around 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is why cats can withstand being close to warm objects for longer than people can.
Cats also have most of their heat receptor points on their faces, unlike humans that have more points on their bodies.
Normal temperature of cats
The average cat has a body temperature of 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Factors that can affect their body temperature are the environmental temperature, the cat’s gender, breed and age, and the time of day you check the temperature.
Do indoor and outdoor cats have different temperature requirements?
Outdoor cats, because they are used to spending hours outside in the elements, are more acclimatized to extreme temperatures than indoor cats that have spent most of their lives inside a house with a controlled and typically constant temperature.
The ability of a particular cat to withstand extreme temperatures will depend on several factors, such as weight, age, breed, coat, and underlying health issues.
If your cat is fat, or even obese, it has a thicker layer of insulation which helps it tolerate cold temperatures. Unfortunately, these same fat layers can cause the cat to overheat in summer temperatures, so it is still best to keep your cat at a healthy weight. Cats should have a healthy amount of body fat to help insulate them, but not enough to be obese.
A thin and emaciated cat, meanwhile, will not have enough fat and will be more susceptible to problems triggered by cold temperatures.
Another factor is age since both kittens and older cats are more sensitive to temperature changes. Cats in the extremes of age do not yet have, or no longer have, the capacity to generate the body heat required to survive very cold temperatures.
Breed is another factor that can affect a cat’s ability to withstand extreme temperatures.
Brachycephalic or flat-faced cat breeds cannot breathe very well and will therefore be less efficient when it comes to keeping their bodies cool when they are overheating. This can even increase the risk of stroke for the cat.
The length of the cat’s coat will also help to regulate its body temperature. Long-haired cats are better at keeping warm in the cold, while short-haired cats are more heat-tolerant.
Outdoor cats are more acclimatized to varying humidity levels, while indoor cats can be sensitive to dry air which can cause their throat to become dry and may even cause flaking and scaling of their skin. You can help your cat by making sure there is always fresh water readily available, and by incorporating fish oil into their food. If the air is too dry inside your home, you might need to invest in a humidifier to make your cat more comfortable.
Why does my cat like heat so much?
Cats love the heat because, if they are close to a source of warmth, their bodies will not have to work as hard to regulate their temperature. In fact, thanks to the presence of an external heat source, the cat will not have to use up any of its own energy. This is a practical decision on the cat’s part since it can now use the conserved energy for other activities such as hunting and defending its territory.
Does a cat need to live in warm weather at all times?
No, cats do not necessarily have to be in warm weather at all times; they are fine in any temperature as long as it is not extreme.
Cats can tolerate heat because they can conserve energy by napping and being inactive when the weather is too hot.
Cats are also keen on finding surfaces or areas around your house that are made of cool materials that can help keep the heat at bay. Cool surfaces include marble countertops, cement floors, and kitchen tiles.
When a cat grooms itself, it licks its fur and body, and the saliva left behind will also have a cooling effect.
Making sure that your cat always has access to water, especially during hot weather, will help it stay cool. You can even add some ice cubes to the water when the weather is especially warm so that your cat can have a nice, cold drink.
Why does my cat like being in my air-conditioned room?
Cats do just fine keeping themselves cool in hot weather, but if an air-conditioned room is available anyway, they will happily lounge there as well.
Even during the winter, your cat will like being in a room that is between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. While temperature is controlled, it is still best to give your cat the option of a cozy bed in the air-conditioned room.
During the summer, keep the air-conditioned room between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and make sure that there is always fresh water in the room at all times so that the cat is never thirsty.
Cats are not cold-blooded. They are mammals, and all mammals are warm-blooded.
Warm-blooded animals use the energy produced by their own bodies to maintain a consistent temperature, while cold-blooded animals depend on the temperature of their surroundings to determine their body temperature.
Cats have a higher body temperature than humans and can thus tolerate more heat than humans, which is why they love being close to wood stoves or radiators when they sleep. They also love lounging on windowsills where they can catch some rays of sunshine.
The temperature requirements of indoor and outdoor cats do not really differ so much; it is more factors such as weight, age, breed, coat, and underlying health issues that will affect a cat’s ability to tolerate temperature changes.
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