Do Cats Sweat & Is It Normal?

We don’t typically think of cats as sweating, but you might be surprised by some of their biological functions.

Just because you cannot see your cat sweating doesn’t mean that it’s not happening at all.

In this article, we will take a look at this particular function of your cat’s body.

Are Cats Capable of Sweating?

Cats do actually have sweat glands in their body, but they only work to regulate their temperature. The thick coat of fur on a cat makes it difficult for their sweat to keep the heat from getting to them, in very warm weather.

While felines do not drip sweat as humans do, you might notice some sweat coming through their paws. This sometimes shows on hard floor surfaces in the warmer months of the year. You’ll probably see moist areas on your flooring at home in the summer from time to time.

How Cats Keep Themselves Cool

One of the main things that cats do to stay cool when temperatures are high is lick themselves repeatedly. This can actually make a pretty big difference when it comes to bringing down their internal temperature.

Cats also pant to stay cool, just like dogs. When your cat does this, heat from their inner thorax is allowed to escape. These animals do not pant as much as dogs, but it does happen sometimes when they are exposed to very high temperatures.

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Your cat’s brain also plays a crucial role in keeping its body cool when temperatures skyrocket. When their brain senses a rise in external heat, they instinctually know to do things like drink water and stretch out. All of these things can be very effective ways for your cat to regulate its own temperature.

When a cat is outside and trying to stay cool, it will try to find a spot with a good amount of shade. They will also spend a good amount of time lying down to conserve energy. This helps them lower their body temperature to avoid heatstroke.

hot cat

What is the Normal Temperature for a Cat?

The normal temperature for a cat is around 102.8. If your cat’s temperature is significantly higher or lower than this by more than a couple degrees, you should take them to the vet. A higher temperature than this means that your cat has a fever, which can be quite serious.

Risk Factors for Heat Stroke in Cats

There are certain things that put your cat at additional risk of heat stroke, which can be fatal if it is not treated quickly. As a cat owner, it is important that you are aware of these risk factors.

1. Overweight

If your cat is overweight or obese, they are more likely to develop health problems such as diabetes and kidney disease. It is also more common for overweight cats to succumb to heatstroke. This is one of the reasons why you need to help your kitty maintain a healthy overall weight.

2. They are Older

There is no question that senior cats are more at risk for heatstroke as well. The older your cat is, the less effectively they will be able to fend off the elements. These animals have a lot of defense mechanisms against extreme temperatures, but old cats are much more vulnerable.

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cat sun

Signs Your Cat is Overheated

You also need to be aware of the signs that your cat is overheated. The fact is that it doesn’t take long for the average cat to suffer serious bodily harm from heatstroke.

Some of the more common signs of overheating in cats include:

  • Vomiting
  • Trembling
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive drooling
  • Bright red gums
  • Disorientation

If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat on a hot day, you’ll want to act quickly. It is a good idea to call your vet to see what they recommend you do.

How to Keep Your Kitty Cool

Your cat is capable of cooling itself down to an extent, but you’ll also want to know what you can do to keep them comfortable.

1. Consider the Temperature in your Home

If you are very hot and uncomfortable inside your home, your cat probably is as well. You’ll definitely want to consider putting the air conditioning on or running a fan.

2. Keep your cat hydrated

Always make sure that your cat has plenty of water in its bowl, especially on those hot days. If they do not have access to clean drinking water, they could start overheating.

3. Groom your Cat

Another great way to keep your cat cool in the summer is by brushing the loose hair off their body. This can work very well when it comes to keeping your cat as cool as possible when temperature outside begin to rise.

4. Provide them with an outdoor shelter

If you let your cat outside in the summer, make sure that they have a shelter that they can use to get shade when necessary. This will give your kitty a perfect place to cool off when the weather is extremely hot.

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Conclusion

  • While cats do not in fact have sweat glands, they aren’t as effective at regulating their temperature as a human’s.
  • You might notice sweat coming off your cat in the summer through its paws. It usually appears as moist spots on hard flooring.
  • The average cat’s normal temperature is 102.8. If your kitty’s temperature is significantly higher, it means they have a fever.
  • You should not hesitate to take your cat to the vet if you find out they are running a fever.
  • Some of the common signs that your cat is overheating include trembling, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargic behavior.
  • It is important to keep your cat cool in the summer. If the temperature in your house is too hot for you, it’s also too hot for your cat.
  • If you let your kitty outside, provide them with a shady place to cool off when necessary.
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