You can often find cats in warm places, from that sunny spot near the window to the area around the heater.
Are cats warm-blooded?
Yes, cats are warm-blooded because they are mammals. Felines share a few qualities with other mammals, from rodents to canines. For starters, cats are warm-blooded. This simply means that they can maintain their internal body temperature whatever the environmental condition may be.
Second, cats are born alive and almost fully developed. Unlike other animals, mammals are born well-developed because of the time they have spent inside the uterus.
Third, cats, like most mammals, drink milk that is produced by their mothers’ mammary glands.
Finally, cats and other mammals have highly-developed large brains.
Warm-blooded vs. cold-blooded animals
What makes warm-blooded animals different from cold-blooded animals?
Warm-blooded animals can control their internal body temperature. If the weather is hot, they are capable of keeping their bodies cool. And when it is cold, they can generate heat to keep themselves warm.
Cats and other warm-blooded creatures keep their bodies by converting the food they eat into energy. In turn, they use the energy that they produce to regulate their body temperature.
When the weather is hot, warm-blooded animals like felines lower their body temperature either by sweating or panting. Both sweating and panting can cool the body through water evaporation. Take note that only mammals can sweat. Humans and primates have sweat glands all over their bodies while cats and dogs have sweat glands that can only be found on their paws.
Most mammals also have hair or fur, or for example in the case of whales, blubber, that help them regulate their body temperature. For example, cats grow thicker fur before the onset of the cooler season to help keep themselves warm. And before the arrival of the hotter seasons, cats begin to shed their fur again.
Cold-blooded animals like frogs and snakes cannot regulate their body temperatures. Instead, they rely on their environment. That means that if their surroundings are hot, their bodies are also hot. Conversely, if the environment is cold, their bodies are also cold.
Cold-blooded animals also tend to be more active when the temperature is warmer and less active when it is colder. The main reason behind this is that muscle movement is highly dependent on temperature. And unlike warm-blooded animals that can generate heat using energy derived from food, cold-blooded animals use their food to increase their body mass instead.
Instead of relying on their metabolism to increase body temperature, cold-blooded animals go to sunny areas to absorb heat. And when the temperature is too hot, cold-blooded creatures will seek shaded areas to give them respite from the sun.
Are cats warmer than humans?
If cats are warm-blooded mammals, why do they seek out warm places? Are they not capable of regulating their body temperatures?
There are a few reasons why cats actively seek warmth.
For starters, the natural body temperature of cats is higher compared to people. A cat’s normal body temperature is 102 degrees Fahrenheit while a person’s normal body temperature is just 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, the threshold for pain from the heat in cats is 126 degrees Fahrenheit while a person’s threshold is 112 degrees Fahrenheit.
When you put these all together, this means that your cat may still feel colder even if you feel a little warm.
Finally, domestic cats like warm areas in your home or even outdoors because they descended from African wild cats that lived in the desert. Although cats have lived with humans for thousands of years, their DNAs remain essentially the same as their ancestors.
Do cats get cold easily?
Cats do not get that cold easily. For starters, they have their metabolism that they can rely on to increase their internal body temperature. Aside from that, their fur can give added protection from the cold temperature.
Having said that, you have to be mindful of the temperature when you have a cat. You might want the temperature to be a little cooler but if your cat has thin fur or has a slender body, he is likely to get cold faster than a feline that is fat and has a thicker coat.
How to keep your cat comfortable whatever the season
Although cats are capable of regulating their temperatures, it does not necessarily mean that they are immune to temperature extremes.
Pay attention to your cat during summer and winter and watch out for signs of overheating and
Keeping your cat warm
Before winter arrives, it is a good idea to set up areas where your cat can seek respite from the cold temperatures. Consider investing in additional cat beds or even heated beds for your cat.
Some cats like retreating to small and cozy places like the area beneath beds and furniture. If your cat prefers these spaces, make sure that there is enough room for him there and ensure that he can get out easily.
You should draw the curtains aside to let the sunshine inside your home. Your cat might like basking in the sun to find some measure of comfort from the cold.
Finally, increase your cat’s food intake. The additional calories from these extra servings can be used to maintain your cat’s body temperature.
Keeping your cat cool
The first thing that you need to do is to lower the temperature inside your home. Aside from turning the air conditioner on, you can draw the curtains down to limit the amount of sunlight coming in.
It is also a good idea to create a space where your cat can run once the temperature gets too hot. Be sure that the area has a water bowl nearby.
Although cats benefit from play and exercise, avoid both during the middle of the day when the temperature is at its hottest. Instead, schedule exercise and playtime early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
Finally, groom your cat daily. This will help prevent mats that can trap body heat. This is particularly important if you have a longhaired cat like a Maine Coon.